The many iterations of [Joe's] PCB business card

[Joe Colosimo] is putting on a show with his PCB business card project. The idea isn’t new, but his goal is to keep it simple and undercut the cost of all other PCB cards he’s seen. This is the third generation of the board design, and he’s just waiting on some solder mask solution before he tries running it through the reflow oven.

The first two prototypes used some through-hole parts. Notably, the battery was to be positioned in a circular cut-out and held in place by a metal strap and some bare wires. But he couldn’t quite get it to work right so this design will transition to a surface-mount strap for one side, and the large circular pad for the other. At each corner of the board there is a footprint for an LED. He tried milling holes in the board to edge-light the substrate. Now he just mounts the LED upside down to give the board a blue glow. The LEDs are driven by an ATtiny10 microcontroller which takes input from the touch sensor array at the bottom right.

He etched a QR code on the board which seems to work better than the milled QR experiments we saw back in April. The link at the top point’s to [Joe's] main page on the card. Don’t forget to follow the links at the bottom which cover each part of the development more in-depth.

[Thanks Skitchin]

Comments

  1. Dane says:

    Awesome work Joe! it was interesting to see the development.

  2. adcurtin says:

    He says he’s actually gonna do another PCB design after this one.

  3. justice099 says:

    Seems that power is always the main issue with these business cards. Perhaps a parasitic solution should be researched?

  4. Old School says:

    For power could do several things:
    a) wireless power from a base unit
    b) Go solar on one side.
    c) Get with one of the spray/paint-on-batteries testing groups (search spray on batteries)
    Best bet IMHO.

  5. Die Antwoord says:

    Somebody deleted my post about looking at the open materials website, probably assuming it was link spam. It’s not. Seriously, this site was referenced in a HAD comment that appeared in the magnetic-ink post. It was dang interesting!

    I can’t be the only one who thinks that magnetic, conductive or temp-sensitive inks could be used to make a more impressive business card, or that shape-changing polymers might have a cool application or two in building the cool hacker business card of the future.

    I won’t post the link again, as maybe it’s some automatic deletion things, but openmaterials [period] org is the website in question.

  6. ericwertz says:

    He could put one of those Thinergy solid state batteries on the back (or in place of the coin cell) — they’re hella-thin. You could leave the recharge circuitry to another board but leave contacts on the b-card for refilling it.

    Probably have to crank the LED down to 1mA (or less) though…

  7. Teck-freak says:

    very nice. I´ld like to have one too. mayby you try some kind of thin NiFe cell. you can build them rather easy:cut a small piece of Nickel, put some cloth on top, put some caustik potash on it, then you put some black iron oxide on it (if you dont have that try dark rust) fix a thin copperwire contacting the rust, put a second layer of cloth on top, give it a tiny drop of water so its completly wet and then cover it with some silicon-glue. I´ve done that a few times. should give you 1,2V(rechargeable) and, depending on what you use, be possible in 2mm. Greetings and good luck, Teck-freak

  8. Teck-freak says:

    Oh and if you have old hardware there are black capacitors with 16V and 22µF and the size of 4mm x 7mm + wire (0,176:1000 ws) and violett ones with 37V and 400µF nearly the same size

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