Techniques for making modern circuits.
By Scott Driscoll
When cellphones were housed in briefcases, manufactured electronics had easy-to-solder leads. Now phones fit in pockets, and the smaller surface-mount devices (SMDs) inside are driving through-hole components into extinction.
SMDs can cost less than their old-school equivalents, and many newer devices, including most accelerometers, are only available in SMD format.
If you design printed circuit boards, using SMT (surface-mount technology) and putting components on both sides makes them cheaper and smaller. This may not matter on a robot, but it helps a project fit into a mint tin or hang off a kite.
SMDs are designed for precise machinery to mass-assemble onto densely ...