Changing the World of PCB Rapid Prototyping


Reading time ( words)

Tony Tung is a recent graduate from Taiwan who has come up with a new way for PCB designers and makers to create breadboards using printed paper circuits. I caught up with Tony at the recent San Mateo Maker Faire and sat down with him to learn more about this project.

Barry Matties: Tony, tell me a little bit about who you are and where you come from.

Tony Tung: I come from Taiwan, and I’m from the National Taiwan University, where we do HCI research, human-computer interaction, and build a lot of rapid prototyping tools to help makers and designers do their work better.

Matties: Are you still in university?

Tung: I graduated last year.

Matties: You've already graduated, and now you're just helping in this research project?

Tung: Yes.

Matties: Excellent. Is this your first trip to America?

Tung: No, but it is my first time coming to the Maker Faire.

Matties: What do you think of this Maker Faire?

Tung: Compared with Taipei's Maker Faire, it's very different. It's huge, and there are a lot of impressive works here. I hope I have time to take a look around.

Matties: Let's talk specifically about the technology that you're showing here. I understand you're changing the way that rapid prototyping for circuit boards is being done. Can you tell me about that?Tony Tung 3.JPG

Tung: The first time we used a lot of soldering, the normal breadboard approach, to do our prototype. We hate that, because it takes a lot of time for us. We wanted to change this procedure, so we thought about how we could redesign a breadboard. We thought that the printed circuit was the better solution for us, so we tried to follow some research projects about printed circuits.

Matties: When you talk about printed circuits, you're not talking making a physical printed circuit board in the traditional sense, are you?

Tung: No, we’re talking about printing a paper circuit.

Tony Tung 1.JPGMatties: The idea is you print a circuit on paper to make the connections for the breadboard?

Tung: Yes, for the breadboard. Because in research they use printed circuit paper, and then they solder or stick components on it, but that still doesn't save any time for makers. We think that if you use a breadboard with printed circuit paper that it’s a better way to do that.

Matties: The takeaway here is that you've actually separated the breadboard in half, into two pieces, and I see you have a fixed circuit board inside the breadboard?

Tung: Yes, because you need to make these breadboards to be as functional as a normal breadboard.

Matties: The bus is live, one way or the other. The paper printed circuit then creates the connections in-between where the components would be on a breadboard?

Share


Suggested Items

Julie Ellis: Communication and Fabrication Knowledge Critical for Designers

11/19/2018 | Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
Field Application Engineer Julie Ellis of TTM sees it all: good designs, bad designs, and everything in between. Her classes on proper DFM techniques are always a big draw. She taught at the inaugural AltiumLive in 2017 and was back at this year’s event. I caught up with Julie and asked her to discuss some of the things she covered in class. As she points out, many issues could be eliminated if designers communicated with their fabricators and had a better understanding of how PCBs are manufactured.

Managing the Challenges of Flex and Rigid-Flex Design

09/12/2018 | Dave Wiens, Mentor, a Siemens Business
PCB designers working with flex or rigid-flex technology face many potential risks that can derail a project and cause costly design failures. As the name implies, flex and rigid-flex designs comprise a combination of rigid and flexible board technologies made up of multiple layers of flexible circuit substrates, attached internally and/or externally to one or more rigid boards. These combinations provide flexibility for the PCB designer working on dense designs that require a specific form factor. Rigid-flex allows the PCB design team to cost-efficiently apply greater functionality to a smaller volume of space, while providing the mechanical stability required by most applications.

Excerpt: The Printed Circuit Designer’s Guide to…Flex and Rigid-Flex Fundamentals

06/25/2018 | Dave Lackey and Anaya Vardya, American Standard Circuits
The design process is arguably the most important part of the flex circuit procurement process. The decisions made in the design process will have a lasting impact, for better or worse, throughout the manufacturing cycle. In advance of providing important details about the actual construction of the flex circuit, it is of value to provide some sort of understanding of the expected use environment for the finished product.



Copyright © 2018 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.