Industry Set for Shift to True 3D Printing and Photonics


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Nolan Johnson sits down with Zach Peterson, owner of Northwest Engineering Solutions, who predicts two things that would challenge the current status quo for the PCB manufacturing industry: true 3D printing and additive, including discretes as well as the substrates and traces, and a completely different approach with photonics.

Nolan Johnson: Zach, can you introduce yourself?

Zach Peterson: I own a company called Northwest Engineering Solutions, and we do a number of different things in the PCB and electronics industry. I also write for various companies and have a group of freelancers that handle design work. We do software, custom analytics tools, and technology research. The content that we produce for PCB companies and other startups is very high-level and forward-looking. And we always try to provide real, actionable advice that is within the context of what our customers do, which is important.

We want to offer solutions to problems that designers have, and the idea is that the designer could immediately implement that solution with one of our customer’s products. And that’s extremely important because if people are on the internet and have design problems, they have unanswered questions. Our goal is to do the research and help get those answers in front of the readers.

Johnson: So, while you might do some actual design work, that isn’t your primary spot?

Peterson: That’s right. As I said, I have a group of freelancers that I work with, and we do design. One guy that I have working for me is an RF designer; he has done a lot of wireless systems. Another guy I have working for me has done a lot of different designs for the solar industry; he worked in the solar industry for about 15 years, and now, he does freelance design work both for me and for other companies as well.

Johnson: What’s your ideal customer?

Peterson: My ideal customer is a company that has a new product that they want to launch and needs to communicate their value to a target market, such as a software or hardware product, but they don’t know how to do it.

To read this entire article, which appeared in the November 2019 issue of PCB007 Magazine, click here.

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