Fab Academy 6

Electronic Design


In this week we designed a Barduino, a development board with an ESP32 microcontroller on it that has Bluetooth and WIFi antenas embeded.

For this I used Kicad software and Adobe Photoshop.

Something very important is to know the pinout of the microcontroller you are using and to check the datasheet of the components to see that you are using the correct resistors, capacitors or to know which pin is what.







The first thing you need to do is to update the library with the components your Lab has.

After that you should start designing the Schematics to decide how everything is connected. A good trick is to add tags instead of lines, so you can move them easier and have a cleaner design. This works also very well when a component could be connected to different places, like for example the GND or VOLTAGE.

Then you need to generate the Netlist, which connects all the components and opens in the PCB editor... which looks like a mees in the beggining, but after you arrange everything looks pretty nice.


For mine, I tried to twist a little bit Edus design and changed the shape, it was pretty nice that after the process I shared the file with my classmates so some of them copied my alignment. You have to be also councious of the size of your board so that everything fits.

ESP8266 12-E Chip Pinout

An important thing is to set properly the DESIGN RULES, so that the milling machine is able to properly mill the lines, if this is not properly set, some lines will disappear in mods. The vias Size should be 0.4mm This rules decide the distance of your milling, based on the size of your endmill and the infill.

When I was done, I exported it to an PDF file to use it on Illustrator.

Generating MODS Files

I used adobe Illustrator to generate the files, so I imported the PDF of the different layers. It´s better on PDF than SVG since the SVG has a problem with ilustrator because of the predefined thikness of the line, so you will se a big black circle if you import it. PDF keeps the file as it is. It is important to import it at an 1000dpi resolution.

Then I copied all separated files into a new one to check that all of them fit between them, after that I reduced the layer size to the size of the board and exported it.


There is a problem when you do it in Illustrator and it is that you will have to generate the milling holes manually, because the PDF comes only with some white circles, so You have yo measure the size of your pins, and draw some black circles in the middle of the white circles you allready have.

I also personalized my board a little bit by adding some designs to it in illustrator. I didn´t generated an outline file, because I used the whole size of the board.

Because of Covid-19, I wasn´t able to solder it, so I have the board milled and the BOM ready at this moment.


The website was created with Mobirise