While most PCBs can be simple rectangles, sometimes the design requires more complex geometry. EDA tools don’t always make this simple, so we will go over a few KiCad tips to make it easier. In this talk you will learn how to import unique board shapes from Fusion 360, create arbitrary fill zones using images, and embed high-frequency RF filters. We will use multiple software packages to enhance KiCad’s performance beyond its obvious use.
PCB Art is likely as old as the manufacturing process itself. It has evolved over time from engineers hiding easter eggs in wasted space to whole companies devoted to the intricate authentic design. Andrew has created his own style by using each layer of the PCB to make multi-color images from computer generated designs. In this chat he will talk about his process of turning photos into PCBs as well as tricks to getting high resolution results with KiCad.
In this chat, we’ll be talking about PCB artwork:
- Bitmap to SVG Converstion (Inkscape and Illustrator)
- Kicad Footprint creation
- PCB Fabrication Limits
Here’s a list of some project with great PCB artwork:
Pure art boards
- Full Panel PCB Painting
- Hand-drawn PCB Artwork
- Making Braille Signs out of PCBs
- PCB lapel pin
- Full panel PCB sign by Andrew Sowa
- Lumen Electronic Jewelry
- Creating the Benchoff Nickel
- PCB Art With 4 Layer Boards
- PCB Paintings Facebook group
- PCB Painting Art Nouveau
- Convert Inkscape SVG drawings to KiCad footprints
Functional boards with awesome art/layouts
- OSHWi Octopus Badge by Gustavo Reynaga
- Trammell Hudson PCB art soldering badge
- Minifigure Atmel SAMD21 Board
- Cyborg Ring by zakqwy of neurotinker
- Glowbugs by JasMoH and reverse mount LEDs
- OSH Park PCB Crown
- Brain board for Sarah Petkus’ Noodle robot
- Heart-shaped Flashlight PCB
- Trixel Interactive LED Kit
- 4CHord MIDI
The design files and source code are available on GitHub:
GReynaga has shared the board on OSH Park:
Oshwi Badge HACKSTER Version Rev 1
JinGen Lim created this beautiful project:
I had little experience with fabric, but building a lapel out of PCB seemed like something that might just work. PCBs are typically built with extremely high tolerances for its copper and mask layers and still acceptably accurate for the silkscreen.
Brian Benchoff wrote on Hackaday about the amazing PCB artwork that he’s seen so far in 2017:
PCB art is getting better and better every year. This year, though, is knocking it out of the park. In March, Andrew Sowa turned me into money.
More recently, Trammell Hudson has explored the layers of OSH Park soldermask and silk to create a masterpiece.
Now, we’re moving up to full-blown art. Blake Ramsdell worked with OSH Park to create a full panel of art in gold, fiberglass, soldermask, and silkscreen. It’s 22×16 inches, and it’s fantastic.