[Tutorial] how to make artistic, old skool PCB

Frequently asked question on the subject of designing, creating, producing printed boards, veroboards or perfboads and on point-to-point construction techniques.
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Mr. G.
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Post by Mr. G. »

Would anybody care for a tutorial on how to make PCB's that look like this?

Image

It's really not that hard with a program such as Illustrator or Inkscape. I wouldn't mind making a tutorial if there's enough interest.

btw, that particular PCB is for an ROG Ruby, and it was my first one to do like this. It still needs a little bit of fine tuning, but you get the idea.

@ mods... if there's a better title for the thread, please change it. That's all I could think of to call the style.
Go straight to the Tutorial PDF down link by clicking here.
Last edited by modman on 14 Jul 2010, 11:08, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: moved and changed title

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culturejam
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Post by culturejam »

I'd like to have a look at that tut. Go for it.

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Post by meffcio »

As above, dude.

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Post by Mr. G. »

Here's my first go at the tutorial. It was done in Illustrator, but shouldn't be too hard to use for Inkscape, or any other true vector program.

If you see anything that needs correcting, or if something isn't very clear, just let me know and I'll update things.

I'm still relatively new to doing them this way (haven't even etched one yet), so there may be easier/better ways, but this is what works for me at this moment.

I hope it is understandable, ha ha :lol:
Attachments
Artistic PCB Tutorial.pdf
(386.61 KiB) Downloaded 713 times

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jessej
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Post by jessej »

Very cool tutorial indeed! Thanks!

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Post by Mr. G. »

Glad you like it! I realize that it is more appropriate for someone who already has knowledge of how to use vector graphics programs. So, I'll try to help out as much as I can with any questions.

As I've said before, I can't contribute much as far as the circuits go, but I don't want to be a leach either. So, this is the best way I know how to contribute to the community.

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Post by Naz Nomad »

jessej wrote:Very cool tutorial indeed! Thanks!
+ a very large 1 :D

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Post by jrod »

Really cool, man! I love it!

I am really going to have to learn to use EagleCAD!

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Mr. G.
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Post by Mr. G. »

jrod wrote:Really cool, man! I love it!

I am really going to have to learn to use EagleCAD!
You don't need Eagle to do this. I just use Eagle to make sure that I have everything connected together right. I use Illustrator to make the fancy PCB traces.

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Post by rocklander »

great tutorial.. not only handy for 'artistic' content, but will save me on etchant too ;-)
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Post by bajaman »

+100 :D
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Mr. G.
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Post by Mr. G. »

The more spread out you can make your layout, the better. I played around with a real tight layout today, it didn't turn out looking quite as good. It still looked better than your standard straight lines though :)

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Post by himister »

Really good stuff bud. :wink: Thanks.

As I've said before, I can't contribute much as far as the circuits go, but I don't want to be a leach either. So, this is the best way I know how to contribute to the community.

I only wish for more people like you and your attitude. :thumbsup

Cheers

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Post by ossi »

This was really nice. Thanks.
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Mr. G.
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Post by Mr. G. »

One thing that I overlooked was adding some thermal isolation, as shown in the below image:

Image

Without these, it can take a bit too long to heat up the area around the component. This little bit of isolation helps to keep the heat localized on the pad rather than trying to heat up the entire plane/trace.

You'll need to play around with sizes to match your own personal methods of creating PCB's.

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Post by rocklander »

thermal insulation :slap:

I was wondering why so many of these layouts out here have them... thought it was a limitation of the software used to make the layouts or something... thanks for pointing that out
:applause:
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Mr. G.
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Post by Mr. G. »

I wasn't sure what they were for either, until I saw madbean talking about them somewhere. Then it made a lot of sense... especially after fighting to get a lead soldered into a very large ground plain without any thermal barriers. The light went off then :slap:

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Mr. G.
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Post by Mr. G. »

Strange... Here's an email I just got
Hi.

My name's Sean, and I write for MAKE magazine. I'm planning to do a post
to our blog about decorative and/or artistic etching of functional PCBs,
and Google led me to your forum post and tutorial on freestompboxes.org

.
Make: Online gets about 100,000 pairs of eyes a day, and if you wanted the
buzz, I'd be glad to include your work in the post. I was hoping to get
permission to maybe post the PDF of your tutorial and a couple of images
from it. Also, if you have any pictures of finished decorative PCBs that
you've etched, I'd be glad to include them. And I'll also gladly link to
any kind of personal site or other web presence you might maintain.

This is really cool work, BTW. Nicely done.

Cheers-
Sean
Here was my reply...
Thank you for contacting me Sean. At the moment, I'm going to have to decline. If I can find time to update the file I might allow you to use the info. If you read the entire thread, you would have noticed that I left off quite an important aspect. If I can find the time to add this info to the tutorial PDF, I will allow you to use it. Should that time come, I do not want ANY of my contact info made available. I am strictly a hobbyist, and do not want the headache of answering any emails regarding the tutorial.

Again, you do not have permission to repost any part of my tutorial. If I have time to update it, I may allow you to use it, but don't count on it happening. I'm just really not interested in any kind of promotion or exposure. I did this only for the Freestompboxes.org community.

Take care,

Mr. G.
It's just not something I'm interested in.

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Post by JiM »

Hey, being on the MakeBlog would have been sooo cool !
I understand and respect your position, there's a risk for an uncomfortable "slashdot-effect".

But i think this confirms the high coolness-factor of the topic. :applause:

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Mr. G.
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Post by Mr. G. »

I was definitely flattered, and honored, but the tutorial is unfinished in it's current form (the thread tells it all, but the PDF doesn't), and I just don't see myself doing anymore to it anytime soon. If you don't add some kind of thermal isolation, it will make soldering a real pain in the ass in certain areas. That's not included in the PDF, so I didn't want to pass on information that may cause people grief. I also feel a bit inferior compared to other stuff on their site.

btw, what the hell is the "slashdot-effect"? That's the second time I've seen someone refer to that today.

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