Using Python to vectorize artwork for PCBs #Python @theavalkyrie
The maker community has long been creating amazing art with printed circuit boards (PCB). From the incredible variety of #badgelife from folks like TwinkleTwinkie to the adorable and accessible kits from folks like Alpenglow, makers have been misusing the circuit board fabrication process to great effect. Thea Flowers, aka Stargirl, also likes to (mis)use PCBs to create front panels for Winterbloom‘s modules.
The process of creating these works of art with industrial processes is not easy. Getting art into a manufacturable format is filled with pitfalls and tedium. This has lead to some wonderful tools like svg2shenzhen, Gerbolyze, and PCBmodE – all of which are worth looking into if you want to do sort of thing.
In an article, Thea talks about just one approach for converting artwork for PCBs: Image tracing, sometimes called raster-to-vector conversion. This process takes a raster image (such a png) and converts it into a list of polygons. This article shows how Python is used to glue together a few clever libraries to build gingerbread.trace, a tool for converting images into KiCAD footprints.
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