How to Make (Almost) Anything

MAS 863 2010
week 3: PCB design, fabrication, assembly
this week was slightly different from last week. to make the circuit board, we were provided the design and all we had to do was to mill the board, populate it, program it, check for bugs, and make sure it could be connected through a usb to a computer.
here are two failed attempts at milling along with the populated board. the board on the left was as a result of a loose end mill. one screw was tight and the other was not. the one on the right was because i did not zero correctly. i zeroed on the edge which was not as flat as the middle where the milling was taking place. to correct this, i zeroed in the center but also made doubly sure that my board was very flat.
circuit boards
and here is a completely populated board, or so i thought.
almost completed board

obviously, this board could not be programmed and that is because, if you look at top left of the board, there should be a joint that connects those two rectangles right next to each other. i connected those, the board programmed but it was not recognized by the computer. after maybe an hour total trying to figure out why, i realised that one of the legs of the USB was not completely connected.

and then one more try. i was able to finally get the board programmed and working. notice the connected rectangles in the bottom right of the board.
completed board