Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Build a Circuit Board Faceplate for Electronic Projects

One of the most difficult parts of building a homemade electronic gizmo, is making it not look homemade. I have explored many techniques in my quest to come up with a cool looking enclosure for my projects, but this latest experiment may turn out to be one of my favorites.

I have been designing circuit boards for many years but for some reason I never thought to use a PCB for the faceplate of the project. It makes total sense when you think about it. Circuit boards come in custom shapes with precisely milled holes and cut outs. And silk-screened graphics are par for the course.   So, I decided to try to make a custom front panel using a black circuit board from my friends at JLCPCB. The results are amazing! And they do all the work.



I used Fusion 360 to design the board and Inkscape to draw the graphics. The final step was to import the files into KiCAD and finish the board. I have to admit, getting all these programs to work together was a challenge - so I documented the entire process in the following video! Take some time and follow along and you'll be designing your own custom faceplates in no time!

DOWNLOAD the Inkscape graphics used in the video HERE


2 comments:

  1. Hi Dave,
    Please forgive me this comment is not related to the face plate but the midi input circuit.

    I built it and it works but I will like to add more leds than an Arduino has inputs for meaning I have to use a mix. Please how do I modify the sketch to use mux instead of just the Arduino pin 13.

    Thanks and God bless

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