One of the big problems in the world of printed solar cells is scale: it’s much easier to print a cell the size of a fingernail than one of useful size. Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) believes a process announced last week changes all that.
Looking for failure is a bittersweet endeavor — it goes against human nature to look for something that we don’t want to find. Our in-house process improvements are bringing us closer and closer to the goal of zero failures. Some days everything we make is perfect, but when it’s not, our job is to find the fault before it gets to the customer. These new gimbaled test jigs run every APM through a rigorous test cycle to validate its performance. In addition, we are constantly working on things like paste handling, material inspection, plus the addition of other super-bad-ass expensive machines that do stuff.
I’ve kind of been obsessed with trying to make circuit boards on my laser cutter since I got it. Other people had already done this by using spray paint as resist – then laser-etching the paint off non-trace portions of the board. This process still requires chemical etching – which I’ve been trying to avoid.
Adafruit PN532 NFC/RFID Controller Shield for Arduino + Extras – We’ve taken our popular Adafruit PN532 breakout board and turned it into a shield – the perfect tool for any 13.56MHz RFID or NFC application. The Adafruit NFC shield uses the PN532 chip-set (the most popular NFC chip on the market) and is what is embedded in pretty much every phone or device that does NFC. (read more)
You’ll wanna pull up a really comfy chair before you dive into this one, but have you ever found yourself digging through Eagle’s 317,424 different canned footprints, hoping one is kinda, sorta, almost, maybe good enough for that new sensor you found on Digikey? Shamelessly dig and despair no more! … Our new mammoth guide on creating manufacturable footprints in Eagle is here to ween you off that nasty canned footprint habit, and get you firmly on the road to non-dependency!
ADS1115 16-Bit ADC – 4 Channel with Programmable Gain Amplifier – For microcontrollers without an analog-to-digital converter or when you want a higher-precision ADC, the ADS1115 provides 16-bit precision at 860 samples/second over I2C. The chip can be configured as 4 single-ended input channels, or two differential channels. As a nice bonus, it even includes a programmable gain amplifier, up to x16, to help boost up smaller single/differential signals to the full range. We like this ADC because it can run from 2V to 5V power/logic, can measure a large range of signals and its super easy to use. It is a great general purpose 16 bit converter. (read more)
Adafruit 16-Channel 12-bit PWM/Servo Driver – I2C interface – PCA9685 – You want to make a cool robot, maybe a hexapod walker, or maybe just a piece of art with a lot of moving parts. Or maybe you want to drive a lot of LEDs with precise PWM output. Then you realize that your microcontroller has a limited number of PWM outputs! What now? You could give up OR you could just get this handy PWM and Servo driver breakout. (read more)
The original prototype took about an hour and a half to assemble, and since I don’t feel like quitting my day job to take up a career in burning my fingers, I decided it might be a good idea to look at some other options for assembly.
This post outlines my experiences of ordering PCBs pre-assembled. I decided to go into a lot of detail with this post because while the ordering process was fairly straight forward, there were some slightly confusing parts to it, and if there’s one thing you don’t want to be when you’re dropping a few hundred/thousand dollars on PCBs, it’s unsure. I figure this will be a rich resource for anyone planning on placing a similar order.
The São Paulo/London based Studio Swine, made up of azusa murakami and alexander groves, has produced this furniture and light fixture collection from recycled and found objects in and around São Paulo, Brazil via designboom:
Taking its name from where it has been designed and made, the ‘são paulo collection’ by Studio Swine employs waste materials found in brazil’s largest city, transforming it into design objects. known as the ‘aluminium capital’ because it collects and recycles more cans than anywhere else in the world, the UK and brazil-based duo of azusa murakami and alexander groves have harnessed the potential of the scrap metal material surplus through means of sandcasting to create the legs of their ‘cactus coffee table’, as well as the abstracted palm pattern seen in their ‘lounge chair’.
Adafruit’s new pick and place machine has arrived! The Samsung Techwin SMT SM482, clocking in at over 28,000 cph. Samsung here is training our team for the week, we’ll be posting up photos for our weekly feature #manufacturing and celebrating“Made in NY”. According to Samsung we are the only company in Manhattan with this pick and place machine!
For my experiments lighting up SMT LEDs on the transparent material ITO, I first had to sort my LEDs by color, since I had a pile of assorted LEDs discarded by the pick and place machine. I used a business card, some copper tape, and a coincell battery + holder to make this tester jig!