Circuit Design Aesthetics

Hi There
I guess everyone already saw the gorgeous Illuminato board made by inthebitz.

He talked about a guy named Chris Ladden, but I can’t find any reference to his work.

Maybe you saw the boards shaped like lightnings made by sparkfun for a workshop they had at an old old Maker Faire ? Can’t find the picture.

There’s this translucent PCB that I like too :

And of course, the Lilypad :

What I’m looking for is any ressource about PCB visual design and such.
Even only inspirationnal pictures ^^

Go on and post !

Nice Chip !

TAOS TSL230R Light Intensity to Frequency IC

Found It !


Don’t really understand what this is


You may be interested in the PCB Flickr group:

Just a few thoughts…

The translucent PCB from Make magazine is most likely a thin fibreglass PCB that’s been wetted with water, making it translucent – there’s not much copper, no soldermask and no silkscreen layer.

The completely transparent block with all that internal structure looks to me like a fluid logic circuit. That is, a logic circuit (AND, OR, NOT) implemented not with electrical signals but with fluid pressure, either air, water or hydraulic fluid. I wonder how it’s made? Some variant of the lost-wax process (investment casting)?

As for PCBs, take a look at Flickr’s Copper Farm pool:

If you like round PCBs, have a look at HWYDD:

And for some of my own PCBs, take a look at my Flickr sets:


Melka. Your second picture is of a MEMS device, a lab on a chip. the device is a form of plastic and the pattern describes a network of microfluidic channels used for transport and mixing of fluid. There are some good applications for these devices in bio-MEMS, as a form of blood seperation and using more exotic techniques whcih use the polarisability of different cell types at certian frequencies to identify errant cells quickly.

My bigger issue is enclosure aesthetics. I can’t get my finished projects to look good.

My bigger issue is enclosure aesthetics. I can’t get my finished projects to look good.

A spot of market research then, if you don’t mind… :slight_smile:

  • What form-factor enclosure are you wanting?
  • Would you be prepared to pay to make your finished projects look good? If so, what sort of budget?
    Your response is appreciated. :slight_smile:


A spot of market research then, if you don’t mind…

One simple project I have finished on a breadboard right now I’m looking to finish nicely is a wireless trivial buzzer receiver. Hardwarewise, it’s an IR receiver, an RGB LED, a piezo beeper, and batteries. When it receives an IR code, it lights the RGB a colour depending on the code, sounds the buzzer for a second, delays several more seconds and then turns off the LED and waits for a new IR code.

For the enclosure I want as small a form factor as possble, somewhere to mount the IR receiver with as wide a viewing angle as possible, and somewhere to mount the LED with a diffuser. At the moment I’m looking at a very over-sized project box which makes the LED look dinky and I still don’t know what to do about the IR receiver.

As far as paying, I am prepared to, but it is a one-off project so I wouldn’t want something with lots of upfront fees and that really limits the budget.

From Make magazine, a few more “arty” PCB examples.


Thanks everyone for all the infos, keep posting the beautiful PCBs (and enclosures) ^^

Now for the fun stuff (even if you certainly already saw it):

I never thought I’d say this, but man, that Illuminato board is a thing of beauty.

If only you could make wires look as good…

I’m not equating my efforts to fine art but I just received my very first self-designed custom PCB from a board service bureau. I had to show it off because it’s pretty exciting to see your Eagle files turn into something you can hold in your hand.

Now to see if it actually works…

The Orb POV

Just had a really good discussion with a friend about how the circuit board is the pinnacle of “Form Vs Function”

Got my etching fluid today along with some copper board…already own a screen printing bed, so am really looking forward to playing with from and function.

Melka, Keep this thread going, its important.

The Orb POV

Now that is gorgeous…


Damn ! Awesome !

Just a though

Don’t know why (maybe the colors) when I saw this picture, I immediately thought that maybe I should someday design a PCB that would look like a satellite view of some town.

If you ever watched the google maps image of washington over the capitole, the geometric patterns are beautiful.

What I like on this one is the way he used the RGB led pins to make a support for the ping pong ball

Form & function ^^

Simple, but I like the colors copper / blue

Oracle, thanks for the response. I don’t have an actual solution for you but am interested in the topic so some specifics were good.


follower : from your blog post about ponoko unboxing, I can say that you can build some pretty black shiny enclosure with laser cut acrylic ^^
But unless you’re a pro at bending plastic without destroying it, it will always be some kind of rectangular box…

macegr, apparently, you kind some slick new PCBs ^^

I especially like the octobrite