07 • Electronics Design

Assignment: redraw the echo hello-world board, add (at least) a button and LED (with current-limiting resistor), check the design rules, make it, and test it.

To start the Electronics Design week, after the introductory lecture we had classes with the local instructors to learn about the softwares used to design electronics circuits. We had a class to learn about Eagle and Kicad. We designed echo hello in both softwares and I found Eagle a more intuitive software to keep on.

I redesigned the board adding other components. The first version was like the image below:

first version of echo hello board - schematic
first version of echo hello board

After designing this board, I decided to mill it a flexible board, in which the copper paper was adhered to a PVC plastic sheet. I did it in the Rolland machine. First, I setted up the machine, placing the material and configuring in the machine the measures of it. I loaded a .jpg image of my design, resized it to the actual size of the board and traced the outlines of it. A new tracing was generated by the software that would be the actual file to be cutted.

cutting process

After doing this board, I showed the tutor and he told me that I needed to change the capacitor to near the ATTINY44. So I redesigned the board. I had to use a resistor as a jumper and the design rules alerted me that something was not right in the board, I confirmed that this was the way to proceed, and generated the scheme to be exported. I exported an PNG image, monochromatic with 1.000 dpi.

New board design
Confirmation of design rules
Traces to be exported
Board cutted
Result of extracting the excess of copper

I proceeded to then solder the components. First I did a list of the components I needed to solder. After soldering, I checked the board with the multimeter and confirmed that current was going through the right paths.

Components list
Soldering process
Board finished
Confirming with a multimeter

I find really interesting the process for gathering pieces -the components-, assembling them in a certain position and being able to create something that performs an action. It is amazing to think that information can go through energy and by that, we are able to create admirable tools and technologies that shape our world. However, we need to be aware of the impact it has on the environment and how our consumption patterns are affecting it. In this sense, design studio Formafantasma made a very interesting project in researching about the impact of our use of technology generating e-waste.


I believe that is urgent that society start looking for its consumption patterns and the place in their lives that they give for technology, and how this is affecting our material world, the environment, and our inmaterial world, in relationships in society.

Download the files

w07_eletronics_design - dxf file
w07_eletronics_design_lines - dxf file
w07_eletronics_design_schematic - sch file
w07_eletronics_design_board - brd file