Saturday, October 20, 2012

New PCB printer: ExpressPCB

If I need to prototype a circuit, I'll do it with wire wrap. I've found this is much more reliable than perf boards (where you just press the parts in at the right places). For some reason those always break on me and then I get inconsistent results from the circuits I build there. I think a major problem on my end is using components that are too big and then I have to really jam them in.

When the time comes that I need to make many of the same circuit (which is idea, design once and use again and again) then I need to get PCBs printed. I used to use in which you could draw the picture in paint or draw and they'd automatically print and drill it. Recently I placed an order and found they were out of business. When the owner told me this, I asked for a recommendation and he noted this place: ExpressPCB

ExpressPCB has their own board design software, but it's free and actually quite good. Much easier than doing this work in draw. And they're clearly encouraging you to do the circuit layout and then the routing. I haven't tried that yet since I knew many of my components wouldn't be in their library and I needed to have certain ports facing the outside, etc.

I just placed my first order and we'll see how it turns out. Hopefully I didn't fuck it up.

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