Circuit Board Design for a Glowforge Project


I’m prepping for another stretch project. I’ve been kicking around the idea of making a circuit board for a 7 segment clock. I worked it up first with wires and components on boards, but think it would be a pretty good project to make a circuit board that would be one layer of several to make a large 7 segment clock.

Here is a guy who has walked this journey before:

My goal in this is to get another punch on my Maker Card for designing a circuit board to get fabricated. I think a board like this would be desirable project for folks with a Glowforge.

Then the next step would be setting up production for SMTs. That would then be the central application of a pick and place machine I would have. I have been following Stephen Hawes’s Opulo/lumen Pick and Place using OpenPNP and I think I could pull off some small scale manufacturing.

Mind you, this isn’t to make money. It will be a lot of work for a minimum payoff, but the context would make it worth while as next year I will be introducing all these digital fabrication machines into the parish grade school.

There have been some examples shared on the forum of folks who have leveraged their electronics chops for some good laser projects.

So at the moment I am at a dream stage. I’m using KiCAD to design the circuit board. If I can get that finished and prototyped, I’ll go onto stage two of the project, which would be getting the software as a good project/package. Before I would begin to sell these boards, I’d have to get that figured out.

Stay tuned for further progress.


I went the eaglecad and oshpark route. Oshpark is cheap fast and accurate for boards, but last I knew they didn’t do pick and place. They do support KiCAD.


Check out these guys:

They partner with OSHPark.


Very cool. My only advice is to start small. You can get 10 boards delivered for $15, and what you’ll learn from that first run is worth a lot more than $15.


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