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Made with Prometheus

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The above video is of our previous version of Prometheus (version 5). The new version 6 design has been completed and the parts manufactured for the first batch. We are currently testing and doing final adjustments to firmware and software. We expect to begin shipping Prometheus in April.

Reserve your Own. $2,299 $1,799 limited-time pricing

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SAVE $500 off the retail price of $2,299 by pre-ordering! Prometheus is a desktop PCB milling machine. Comes fully assembled and ready to use. Also includes a starter pack of milling/drilling bits. Reserve your spot - you will not be charged until your physical unit is being prepared for shipping. Cancel at any time. Pre-orders will ship out in the order that they are received. Orders placed now will be part of the second production batch. Best estimate for a ship date for new orders is late May. We'll have a better estimate once the beta units are shipped to the testers.

 

Now Includes a Vacuum Table!

Prometheus will now ship with a vacuum table to clamp down your board material quickly, and easily. The vacuum port in the front accepts a standard vacuum cleaner hose. Turning the vacuum on clamps the board in place during milling, and switching it off releases it. It's a better user experience than using double-sided tape and prying the board off the table.

Great Hardware Meets Great Software with ProCAM for Prometheus

ProCAM is free and it works exclusively with Prometheus. Import your Gerber files, select your bits, and let ProCAM generate your tool paths. Then start milling, drilling, and edge routing your board. It's all in one application.

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Importing a Gerber file from Circuit Maker by Altium.
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Preview of board to be milled, with the Prometheus control panel on the right.
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ProCAM importing a Gerber of an Arduino clone. The Eagle file was downloaded from Sparkfun and Eagle was used to export the Gerber files. This shows the top copper layer.
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ProCAM importing a Gerber of an Arduino clone. The Eagle file was downloaded from Sparkfun and Eagle was used to export the Gerber files. This shows the bottom copper layer.

The Ability to Create Things is Power.
Everyone has that ability - what we want to do is amplify it. Our first product is Prometheus - a desktop PCB milling machine that will allow you to make circuit boards right from your desk in a matter of minutes. No longer will you have to wait around for your board to be delivered to you from your PCB manufacturing service.

How it Works
Prometheus is a PCB (printed circuit board) milling machine. It works by milling (or carving/engraving) your circuit design into a standard copper-clad board. The bits used by milling machines are called "end mills", and while they might look similar to drill bits there is an important difference - drill bits are made to cut only from their point, while end mills can cut from the side as well. This allows the milling machine to carve objects, in addition to drilling holes. In the case of Prometheus, you can mill your circuit design, drill the holes, and even carve the shape of the board itself (maybe you need a circular circuit board or some other odd shape, for example).

 

Prometheus is purpose-built for making PCBs. The requirements and specifications needed to carve the fine detail needed for modern circuit boards is very different than a general-purpose CNC mill or router that is normally used to carve wood or metal. When we're carving features that are only a few thousandths of an inch, the single most important specification is spindle runout or TIR (Total Indicated Runout). It is something you'll rarely see quoted for a low end general-purpose CNC machine, but low runout is crucial when it comes to micro-milling. Runout describes how much the bit wobbles as it spins about the axis of rotation. Too much runout will cause small end mills to snap immediately. This is why hobby-grade spindles and hand-held rotatry tools are not suitable for precision PCB work. We could have purchased an off-the-shelf spindle with the proper specs to incorporate into Prometheus, but we would have had to spend more than $1,000, just for the spindle! This is probably a big part of the reason why other professional PCB mills cost over $8,000. We solved this problem by designing our own patent-pending, low-cost, low-runout spindle so that we can deliver a professional machine at a fraction of the cost.

Specifications

Spindle Speed: 50,000 RPM
Max X/Y Speed: Greater than 3,800 mm/min (150 IPM)
Spindle Runout (TIR): < 2.5 microns, 10 mm below the spindle bearing (static)
Max PCB Size: 6 in. x 4 in. or European size 160 mm x 100 mm
PCB Type: FR-4, FR-1 (Single or Double-sided)
Min Trace/Space: 5 mil traces/5 mil spaces (1 mil = .001 in. = .0254 mm, 5 mils = .127 mm)
Max Drilled Hole Size: .125 in. (3.175 mm)
X and Y Resolution (full-step): .000625 in. (15.9 microns)
Z Resolution (full-step): .0002 in. (5.0 microns)
Motor Controller: Custom ZippyTalk Controller, Atmel ARM Based
Weight: 30 lbs.
Machine Footprint: 9.5 in x 11 in.
Connectivity: USB Plug-and-Play
System Requirements: Windows 7 or Later. Mac and Linux Support is Planned
Note that these are the current specs, but they may change if further modifications are made before we begin shipping.

A thoughtful and innovative design makes Prometheus the most capable PCB milling machine in its class.