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PCB Decahedron

You can get 10 pcbs from most manufactures for cheap if they are under 100mm on each side. Let's make some shapes.

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This project is an attempt at developing a 3D sculpture from PCBs

The question "What can make out printed circuit boards?" struck me. PCBWay and many other board producers sell prototype friendly 2 sided printed circuit boards for 5 dollars or less (plus shipping). Armed with the fact that it is 5 dollars whether I order 1 or 10 boards, my question became "What can I make out of 10 circuit boards?"

Since I play Dungeons and Dragons, the handy shape of a 10 sided die came to mind. I set about designing a circuit board that could serve as all 10 sides of my desired decahedron.

The first phase of this project with attempt to answer the following questions:

  1. How do I design plated edges or castellated holes so PCBWay (Current Fab house of choice) understands what I want?
  2. How well does lead free (SAC, leftover from another project) solder hold up as "weld" between PCBs?

The second phase, if this project is continued, will attempt to put a microcontroller and IMU into the decahedron, and recess the LEDs so I can roll the LED like a normal die. If this fails, then the decahedron will just need to be relegated to babble or desk ornament for my dungeon master.

  • Future Goals (20190808)

    Ian Weber08/09/2019 at 00:10 0 comments

    The next revision of this project will focus on the following points.

    1. I will use a regular polyhedron as a design point, likely a tetrahedron (4 sided die).
      1. This will simplify the side design and the jig design.

    Initially this project was designed to compete in the beautiful hardware competition, but since the contest is coming to a close next week I will not be able to redesign and have everything manufactured in time. I will still keep this project in mind and will post again once it has made noticeable progress.

  • Assembly Cones of Shame

    Ian Weber08/09/2019 at 00:03 0 comments

    The reason I was using the helping hand to solder the boards together was because I was able to make a jig to help me solder the boards together. This has made it apparent that I need to review my 3 dimensional geometry.

    3d printed cones in an effort to solder the sculpture boards

  • Failure to Launch

    Ian Weber08/08/2019 at 23:56 0 comments

    I was unable to correctly do the 3D geometry when designing the PCB. Attempts to solder and assemble the sculpture lead to over heating the castellated edges. The de-laminated pads lead to throwing away the design. It was a critical failure in the project.

    Failed Soldering

  • First Batch of Boards

    Ian Weber08/06/2019 at 00:45 0 comments

    I got a hold of 60 pcbs from PCBway, 30 with plated edges and 30 with castellated holes. I did a quick test of one of the panels and it worked. I am working on a 3D printed jig to help be assemble the final shape. I am using Sn60Pb40 solder for the components and I plan to use SAC solder as the "welds" between the boards.

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