We haven't been posting, but we haven't stopped hacking! Many of our projects are still in development, so we decided to release a quick update on what's been going on for your reading pleasure.
Rapid prototyping of PCBs has been the holy grail of electrical engineering for quite some time - and PCB fab has always been a choice between fast and cheap. Experimentation with our Shapeoko CNC milling machine leads us to believe that the two don't need to be mutually exclusive. We also found a couple novel techniques for finishing after the traces have been made - we'll share them as soon as we perfect them.
Remember when tablets were so expensive, they were a symbol of status? Today, you can buy a tablet for less than $50, which makes them accessible for all kinds of awesome hacks. We're also seeing this trend for projectors, and we've been helping that trend along in the best possible way... you'll hopefully see more of this soon.
Vacuum Chambers and Thin Films
In a fit of fevered youtube video watching, we've discovered the not-just-for-big-industries fabrication technique of thin film vacuum deposition. This technique allows you to coat materials in molecularly-thin metallic layers and is used to produce produce mirror surfaces, transparent conductive surfaces, and even chip-style transistors.
We've since purchased a vacuum pump from The DIY Outlet and have been working on preparing a vacuum chamber and supporting electronics suitable for sputtering. The vacuum pump has worked quite well, and even came with enough oil to get started.
Wish us luck!