Order a Pcb

Custom Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs)

In this course, you will be creating and ordering a PCB to use in your project. The primary method for ordering PCBs is to order them through PCBWay. With the help of your TA, you can order a simple, 2-layer, 100mm x 100mm PCB through PCBWay at no cost to you. This PCB will simply be fabricated, as opposed to assembled, so a major portion of this class will be soldering and assembling the PCB you order. This means that you will need to source your components either through the course or other means. See the getting parts page for more details.

Alternatively, you can order a PCB from any outside vendor (including PCBWay) and pay for the cost of the board out of pocket. By paying for a PCB yourself, you are not required to meet the deadlines imposed by the course and can sometimes get your board more quickly.

In rare cases, some teams will be allowed to order PCBs through the Electronics Services Shop in ECEB. If you have need of special board layouts or require a PCB very early in the semester, please discuss this option with your TA as early as possible.

PCBway Orders Through the Course

Orders through PCBway can be submitted and paid for by the ECE department with the help of your TA. Orders will be uploaded to PCBway by your TA and paid for on the dates listed on the course calendar. Please note that the PCBway orders will not be manufactured or shipped until they are paid for so please be aware of the lag time between order submission and payment. In addition, your order must pass PCBway's audit before the payment date for your order to be processed. In order to help students pass audit more quickly, we have provided a DRC file that can be imported in to EagleCAD to verify that your board meets PCBway's capabilities. Passing the DRC does not guarantee that your board will pass audit but it does greatly increase the probability of that event.

Electronic Services Shop

Orders placed through the Electronic Services Shop will require TA approval so please discuss with your TA before contacting the Services Shop. Please read all the shop PCB web pages before designing and submitting a board order. The software most commonly used is EagleCAD. Contact Mark Smart or Skot Wiedmann in the Electronic Services Shop with questions.

Please be aware of the PCB deadlines posted on the course calendar. If you are unable to meet these deadlines, you will not be able to order a PCB through the the Electronic Services Shop. You will still be able to order PCBs through third party vendors, just be aware that rushed orders can become expensive.

Commercial quality boards

The most commonly used programs for board layout are Eagle and Orcad Layout. The two software packages below allow a schematic to be drawn and translated into a board layout.

Once the board has been laid out, some companies will manufacture small quantities for a very reasonable price.

Prosthetic Control Board

Caleb Albers, Daniel Lee

Prosthetic Control Board

Featured Project

Psyonic is a local start-up that has been working on a prosthetic arm with an impressive set of features as well as being affordable. The current iteration of the main hand board is functional, but has limitations in computational power as well as scalability. In lieu of this, Psyonic wishes to switch to a production-ready chip that is an improvement on the current micro controller by utilizing a more modern architecture. During this change a few new features would be added that would improve safety, allow for easier debugging, and fix some issues present in the current implementation. The board is also slated to communicate with several other boards found in the hand. Additionally we are looking at the possibility of improving the longevity of the product with methods such as conformal coating and potting.

Core Functionality:

Replace microcontroller, change connectors, and code software to send control signals to the motor drivers

Tier 1 functions:

Add additional communication interfaces (I2C), and add temperature sensor.

Tier 2 functions:

Setup framework for communication between other boards, and improve board longevity.

Overview of proposed changes by affected area:

Microcontroller/Architecture Change:

Teensy -> Production-ready chip (most likely ARM based, i.e. STM32 family of processors)

Board:

support new microcontroller, adding additional communication interfaces (I2C), change to more robust connector. (will need to design pcb for both main control as well as finger sensors)

Sensor:

Addition of a temperature sensor to provide temperature feedback to the microcontroller.

Software:

change from Arduino IDE to new toolchain. (ARM has various base libraries such as mbed and can be configured for use with eclipse to act as IDE) Lay out framework to allow communication from other boards found in other parts of the arm.