Brian Benchoff of Hackaday writes about a surprise PCB he received at the Hackady Unconference in Chicago last weekend:
For the last few years, Hackaday has really been stepping up our game with marketing materials. Our t-shirts and swag are second to none, and last year we introduced the ‘Benchoff Buck’ [..]
Andrew Sowa created the Benchoff Nickel. It’s a visage of yours truly emblazoned on a PCB, rendered in FR4, silkscreen, gold, and OSHPark’s royal purple.
The Benchoff Nickel was created in KiCad using the Bitmap2Component functionality. Planning this required a little bit of work; there are only five colors you can get on an OSH Park PCB, from white to gold to beige to purple (soldermask on top of copper) to black (soldermask with no copper). Luckily, the best picture we have of me renders very well in five colors.
Dan Hienzsch a holiday project to build a little Snowbot with an adjustable speed larson scanner for an eye:
When I started thinking of this project, I wanted to make something that included a bit of the basics and something more advanced. It had to be battery powered, and most importantly, I wanted to make sure it went against the grain of everything needing a microcontroller. Thus Snowbot was born.
Photos from the Hackaday.io project:
RheingoldHeavy has shared the board on OSH Park:
Thanks to facelesstech for tweeting this design tip:
svg2mod by mtl is a small program to convert Inkscape SVG drawings to KiCad footprint module files:
There didn’t seem to be a good way to get vector graphics into Pcbnew, so I wrote a small utility that uses an existing SVG library to read files, and then writes them out as KiCad modules.
The project is hosted on GitHub:
It uses cjlano’s python SVG parser and drawing module to interpret drawings and approximate curves using straight line segments. Module files can be output in KiCad’s legacy or s-expression (i.e., pretty) formats. Horizontally mirrored modules are automatically generated for use on the back of a 2-layer PCB.
Star Simpson, creator of Circuit Classics, gave this excellent talk at Hackaday Supercon:
Over the last decade or so, the cost to produce a handful of custom PCBs has dropped through the floor. Now, you don’t have to use software tied to one fab house – all you have to do is drop an Eagle or KiCad file onto an order form and hit ‘submit’.
We love PCBs, so we were excited to see this beautiful circuitry from Lumen Electronic Jewelry:
Fashion Gets Geeky
Lumen is the creation of Robin and Marty Lawson in Madison, Wisconsin:
We’re life-long tinkerers, siblings, and fourth generation mechanical engineers.
They’ve designed soldering kits for all levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced surface mount soldering. This heart is an example of an intermediate kit:
Lumen also makes beautiful fully-assembled LED jewelry:
Solar powered twinkling LED jewelry. No batteries, hours of blinky.
We particularly like this twinkling fiberglass cephalopod:
Each octopus has 16 amber LED lights throughout the arms connected to 12 tiny solar cells. So your necklace will charge and blink all on its own, no batteries required.
Robin tells me that they use Free PCB for layout:
Robin informed me that they laser their own stencils out of thin mylar sheets at their local Makerspace, Sector 67:
They then bake the board in a toaster oven:
Robin explains that afterwards they clean the boards in an orange -based degreaser then seal in a ResinLab epoxy
It is expensive but has a long working life, excellent hardness and optical clarity, as well as UV resistance to yellowing.
P.S. Here’s an insightful talk that Robin gave at TEDxMadison last year: