I have been working on a small electronic jewelry-like device meant to teach kids how to program… As it is an educational project, it certainly needs pleasant teaching materials and visuals. One such visual, meant for the “Engineer’s Diary” where we describe the process of creating the device, is a timelapse of the CAD design for the printed circuit board.
The Electronics CAD work was done in KiCad, which is an open source tool with lovely documentation and available tutorials. One of its subtools, pcbnew, lets you turn the abstract circuit diagram into the actual physical layout of the device. As with most such tools, the main tasks are to place the required components judiciously, such that you can route all the electrical connections between them by drawing traces and puncturing vias where necessary.
See the blog post for the step by step process on how to get the design frame by frame. And the result:
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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.
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