Resources

As a thriving small business, we look for software, vendors, and tools that provide excellent performance with cost effective pricing.  

 

Since many of our clients and potential customers are also small businesses, we want to help you by recommending some of the resources that have served us well.

Software

Altium Designer: ECAD (electronic computer aided design) software for designing PCBs (printed circuit boards).  We love the high quality, 3D-native results and the many time-saving features that help us deliver better circuit boards for you, at lower cost.

Onshape: MCAD (mechanical computer aided design) software for 3D modeling and mechanical system integration. Onshape runs in the browser and is built for remote collaboration, helping us to more easily share design progress with you and incorporate your feedback quickly.

Bitbucket: Revision control system used to manage our software development.  Allows our team to regularly complete design reviews and make updates to maximize the quality of our software deliverables.

Xero: Small business accounting software.  Convenient financial record keeping and the ability for our customers to view and pay their invoices online.

 

Vendors and Service Providers

Digi-Key and Mouser: Both excellent vendors of electronic components with quick turnaround and great availability for small quantity prototype builds.

Epec: A rare PCB fabricator that provides great customer service, excellent quality boards, and competitive pricing.

ProTronics: A local PCB assembly house that we turn to when building a larger quantity of boards than we want to build in house, or when there are very challenging components to be mounted, such as large BGA (ball grid array) packages.

McMaster-Carr: A very convenient, quick turnaround supplier of nearly any imaginable mechanical hardware.

Midwest Prototype and Protolabs: Rapid prototyping suppliers that can handle “additive manufacturing” (3D printing), CNC machining, and other fabrication methods.

Cynthia Pritchard of BioTechnology Transfer: Several of our medical device customers have engaged Cynthia for their regulatory (FDA, etc) consulting needs and we really enjoy working with her.

 

Tools

AOYUE 968A+: Rework station with hot air reflow and soldering iron.  This inexpensive tool has helped us to build and rework numerous circuit boards.  The hot air reflow is indispensable when working with the tiny components that allow us to deliver compact form-factor PCBs.

Reflowster: We have been able to drastically decrease the time (and cost) of assembling prototype circuit boards by using Reflowster to create a small reflow oven for our lab.

Rigol: Our 2-channel and 4-channel oscilloscopes from Rigol have performed very well for our test and verification needs when looking at dynamic signals on our PCBs.  Rigol is cost competitive compared to some of the big names and the performance has been excellent for us.

Monoprice Maker Ultimate: This 3D printer has expanded our ability to quickly experiment with alternative mechanical design concepts by putting physical parts in our hands within minutes or hours.