Altium have decided to release their PCB design tool CircuitMaker as open beta. It will be available worldwide to all interested electronics designers, electronic makers and the hobbyist community as a free software offering. Anyone interested in participating in the open beta can register now at the CircuitMaker website.
The open beta testing program allows anyone to download and begin using CircuitMaker today and become part of a growing electronics design community where designs can be shared and collaborated on. The company anticipates that this open beta process will also provide feedback and input to help refine CircuitMaker and make it a useful design tool for designers in the maker community.
Altium CircuitMaker now Open Beta – [Link]
by Dave Gladwin @ edn.com:
In the last ten years, the technology for manufacturing lightweight, flexible PCBs has made huge progress. Lightweight flex circuits are usually associated with materials like Kapton. The use of those materials is typically limited to high-value applications due to price. Fast forward to 2015, and the landscape has changed dramatically.
Printed electronics makes the news on a regular basis. We hear about breakthroughs in printing semi-conductors, organic photocells, or triboelectric fabric. What often goes unnoticed is that the underlying circuits – manufactured on low-cost flexible substrates with copper traces – have quietly moved from the lab to the production floor. Printed copper flexible circuits are now routinely manufactured by the kilometre in a reel-to-reel process. As production volumes go up, costs come down.
PCB future is lightweight, low-cost, and flexible: Product how-to – [Link]
by Proto G @ instructables.com:
In this instructable I am going to show you how to make your own printed circuit board business card. I feel that these business cards will really help you stand out from the crowd and make a great impression. It might even add one more skill to your resume. Everyone that I have given these cards out to has been really impressed and thought it was a great idea. I have regular business cards as well and I only selectively give out my circuit board cards. You can take it to the next level by soldering different circuits on the cards. I made one of my cards into a standalone Arduino.
Design Your Own PCB Business Card – [Link]
Series of enclosures CEMxx in versions for horizontal and vertical PCB placing offers wide possibilities of usage.
17,5 mm/ 22,5mm but also 35mm – in these width is available well-proven series of DIN-rail enclosures Euroclamp CEM17, CEM22 and CEM35, which was introduced to you in our article Gain more space on the DIN rail with housings Euroclamp CEM22.
Enclosures are delivered “complete”, i.e. including a Din rail holder and the top cover. The only, what´s necessary to buy (depending on a target application) are connectors (terminal blocks) labeled as ML25x, i.e. ML252, ML253 and ML254 or PV02 pin headers (PV03, PV04) dedicated for SH02 plug-in connectors (SH03, SH04).
Novelties in our offer are terminal blocks ML253-5-D-LI and ML253-5-S-LI suitable for CEM35 enclosures. From recent types of the ML253 series they differ only in somewhat longer pins (to be soldered into a PCB), what enables them to “lay” directly on a PCB (no need to make a cut-out for a connector).
Enclosureshave a UL 94 V-0 flammability and they are of a grey color RAL7035, other colors upon request. Upon request also imprinting and housings modification are available. Detailed information will provide you datasheets at particular types. Comprehensive overview of Euroclamp connectors and enclosures will provide you the Euroclamp short-form catalogue.
Euroclamp CEM – DIN rail enclosures for every PCB – [Link]
The PCB Rax is an easy to use, versatile printed circuit board holder for repair, prototyping , and assembly.
How many times have you had to set your soldering iron down because you couldn’t hold the solder and component, while trying to keep the circuit board from moving around?
PCB Rax is an easy to use, versatile circuit board holder for repair, prototyping, and assembly that can hold nearly any shape of circuit board. Sure there are other circuit board holders on the market, but they don’t hold odd shaped boards, and they don’t allow you to easily move them around.
PCB Rax – An easy to use circuit board holding system – [Link]
Quite by accident I came across a long time ago for the film on YouTube, which focuses on domestic production of PCBs. Personally, I am convinced that it is better to perform the PCB in a professional company – you know: aesthetics, two-sided layout, descriptions, soldermask, tin holes etc. However, for small, home projects, not specifically that I require. Let us not forget that it comes to this the cost of a few dozen gold and długaśny timeout. So I decided to make myself the right tools to perform such fototransferu tiling method, ie UV platesetters and wytrawiarki PCBs.
UV exposure and PCB Etching solution – [Link]
EAGLE users have long asked for a simple 3D export that would allow them to cross their designs from the electrical realm into the mechanical realm. The current crop of solutions have suffered from either limited applicability or generated a format that wasn’t widely accepted among mechanical CAD tools. The purpose of this blog post is to inform users of a new tool that can finally fulfill this long requested need.
CadSoft has partnered with SimplifiedSolutions Inc. to create the IDF-to-3D tool.
How to generate 3D output with EAGLE and IDF-to-3D – [Link]
by USB Armory:
The USB Armory batch production is almost complete and we would like to take this opportunity to provide some details about the manufacturing process. The journey that takes the USB Armory design from schematics to the physical board is truly fascinating and involves several steps.
We decided from a very early stage to manufacture and assemble the USB Armory PCB 100% in Italy, which is where Inverse Path is based. This allows us to efficiently interact with our suppliers and ensure the quality that the USB Armory boards deserve.
The PCB manufacturing is done by TVR, a high quality “Just in Time” manufacturer founded in 1975. Their manufacturing capabilities, efficiency and process quality are remarkable, they are highly praised for the quick turnover in producing complex PCBs with an extremely low failure rate.
Manufacturing Process of USB Armory – [Link]
Cabe Atwell @ eetimes.com:
There’s nothing better than “free” when it comes to just about everything, even PCB software. Just because some software is more expensive doesn’t make it better than some of those free PCB packages found on the Internet. In this round up, we will take a look at some of the past popular platforms that are still consistently being supported and updated. One criteria… some sort of update has to be present on the software’s support website in the last two years.
First on our list comes from Mirko Bruno Sortini with his ZentiPCB platform, which features several freeware programs to help users design their own PCBs. ZentiCapture allows users to quickly and easily design schematics using an easy-feature tool set, which allows users to place parts (component symbols) using the orthogonal locking and snap to pin. Once the schematics (in netlist form) are finished, they can then be ported over to ZentiPCB.
10 free PCB CAD programs – [Link]