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:
Sarah Petkus wrote on her Robotic Arts blog about toaster hacking:
I would like you to meet my toaster. The toaster is an old character of mine who has survived through subtle reference in the things I draw and build. Nothing I make is about the toaster, but the toaster is about everything I make. He’s my chrome totem.
Here is a brief progress report on the surgery of toaster! He will soon have eyes!