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dremelTree01.jpg

Want to build your own custom circuit board, in a fun shape? Don’t want to deal with any etching chemicals? You can use your Dremel Rotary Tool to cut a copper clad board into a unique shape and route festive pathways for your electrons. This technique (sometimes called “dead bug construction” or “ground plane construction”) is a fun way to explore circuit board design and surface-mounting of through-hole electronic components. Plus, the result is a really fun high-tech ornament that displays its technology on the outside.

Note: This is pretty early to be busting out the holiday themed stuff — but I wanted to give people enough lead time if they were inspired to create custom circuit board gifts.

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Materials:
Dremel Rotary Tool with metal cutoff wheel, engraving cutter bit, and cutting guide attachment
3″x5″ copper clad board
2xAA battery pack (1) and batteries
SPDT switch (1)
10mm diffuse red LED (1)
5mm red LEDs (5)
5mm green LEDs (5)
56? resistors (6)
10? resistors (5)
Soldering iron and solder
Flux paste
Multimeter
Isopropyl alcohol
320-grit sandpaper
Double-stick foam tape
Small needlenose pliers
Wire stripper
Diagonal cutters
Pencil
Ruler
Safety goggles
Dust mask

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(Right click to save the PDF to your desktop.)

John Edgar Park

John Edgar Park

John Edgar Park likes to make things and tell people about it. He works at Disney Research and writes for Make and Boing Boing. He is training for American Ninja Warrior. You can find him at jpixl.net and twitter @johnedgarpark — if you like that sort of thing.


  • Robert

    Ohm’s law is awesome, you don’t need the resistors, just make a power supply that puts out around 3 volts. I do this all the time when making panels.