Star Simpson on designing beautiful circuit boards
The O’Reilly Hardware Podcast: The art of designing and manufacturing every aspect of hardware.
In this episode of the Hardware Podcast, David Cranor and I talk with Star Simpson, a designer, engineer, and manufacturer who works on every aspect of hardware. She’s a great example of a full-stack hardware creator, capable of moving between electrical engineering, software engineering, and design.
Simpson is working on a new series of intricately designed circuit boards based on original hand-drawn projects created by Forrest Mims for his classic instructional books, such as Getting Started in Electronics.
- Tools: How Simpson designs a tool chain that allows the importing of graphics into Eagle—starting with Adobe Illustrator, exporting from DXF into Eagle.
- Boldport, whose circuit board designs were recently featured in a fashion spread in “Marie Claire” magazine.
- Al Lasher’s in Berkeley, HSC (also known as Halted) in Santa Clara, and Mountain States in Fort Collins, Colo.: old-school electronics retailers that sell things like test equipment and individual components, along with expertise.
This week’s click spirals:
- David Cranor: YouTube videos on hacking classic video games, such as one where a hack on Super Mario World turns it into Flappy Birds.
- Jon Bruner: A chemist has built a calculator for replicating famous mineral waters like Perrier and San Pellegrino by adding common household substances—plaster of paris, chalk, Epsom salts, milk of magnesia—to seltzer water. Serious Eats provides instructions for assembling your own home-carbonation rig.
- Star Simpson: Why buildings take longer to build now than they did a century ago: The Empire State Building went up in less than 14 months, and the Eiffel Tower was finished in slightly more than two years.