Week 6: Designing Circuits
puzzling out the trace

The Assignment

design and make a printed circuit board

  • The Problem: How do you stuff a bunch of small components onto a small boart and connect them together
  • Time Investment: 6 hours (3 hours learning about electronics, 1 hour designing circuit, 2 hours milling and stuffing)

Design a circuit

Flying with the EAGLE

This week was entirely about learning about how electronics work. There's a lot for me to learn about the different components and electricity in general for me. After another excellent recitation, I had a basic idea of how this particular circuit works and how to design in in Eagle.

After dropping all of the components on the board, then it's just a fun puzzle of how to configure everything so it fits together. After a bunch of routing and twisting and turning, I came up with a trace that would work. (Tip: squeezing under resistors helps fit everything together without adding extra jumpers)

Fab Module

Export, caculate, and mill

Everything is pretty smooth once the milling machine works. Just load the fabmodules and everything gets cut out.

Mill it

Silky smooth.

I pressed send and 12 minutes later I had a printed circuit board ready for stuffing.

The video is actually of the first board I cut which had a few things off in the design.

Solder on components

Stuffed and ready

I soldered on the components pretty smoothly. The only kink was there were not any 6-in connectors left, but there were a 4-pin piece and 2-pin piece so I just soldered them on together.

I didn't have time to test the board, but that will be happening in a few weeks! Thankfully this week wasn't as intense as last week as it's been busy. But so far really enjoying this class and very thankful for the awesome TAs who help out each week.

How To Make (almost) Anything
MIT Media Lab MAS863.15