This month, I will be teaching a few MIT Media Lab graduate students and doing a bit of a “geek tour” of Shenzhen – we will visit several factories and live among the electronic markets to facilitate new directions and expand horizons in the students’ hardware-oriented research projects.
As part of the course, they will learn how to scale up their research utilizing the China manufacturing ecosystem. These lessons may also be useful for Makers looking to bootstrap a product in moderate volumes (hundreds to thousands of units). I will share some tips and insights from the course in four posts over the next month covering:
Getting a quotation: documentation standards (how to make a BOM)
Process optimization: design for manufacturing and test jigs
Industrial design for upstarts: guerrilla engineering on a shoestring budget
How to pick a factory: building and maintaining partnerships
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.