My adventures in How to Make (almost) Anything

Week 2: Electronics Production


This week, I learned how to work on electronics production. Specifically, there were three parts to this assignment: first, milling a PCB; second, soldering the circuit and ICs onto the PCB; and lastly, installing software onto the PCB.

  • Software used: Avrdude

PCB Milling

Given that we had a already made image for the PCB design, we had to run two cuts for the PCB in the Roland, the first using a 164 pointer for tracing, and the second using the 132 pointer for the outline and cut.


Learning from Ben with Prashant

After running the machine (which takes a while), here is the finished product!


Soldering & Programming

Next, I had to solder the components for the PCB onto the board. First, I gathered the equipment:


The soldering process took a while as our components were quite small. After half an hour or so, I finally finished!


Finally, in order to program the board, I used a programmer board to connect to the 6 pins of the board, while using another USB port to connect to the board for power. Fortunately for me, the programming part went very smooth, as I didn’t need to debug my software or hardware. Overall, it was a fun experience!


Tips for the future

  • Use double sided tape to keep track of where your small components are.
  • Check which resistor you are using by actually looking on the resistor itself. I had to un-solder two resistors as I ended up choosing the wrong ones.
  • A lot of soldering techniques that I’ve learned in person
  • When running make flash and make fuses, at first my compilation failed. Adding sudo solved the problem for me.


  • Make an in-circuit programmer by milling the PCB
  • Solder components onto the PCB
  • check if the PCB can be programmable, and do so
  • refer to Ben’s documentation of the assignment link