iCE Bling: Beautiful LED Earrings with Lattice iCE40 FPGA

has created wondeful LED Earrings with the Lattice iCE40UP5k FPGA and shared the project on our website:

iCEBling

Screenshot from 2020-07-19 14-10-16

Find out more about the project in this blog post:

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iCE Bling FPGA – Beautiful LED Earrings with Lattice iCE40

It’s the same story every year. At the horizon is a loved one’s birthday, or an anniversary, and I want to make them something special. Buying something won’t do. Oh no, I have to design and build it myself. I would then start with a simple idea, and then complicate it progressively to the point where it would take several anniversaries to finish the project.

This time, I wanted to build a pair of earrings for my wife’s birthday. Since I am learning about FPGAs these days, I wanted to incorporate one into the design. Having gotten older and wiser, I decided to enlist help early on. I would focus on the overall design and the programming part, and leave the PCB design and assembly to my trusted friend and engineer Siva.

 

iCE Bling: Beautiful LED Earrings with Lattice iCE40 FPGA

Give the gift of a personalized PCB keychain

From n°Garage offers personalized one square-inch keychains on Tindie:

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n°Keychain

This n°Keychain family consists of a series of one-square-inch keychains or pendants. These little beauties are perfect gifts for festival, graduation and remembrance. And more, write lovely words to make it unique and personal.

One order will have two keychains or pendants. To customize it, please choose the option from the drop down above if you would like to add personalized text.

  • Background Words(0~15chars): BRAVE / KIND / Curious / Hindsight 2020
  • Time Mark (0~15chars): Happy New Year / Happy Birthday / Class 2020
  • Name Tag (0~25chars): Alice / Rob / Queen Elizabeth School

If ordering the customizable option, please leave the details of the above inside the field of Additional Instructions at checkout. Please do not exceed the maximum number of characters for each field.

For personalized keychain, it may take about 5 to 9 workdays to ship after ordering. An email notification will be sent to you once shipped. Usually the shipping takes about 10 work-days.

Give the gift of a personalized PCB keychain

Screaming LM386: An Audio Amplifier with PCB Art

Beautiful project from Frank Milburn on element14:

Intro_Cartoon

Screaming LM386: An Audio Amplifier with PCB Art

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?

Screenshot from 2020-02-20 12-40-07

Palette

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.

Palette

There is a shared project for the board:

 

Screenshot from 2020-02-20 12-35-07

And watch it on YouTube:

Screaming LM386: An Audio Amplifier with PCB Art

Trash Dove Badge by Angela Sheehan

Angela Sheehan has made a beautiful LED badge based on Syd Weiler’s Trash Dove sticker:

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Trash Dove Badge

An LED badge I created as a Valentine gift for my partner. The artwork is a rendering of a sticker we often send each other in conversation on messenger.
I had fun using this project as a way to gain more practice in AutoDesk EAGLE.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EI2CLwQi6N0&feature=emb_title

The first thing I did was draw a simplified rendering of the artwork in Illustrator with a condensed palette. The original artwork uses a few different shades of color.

Luckily, OSHPark’s signature purple solder mask, ENIG, and white silk were already pretty good matches for the original sticker palette, so I just needed to make a few adjustments.

I decided on three tones of purple created by:

  • Mask over FR4 for the back bird (darkest purple)
  • Mask over copper for the front bird’s wing and head (lightest purple)
  • Mask over copper stripes for the front bird’s body (mid purple)

I used silk to define some details and for the back bird’s head, and exposed copper for the orange yellow parts of the original artwork.

The heart I left open to backlight with a red LED. 

Trash Dove Badge by Angela Sheehan

Introducing our “After Dark” black FR-4 service

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Our new 2 layer “After Dark” service features black FR-4 substrate with clear soldermask to show off all those beautiful copper traces.

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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.

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Note: click the “After Dark” checkbox if you want clear solder mask on black substrate

Aaron (@TwinkleTwinkie) wrote a nice post on Hackaday.io about making:

PCB Art with OSHPark After Dark

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Here are some examples of “After Dark” from Twitter:

Introducing our “After Dark” black FR-4 service

Designing a PCB Ornament

Liz from Blitz City DIY wrote about the process of designing a PCB ornament:

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Designing a PCB Ornament

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!

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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.

Designing a PCB Ornament

Snowy Owl PCB artwork

A purple snowy owl with customizable name and short message from NWMaker on Tindie:

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Snowy Owl

Look at it. This snowy owl is so cute. You can choose add custom text or not.

When you choose the option of custom text, you can customize the snowy owl as follows.

  • Add a name or nick name (less than 16 letters) like “Mary” or “James”
  • Add a short message (less than 18 letters) such as “Happy Birthday!” or “Merry Christmas!”

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Owl is amazing. It has super eyesight at night. Its feather structure makes its flight silent. It can turn around its head backwards.

I’d like something to be associated with “snow” and “north”. That is why I think of the snowy owl.

Snowy Owl PCB artwork

Kicad: Designing With Complex Shapes

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KiCad presentation by Andrew Sowa at Teardown 2018:

Kicad: Designing With Complex Shapes

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.

Kicad: Designing With Complex Shapes

PCB projects with awesome artwork

 

Here’s a list of some project with great PCB artwork:

Pure art boards

Functional boards with awesome art/layouts

PCB projects with awesome artwork