PCB aesthetics

I think this proves beyond all doubt (was there ever any doubt?) that I am overgeeked. CH sent me some images the other day while I was in foreign lands showing some PCBs he had made. YOWZA!

Two PCBs milled from plain sheet. The simplicity of the Voronoi layout is wonderful!

What I really like about these are the aesthetics that arise as a complete step away from the standard etching structure that we know from standard PCB production techniques. I am sure some clever engineering types will say something about capacitance and stray signals, but I am sure that, for our electronic needs, such problems are less that significant. And we get sexy boards.

So what is being done here. Let’s start with the style. The Voronoi system has been developed by a few clever people. There is the group at MIT (yes, every clever thing happens at MIT at some point in its career – I have been there but cleverness has not yet descended upon me, obviously the other implication does not apply..) and the strange and wonderful people at Vienna’s Metalab. Seeing as we are only using this system, we will let you read what is going on over there on their pages.

What is it that we are building. New Tools for our Tools. Stepper and other control electronics.

New RunCNC electronics. Left: power area, one stepper controller is mounted. Right is Seeduino Mega, a debug layer and the input/output bit: thermocouples, limit switches and thermistors.

We hope that this new electronics part will help us have more accurate prints, as the main problem with the extruder we are using at the moment (a modified version of the MakerBot Mk4) is the lag when turning on and off.  So we get blobs when the head stops moving and turns off, and gaps when it starts to move and turns on. I am sure there is some parameter to be set up deep in Skeinforge to fix this, but better people that I will have to lead the way down that treacherous path.

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