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Analog Angle

What's Your Breadboard Look Like?

Bill Schweber
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mtripoli
mtripoli
6/1/2013 5:58:31 PM
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Newbie
Let's not get too excited
It is currently possible to print (using silkscreen and flexographic processes) electronic devices such as transistors and even simple circuits. It's a small step to doing this on "desktop" machines. However, to make the jump to actual multi (10's, 100's, etc.) transistors isn't remotely in the realm of "3D" printing. Open any basic text book on IC design and consider what it takes to make even the simplest device and the parameters that need to be controlled and you'll get an idea of why there are other things to tackle.

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SunitaT0
SunitaT0
5/31/2013 8:39:28 PM
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Master
Re: Breadboarding (prototyping) antennas
But with the progress in other forms of 3D printing, I'll stick with my 5-year forecast.

@Brad, true 3D printing is rapidly evolving. Currently NASA is funding a 3D food printer with the aim of providing astronauts food during long-distance space travel. I wont be surprised if some organisation starts building the 3D printer using which we can make an IC at home.


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mtripoli
mtripoli
5/29/2013 11:11:33 PM
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Newbie
It's funny you should ask, Bill
I've been breadboarding this way from before I can remember (wait. huh? what?) I've become so accustomed to doing it this way I can kind of "see through" what's real and what's contribution from things being all over the place. Of course, a good scope helps too. Here's a board that I'm working on; funny thing is, when it's on a PCB it will be about 3"x4" in size. You can see my latest "score"; the HP DVM. I love the single dot led display:

http://www.scarydesign.com/scary_lab/breadboard_00.jpg

http://www.scarydesign.com/scary_lab/breadboard_01.jpg

http://www.scarydesign.com/scary_lab/breadboard_02.jpg

Some lamps and tubes:

http://www.scarydesign.com/scary_lab/lightbulbs_tubes.jpg

And the lab I call home (funny, no matter how big the room, I still wind up rotating around in the same 3'x3' space):

http://www.scarydesign.com/scary_lab/scary_lab.jpg

The microscope is for placing SMT devices. I built a reflow oven from a toaster oven and do 2mmx2mm IC's all the time. A steady hand, a good pair of tweezers and lots of coffee. I make my own adapters that convert any of the SMT into through hole when needed. Once you get the hang of it, it's really quite nice. 

I wire wrapped my first computer; a 6800 with 1K of RAM. Programmed by flipping switches... I laugh when people complain about their 8-core blah blah blah being "too slow". Show them a picture of a linear 5V, 20A supply some time.

 

 

 

 

 

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Brad Albing
Brad Albing
5/29/2013 11:06:33 PM
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Blogger
Re: Breadboarding (prototyping) antennas
Clearly there are details to work out. But with the progress in other forms of 3D printing, I'll stick with my 5-year forecast.

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TheMeasurementBlues
TheMeasurementBlues
5/29/2013 10:12:54 AM
User Rank
Teacher
Re: Breadboarding (prototyping) antennas
Brad,

I like your idea about 3D printing in the future, but oh, the cost of the "ink." It still seems impractical to make an IC at home using 3D printing given the materials and the resolution needed.

 

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Brad Albing
Brad Albing
5/28/2013 11:13:28 PM
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Blogger
Re: Breadboarding (prototyping) antennas
I'll say 5 years out and you'll be making ICs on a desktop 3D printer. Time to set up the office pool and write your initials on the day-month-year of your choice.

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eafpres1
eafpres1
5/28/2013 5:57:24 PM
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Breadboarding (prototyping) antennas
Hmmm.  I like the idea of a 3D printer that can print ICs.  I wonder how far out that can be, with all the advances going on in 3D printing technology?

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Brad Albing
Brad Albing
5/28/2013 5:33:53 PM
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Blogger
Re: Breadboarding (prototyping) antennas
@eafpes - I've done the Xacto cuts on a PC board for RF ckts - even done stripline for microwave ckts. But it would be delightful to have one of those benchtop miling machines to make PC boards directly from the gerbil files. That plus the desktop 3D IC printer device....

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eafpres1
eafpres1
5/28/2013 12:20:37 PM
User Rank
Blogger
Breadboarding (prototyping) antennas
@Bill--the PCB prototyping equipment like the LPKF is a mainstay in many antenna labs as well.  There are a lot of embedded antennas that are made out of 2-layer (copper both sides, dielectric in between) board and being able to go from CAD to a working part at high precision sure beats copper tape or scraping copper away with an X-acto knife.  We also found that it was really handy to have this capability if you needed to add some matching components at the feed of the antenna.  We always used SMT passives and had technicians who were really good at soldering them under a magnifyer lamp.

 

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Brad Albing
Brad Albing
5/28/2013 11:47:10 AM
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Breadboard pics
I've done that air-wired technique with the SM parts also (Jim Williams style). It works, but it's quite tediuos to build ckts that way.

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