Tag Archives: PCB

Making PCB Vias using conductive ink


Here’s an alternative method for making PCB vias using conductive ink from Diyouware:

We developed an alternative method for making PCB vias through-hole using our robot.
As you probably know the traditional DIY method consists in threading a wire through the holes and then soldering it and then cutting it off. For example, if we have 100 vias in our PCB, we have to insert the thin wire on each hole, cut it and solder it 200 times. This is time-consuming, but also tedious, absurd, prone to failures and produces a melancholic state of mind.:-)
So we decide to innovate in this area developing a new method which consists in drilling blind vias instead of holes and filling them with conductive ink.

Making PCB Vias using conductive ink – [Link]

Search Github projects by component – find design references


dangerousprototypes.com has launched a new search feature that is able to search GitHub for specific parts and enables you to easily find reference designs for your next projects. This new search feature can also display Schematics and PCB previews without having to open a CAD software on your local machine, but some limitations exists. They write:

TomKeddie first mentioned this idea at Hacker Camp Shenzhen, and later in the forum and on WeChat. Tom generously shared his scraping/search method. Eagle 6+ files are XML, so we can find them on Github by searching for the “eagle SYSTEM” tag in files with “extension:sch”. That gives more than the maximum 100 pages of results, so we filter by file size and increment size 500 bytes at a time “size:1001…1500″. We use the normal user search interface, parse the HTML results, and grab all urls ending with .sch. While Github has an API, that API doesn’t give access to search code search without specifying a repository by name (probably so people don’t do what we did…).

Search Github projects by component – find design references – [Link]

Kicad StepUp – export kicad 3D board


kicad StepUp allows exporting kicad 3D board and comps in STEP AP214 .By easyw @ sourceforge.net:

kicad StepUp: a new approach to export kicad board and modules in STEP AP214 (with colors). With kicad StepUp, it is possible to work in kicad EDA with the same component model data available in the STEP AP214 3D format, and obtain a 3D STEP AP214 model of the pcb board and a complete board assembles with electronic modules, to be used for MCAD interchange. The accurate 3D visualization of components on board assembles in kicad 3dviewer, is maintained in the same accuracy and aspect in STEP AP214 format. The kicad StepUp script maintains the usual way to work with kicad, but improves the process to work in a collaborative way with mechanical designers bringing near ECAD and MCAD environments.

Kicad StepUp – export kicad 3D board – [Link]

Makerarm – The first robotic arm that makes anything, anywhere


Makerarm just lauched on kickstarter. It’s a penknife for the DIY world, it can make almost anything by changing the toolhead!

A complete digital fabrication system for makers everywhere: 3D print, laser, carve, plot, assemble, pick/place + more on your desktop!

  • Makerarm works with interchangeable heads for countless applications.
  • It 3D prints: Makerarm is not confined to a box and can 3D print with both filament and resin.
  • It carves and mills: Makerarm includes high-speed desktop milling (light duty) and carving. You can mill on a variety of materials including plastics, wood, and soft metals right on your desktop. You can even hook up heavy duty flex shaft tools such as the Dremel Fortiflex to Makerarm for power-carving, grinding, or shaping applications (with speeds up to 23,000 RPM!).
  • It laser engraves: Makerarm’s high power 500mW laser head (405nm) engraves and etches on plastics, wood, leather, cardboard, and more.
  • It picks and places: Choose from vacuum pump coupled suction cups, electromagnetic heads, or grippers to carry out pick and place operations.
  • It assembles: With the assembly heads, you can automatically place and fasten screws, carry out gluing, and perform pick and place functions.
  • It’s a PCB fab: PCB milling, drilling, solder-paste dispensing, pick and place assembly (PCBA), and automated soldering take the hassle out of prototyping.

Makerarm – The first robotic arm that makes anything, anywhere – [Link]

Logic PCB Business Card


Floyd-Jones designed his own business card using logic circuitry. He writes:

The card implements a digital finite-state machine which displays the next character of my last name on a 7-segment display each time the button is pressed. Luckily all 11 characters in my name can be reasonably shown, essentially spelling out FLoyd-JonES. I simulated the design in Altera’s Quartus II FPGA software before constructing it in Eagle.

Logic PCB Business Card – [Link]

3D Print the Ultimate Helping Hands for a PCB Workstation


by Giuseppe Finizia @ makezine.com:

I am the Senior Analyst of the Electronic Forensics Unit of the Carabinieri (Italian Military Police) and I deal with technical investigations on seized electronic devices. I spend most of my day in a well-equipped electronic laboratory, but I was lacking a tool for performing technical assessments on printed circuit boards (PCBs). I needed a way to secure small boards on my workbench and place multiple probes across the board for acquiring data from a circuit memory, analyzing an I2C or SPI communication bus using a logic state analyzer, and much more.

3D Print the Ultimate Helping Hands for a PCB Workstation – [Link]

Making a PCB business card


Ilia Baranov has designed a reference business card:

Back of card includes:
Ruler in both 1/10″ and mm.
AWG Hole size gauge (not super accurate due to plating, but that is unavoidable)
Resistor/capacitor/inductor/diode sizes
Common surface mount component sizes
Common electrical symbols and shortcuts/equations
Common conversions
Trace size comparison
Quote from Dune!

Making a PCB business card – [Link]

PCB stencil jig


Gonazar’s PCB stencil jig:

My solution to making a PCB stencil jig.
I need this to do a run of ~30 small boards I got from DirtyPCB who also provided me with the stencil. However, I know that I’m going to be making more later with a new revision so I wanted a jig that I could later reuse with a new design.
One of the challenges of making a pcb jig is alignment and finding something to lie next to the pcb so the stencil doesn’t bow/bend from unsupported areas.
So my design uses two 1/8″ thick acrylic frames on a hinge. The top frame has a large opening to work with the stencil and the bottom frame has a fixed rectangular hole. This hole is for placing a 3D printed jig that perfectly matches the PCB shape and thickness. It’s also exactly the dimension of a 8.5″x11″ cut into 8 pieces. This way I can lock in my PCB and align my stencil, then adjust the height by shimming it with pieces of paper underneath.

PCB stencil jig – [Link]

Can a current flow even up the hill?


Of course it can, even apeak. So if you connect leads from the bottom side via a PCB connector, you don´t have to worry about the current…

Should you however be afraid of accidental fall off of the connector (it will certainly hold on if there are no vibrations, shocks or unpredictable tension to leads), then for your peace of mind we recommend you to use connectors that can be secured by a screw.

Naturally, devices exposed to vibrations are much more frequent (for example with a motor) or even devices which are often subjeted to transport – for all such cases a connector with a flange (and integrated screw) finds its place.

Such solution is also offered by a well-known producer of terminal blocks – EUROCLAMP. For example for currents up to 8 Amps and voltages to 160V, these novelties from our stock are suitable:

  • SH04-3,5-K (4-pole plug-in connector for cable, with a 3.5 mm pitch, with a flange and screw)
  • PV04-3,5-V-K (a mating piece to SH04-3,5 for a PCB with a flange and screw) For a real certain feeling, this component can be screwed to a PCB by a self tapping screw ( ISO1481-ST 2,2×4,5(6,5)C screw, not included)

A screw also prevents accidental disconnection (it´s only possible with a screwdriver). In extreme case, the screws can be replaced by security head screws… (but this perhaps no – if you deal with a critical device – then use some more efficient precautions).

Detailed information can be found in the SHxx-3,5-K and PVxx-3,5-V-K datasheets.

Can a current flow even up the hill? – [Link]