I recently created my first “real” printed circuit board. By “real” I mean one that I sent out to get fabricated, not one I did at home by etching it myself. The board is for a Teensy LC, and breaks out most of the pins to screw terminals. (Pictured above is version 1.0, which has been revised due to a few spacing issues and the holes being too small. You can see I had to drill them a bit larger.)
The Teensy LC BOB (BreakOut Board) came about due to my use of the Teensy for a few museum projects that were using the controller as an input device for a computer. I had been putting the boards onto Adafruit Perma-Proto Breadboards which are great to work with, but after building a few of these that were very similar to each other, I thought I could just design my own PCB to get the job done. (The board I designed probably cost about $2.15 more than the Adafruit boards, but it’s also designed to be exactly what I need.)
I started by designing what I needed in Fritzing using the breadboard view. I added in the screw terminals I wanted, and wired it all up. At this point spacing doesn’t matter too much, as it’s just to get all the components and connections in place.
Once all the pieces are in place and connected up I switched to PCB view where you get to see what the actual printed circuit board will look like. Here the positioning and spacing is just like the real world. This step probably tool the most amount of time, and I found the tools a bit lacking compared to something like Inkscape or Illustrator for precise positioning. Part of this could be due to my still learning how it all works. There’s some good info here on designing PCBs in Fritzing. (Eventually I’d like to do custom shapes.)
After I was happy with the PCB layout I exported it using Export > for Production > Extended Gerber (RS-274X) from the file menu.
It will output a whole bunch of files to the folder specified. Once I had this folder I made a ZIP file from it, and named it Teensy-BOB.zip and uploaded it to OSH Park.
OSH Park’s web site will check your files and show you previews during the upload process. (Hopefully you can figure out what you’re looking at!) As I mentioned, the first version had a few issues, so I corrected those and put in a new order. For the new version I added the name of the board and the version number. Once I get these back and test them I’ll share the project so anyone can order some if needed. (At least one person at Milwaukee Makerspace was interested.)
I should note that the Teensy 3.x board could also be put on one of these, though the pin labeling is a little different. I’ll probably create another version that is specific to the Teensy 3.x for a future project I’m doing for Maker Faire Milwaukee this year.