'Electronics design'



Even though we had a small introduction to electronics and Kicad, it feels like we are still far from understanding how electronics work. At least for me, it was useful to have an image to follow on the fab webpage, probably without it wouldn't been able to actually make it. It also helped me understand the need of capacitors and resistors as well to put them. So, in the end doing is always more helpful than just listening or seeing an example.

Important to add before starting with the design - instructions:

Basic things to remember for the "Schematic Layout" and "PCB Layout"(view image if necessary):

With Kicad, I did have a bit of a hard time. Placing the components in the "Schematic Layout" was easy compared to the "PCB Layout" this last is where I really paid more attention to things and understood how connecting and placing pieces in an order is fundamental for your design to be clearer or at least not very complex. How the main component, in this case the ESP32 guides your design and the amount of things you can add to change the "basic design". For our assignment we just had to add another LED and button, although we could add more things I didn't want to make it harder.

It was very important and especially for the milling. The connections, they can't be too close to each other because soldering the components might mess everything up. the flow of electricity has to be as neat as possible.


After saving the files in Kicad with a svg format (important to save it in B&W, and all layers in a single file), its time to open the doc in Inkscape (vector program) although I could use Illustrator. I found Inkscape easier for this, as the lines width didn't change when opening the file. Pablo told me he saved the file as pdf from Kicad, and it worked for him in AI. But in the end, I didn't take this option. Important to note that I left a space for the "antenna" part of the ESP32 component that doesn't need copper underneath. For which I had to save a png for the milling machine to mill this area.

Mods, milling and soldering

Again Mods, to make the files for the Roland SRM-20. In the "Electronics production" week page I explain how to do the files. In the end, because of time and the lab closing due to 👑🦠. I didn't have the chance to mill the outline. I made the shopping list and then started soldering the components and Josep helped me finish as I was being too slow.