I decided to give PCB art a try and will be basing my attempt on methods described by Andrew Sowa. Andrew uses Adobe Illustrator for the art work and KiCad for the PCB design. I will also use KiCad but will use my trusty pre-subscription version of Photoshop for the artwork. Inkscape is another possibility. Andrew’s process is described in this video from which my work is derived. The detail behind many of the steps won’t be described in this post – watch the video for that.
The goal is to take a photograph, painting, etc. and place it on a PCB using the FR4, copper layer, solder mask, and silk screen to make the palette. My PCB will feature the famous work by Edvard Munch, The Scream which has always fascinated me. So, how to turn a masterpiece into a PCB facsimile?
The limited palette is a challenge. For this exercise the focus will be on the central figure in order to reduce board size (and thus cost) of the experiment. The OSHPark purple solder mask will hopefully give the dark colors desired. Andrew also used OSHPark in his example, and helpfully provided a palette which has been modified here to help describe how the layers translate to color and are stacked for conversion in KiCad.
Our “After Dark” service is the same cost as our 2 layer purple PCBs: $5 per square inch, which includes three copies of your design. For example, a 2 square inch board would cost $10 and you’d get three copies of your board. You can order as many copies as you want, as long as they’re in multiples of three.
Finally got around to soldering these up. Used my hot glue method to also fill the hole on my heat resistant mat that hot glue won’t stick to so it cooled down completely flat with the board surface. I’ll have them with me at @BSidesAugusta tomorrow. #badgelifepic.twitter.com/lgoqNISEJ8
As the holidays approached this year, I felt a need to create a DIY gift for my family and friends. I struggled at first to find a medium. Should I 3D print something? Should I knit? But then it hit me: everyone loves blinky LEDs and I want to keep getting better at PCB design. I’ll do a PCB ornament!
If you don’t have a traditional electronics background PCB design can seem scary, overwhelming and something that’s meant for more experienced people that have “real skills”. If you start simple and slowly add-in new methods and design features to your boards you’ll soon realize it isn’t so scary and that much like everything else in life it just takes practice and patience to learn. And once you have your first project on a custom PCB instead of a piece of perf board you’ll be hooked.
From a cockroach filled with LEDs, to an impressively dense 576 RGB LED display, and even a hunk of carpet, our final installment of the unofficial hardware badges at DEF CON 26 are beyond impressive. I tried to see every badge and speak to every badge maker this year. So far we’ve covered a ton…
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.