The conversation that I had hoped that MezzoMill would help to shine a light on is the need for individuals, hackerspaces, and schools to have small-scale electronics manufacturing facilities. I believe that there are 3 key technologies that are necessary to a modern electronics fab. First is the ability to print circuits. Second is the ability to place modern components on the circuit. Finally, the third is the ability to do reflowing.
Like the iBooks Author program, I feel that these disruptive technologies have the ability to empower people and transform an industry. Clearly all of the technologies already exist for creating these machines. People hack together various versions of them all the time. There needs to be work done towards mass producing them and a guiding vision for making all of them work together seamlessly.
I designed the MezzoMill to simplify the problem of printing circuits. It turns the experience of printing circuits from EAGLE to one like from your word processor to your inkjet. It makes the process safe and repeatable while reducing the user interaction with the process as much as possible. It is the only solution in its price range that provides this user experience to individuals.
Very cool! I see hacks all the time where people have put together PCB routers using gantry dremels and the like, but the focus here is on self-contained, user-friendly repeatability and flexibility. That’s something which a lot of home builds lack — not intentionally, mind you, but they are built by users for themselves and require less generalization. I think a general machine designed for a wider user base is the next logical step.