Rapid prototyping is a growing trend in the RF/microwave industry, where companies can more quickly turn concepts into real circuit prototypes via the investment of an in-house laser or mechanical circuit-board milling machine. One supplier of such machines is LPKF Laser & Electronics, with several examples on display at the 2012 IMS (booth No. 2409). Based on laser technology, the new ProtoLaser U3 is a compact, multipurpose circuit milling machine capable of working with a wide range of materials, from low-cost FR-4 to ceramics. It is capable of cutting, depaneling, drilling, skiving, decaping, and direct etching of surface metals on their circuit boards. For those preferring mechanical circuit milling, proven ProtoMat mechanical prototyping systems can not only meet or exceed the resolution, precision, and repeatability of outside circuit-board fabrication services, with resolution exceeding 2 microns, they can fabricate prototypes in a fraction of the time of outside services.