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July 18, 2016 AT 3:57 pm

Maker to Market 4 – Design – How Adafruit developed Circuit Playground @makerio @DigiKey #DeskOfLadyada

Maker to Market Step 4 – Design -How Adafruit developed Circuit Playground, an educational board for makers.

Now that you’re finally ready to move forward with your project, it’s time to really begin the creative process. Spend time drafting your electrical and mechanical designs, selecting components, and laying out technical specifications. Layout your PCB and initial BOM and finalize your platform. Expect to spend a little bit of money here—evaluation kits and prototype components aren’t free!

In this video, We take the existing set of eval boards – Flora, sensors, Neopixels and ‘breadboard components’ from the last video – then ‘cut & paste’ all of the sensors and components and wrapped them up into a single PCB. We did the routing and came up with the layout and placement for all the parts. We wanted resistive touch but there’s no 20M ohm resistor packs, though this could maybe something for a future design.

Prototype PCBs are then sent off for fabrication – we’ll use OSH Park and show how to generate the Gerber files, preview them, and fabricate!


In case you missed the previous episodes:

“Concept”,  watch it here!

“Research”, watch it here!

“Evaluation”, watch it here!

This series is a special edition of “From the Desk of Ladyada” with our Circuit Playground launch partner, Maker.io & Digi-Key (be sure to check our interview with the CEO of Digi-Key, Dave Doherty, too!).

Why are we doing this? It would be challenging to meet the demand we’re expecting with Circuit Playground orders, shipping, outreach and more – so we’re working with -the best- to get as many out there, to as many people as possible, and “showing our work” about the entire process. Special thanks to David, Jim, Dave, Brooks, Dawn, Jennifer, Paula, Kevin, Wayne and everyone at Digi-Key.


About Maker.io
Digi‐Key was started by a maker professional and has a long history of being a destination for entrepreneurial engineers. Maker.io is the first site to help those people take their ideas from concept to product.

Maker.io was created to help makers understand the phases that occur from concept through production. Digi-Key knows designers will have stumbling blocks throughout the phases, and the main objective of the site is to walk makers through the design-chain “Roadmap” that offers an aggregated community of tools, ideas, solutions, and information that properly meet the needs of the marketplace every step of the way.

By leveraging Digi-Key resources including design tools such as Scheme-it and PCBWeb, complete BOM management support, leading edge maker-friendly solutions from companies like Adafruit that are augmented with full line support from industry leaders and having the world’s largest available inventory for immediate shipment, Digi-Key truly is the best destination for the maker professional.

The availability of very low cost modular hardware tools combined with simple-to-use free software development environments has led to an explosion in the number of makers and developers. As a result, Maker.io is platform (Arduino, BeagleBone, Raspberry Pi, Photon…), post, and project based. Beyond the roadmap, maker professionals as community members can submit projects either publicly or privately. This collaborative and project-based approach will help designers better understand the phases along the map.

Maker.io is the perfect complement to digikey.com. Whether you are just starting out or are already down the design path, you are able to access pre-curated content, solutions and resources from industry professionals, as well as your peers, to help guide you through the phases. No matter where you are on your design roadmap, Maker.io can help you bring your product and dreams to market.

Adafruit is proud to partner with Digi-key and introduce Maker.io to all our customers and fans. This is our second installment of Adafruit’s video series Maker to Market, which will take you on the journey that was the creation of Circuit Playground, Adafruit’s all-in-one board — the perfect microcontroller for learning electronics.


Check out all the Circuit Playground Episodes! Our new kid’s show and subscribe!

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