Hackaday: Making More Of Me Money

Brian Benchoff of Hackaday writes about a surprise PCB he received at the Hackady Unconference in Chicago last weekend:

Making More Of Me Money

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.

IMG_-mmx3ft

Hackaday: Making More Of Me Money

Snowbot

Dan Hienzsch a holiday project to build a little Snowbot with an adjustable speed larson scanner for an eye:

snowbot_v1_prototype-2

Snowbot Ornament Project

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:

Snowbot_2015_Rev1

snowbot_revised_silkscreen_preview

Order from OSH Park

Snowbot

Convert Inkscape SVG drawings to KiCad footprints

Thanks to facelesstech for tweeting this design tip:

screenshot-from-2016-12-31-01-15-13

svg2mod by mtl is a small program to convert Inkscape SVG drawings to KiCad footprint module files:svg2mod-dt

SVG graphics in KiCad (svg2mod)

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.

 

 

Convert Inkscape SVG drawings to KiCad footprints

Building Beautiful Boards With Star Simpson

circitclassics.png

Star Simpson, creator of Circuit Classics, gave this excellent talk at Hackaday Supercon:

Building Beautiful Boards With Star Simpson

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’.

Building Beautiful Boards With Star Simpson

Minifigure Atmel SAMD21 Board

cvalphdvyaalmkj

Benjamin Shockley designed this adorable Atmel SAMD21 dev board in the shape of Lego mini-figures!

This circuit board was designed as a fun project for a SAMD21E microcontroller based development board. The circuit design follows the recommended design from the SAMD Datasheet.

cvalnx8viaaexmb

The design files are shared on GitHub:

imagesbwshockley/Minifigure-SAMD21E

 

bwshockley has shared the board on OSH Park:

Minifigure SAMD21 Board

871c45e2a55702d96f7574d0bf4ba381

Order from OSH Park

Minifigure Atmel SAMD21 Board

Lumen Electronic Jewelry

We love PCBs, so we were excited to see this beautiful circuitry from Lumen Electronic Jewelry:

il_fullxfull.612359614_el5q.jpg

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:

il_fullxfull.459957961_j39n-300x300.jpg

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:

Blinky Octopus Necklace

8604-11

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:

octopus0401

Robin informed me that they laser their own stencils out of thin mylar sheets at their local Makerspace, Sector 67:

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:
Lumen Electronic Jewelry