Electronics Production

Led Badge

The first objective is to learn to weld a board with LEDs and resistors. I was surprised to see how small the components are, still I have been able to weld it without using the magnifying glass.

Summary of steps Led Badge.


The second objective is to build our own USB to FTDI board for further projects.

Summary of steps USB to FTDI.

Step by Step

To start I have programmed the cutting file (outline CNC cut) and engraved (CNC cut traces) of the board with the software:http://mods.cba.mit.edu/. I was surprised by the interaction with the platform, it seems a complex program but you easily get used to changing the values and understanding the operations that the machine will follow.

Screenshot of the program mods.cba.mit.edu for setting the parameters of the milling traces.

Screenshot of the program mods.cba.mit.edu for setting the parameters of the milling outline.

In these images three errors are observed. The first is that in the Mods program I have not inverted the color of the image and the CNC has taken the copper from the black area of the image, just the part that interested me in the circuit. Once this error has been made, it has become clear to me that you always have to check the color of the image to see if the engraving order is correct.

The second error has been to disregard the orientation and dimensions of the USB to FTDI board. I wanted to try sending the two boards to the machine at the same time and thus optimize the change of cutting and engraving tool but it has not been possible. This error has helped me to see that when you start using a machine that you do not know, it is better to send the tasks one by one. And once you control the machine well you can optimize the file and send more than one task at a time, always checking that the orientation and dimensions fit perfectly inside the copper board.

The third error has been for not controlling the cutting speed of the tool, I should have changed the value in the Mods (0.5mm/s). The CNC was programmed at too much speed (4mm/s) and at the beginning of cutting the board the drill has lifted the attached board to the wooden base. Luckily, we were able to stop the machine at the moment, the board has only turned a few seconds around the drill and we have been able to take advantage of the result.

Final Results

Results of Led Badge and USB to FTDI boards.

Here you can find the files:


Future Learning Unit Team




Fab Academy