Hackaday Links: July 21, 2019

Ordering a PCB used to be a [Henry Ford]-esque experience: pick any color you like, as long as it’s green. We’ve come a long way in the “express yourself” space with PCBs, with slightly less than all the colors of the rainbow available, and some pretty nice silkscreening options to boot. But wouldn’t it be nice to get full-color graphics on a PCB? Australian company Little Bird thinks so, and they came up with a method to print graphics on a board. The results from what looks like a modified inkjet printer are pretty stunning, if somewhat limited in application. But I bet you could really make a splash with these in our Beautiful Hardware contest.

The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing has come and gone with at least as much fanfare as it deserves. Part of that celebration was Project Egress, creation of a replica of the Columbia crew hatch from parts made by 44 hackers and makers. Those parts were assembled on Thursday by [Adam Savage] at the National Air and Space Museum in an event that was streamed live. A lot of friends of Hackaday were in on the build and were on hand, like [Fran Blanche], [John Saunders], [Sophy Wong], and [Estefannie]. The Smithsonian says they’ll have a recording of the stream available soon, so watch this space if you’re interested in a replay.

From the “Don’t try this at home” department, organic chemist [Derek Lowe] has compiled a “Things I won’t work with” list. It’s real horror show stuff that regales the uninitiated with all sorts of chemical nightmares. Read up on chlorine trifluoride, an oxidizer of such strength that it’s hypergolic with anything that even approaches being fuel. Wet sand? Yep, bursts into flames on contact. Good reading.

Continuing the safety theme, machinist [Joe Pieczynski] offers this lathe tip designed to keep you in possession of a full set of fingers. He points out that the common practice of using a strip of emery cloth to polish a piece of round stock on either a wood or metal lathe can lead to disaster if the ends of the strip are brought into close proximity, whereupon it can catch and act like a strap wrench. Your fingers don’t stand a chance against such forces, so watch out. [Joe] doesn’t share any gory pictures of what can happen, but they’re out there. Only the brave need to Google “degloving injury.” NSFL – you’ve been warned.

On a happier note, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to print water-clear parts on a standard 3D printer? Sure it would, but the “clear” filaments and resins all seem to result in parts that are, at best, clearish. Industrial designer [Eric Strebel] has developed a method of post-processing clear SLA prints. It’s a little wet sanding followed by a top coat of a super stinky two-part urethane clearcoat. Fussy work, but the results are impressive, and it’s a good technique to file away for someday.

17 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: July 21, 2019

  1. Didn’t resist the temptation of the “degloving injury” search. Dad always grilled into my mind memories and associations once I started Machine Tool courses in High School to be seriously really careful working on machines. Not only the HV electrical holes blown through electricians he witnessed that ablate everything in the circuit path… there was the crushed to mush, pinch points and like noted… extremities ripped right off.

    Whether stamps, rollers, screw machines or other industrial equipment… you just don’t do certain acts so you don’t have certain events… as was re-enforce by my teachers and others over the years.

    The working on a Yard Man “Bug” a few days back brought up a similar discussion with the neighbor, who I encouraged to check out so I can teach how easy is to repair, that when helping started off with watch your fingers for pinch points and planning ahead for worse case scenarios so they don’t happen. Mainly, before you do anything, always is good to walk through whatever you’re about to do if there is anything risky and not regularly performed just to be safe there isn’t a protocol deviation that can cause serious injury or worse. Preaching to the choir… though for the newbies and not bad as retraining.

    1. Yup, wedding ring reflexively comes off now whenever I:

      1. Use a ladder
      2. Use a drill press
      3. Work with high-current
      4. Work inside an electrical panel

      Probably should consider other non-ring cases; really, I shouldn’t be wearing a ring at all. Or, I should just suck it up and get a silicone ring and leave the gold at home.

  2. I wonder what makes that PCB printing patentable. UV ink printers have been used by sign makers to print graphics on nonporous surfaces for decades. Over 10 years ago, members of the Homebrew_PCBs on Yahoogroups (now on Groups.io without the underscore) (I’m listowner of both) discovered how to print successfully onto blank PCBs using OEM and aftermarket aqueous pigmented inkjet inks.

    I even split off another group specifically to cover the process in July of 2008.

    Primary purpose was as acid etch resist, but then people started using it to print component silkscreen-type graphics and some other graphics. One person aggregated some information here:
    http://www.pabr.org/pcbprt/pcbprt.en.html

      1. You can have those puffy graphics. One of the methods developed by members of homebrewpcbs ne Homebrew_PCBs is to print on a PCB with dye ink, then dust with laser toner powder. Heat to melt the toner. I don’t see why you could not do the same with the puffy stuff that works the same way – print inkjet, dust with the puffy stuff, heat to puff it up.

        Having the PCB show a heat map would be awesome.

  3. Regarding the lathe tip: why would anyone NOT use two separate hands to hold the two separate ends of the emery cloth? That is how I was taught and how I have always done it. Holding the ends together at all seems like a terrible idea. Also, when using two hands, not only can you move the emery cloth back and forth down the length of the work piece, you can move the emery cloth back and forth so that the ends get longer and shorter, increasing the used surface area of the emery cloth and reducing the chance of galling and improving the finish.

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