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The Complete Hardware Crash Course

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Many product ideas require small low power connected devices. For example, many types of activity monitors and Internet Of Things applications.
Learn how to take advantage of open source hardware and software to focus your efforts on the core value of your product that makes it unique.
In this two and a half hour long workshop, we will cover how to leverage the Open Source Firefly Project hardware and software along with other open source components, such as ARM Cortex-M GNU tools, to create a new device. This includes customizing the electronics, mechanicals, and software. You will also be shown how to produce your device at low volumes and estimate the production costs.
Bring your Mac Laptops. Devices based on the Open Source Firefly Project will be available for use by workshop participants to illustrate many of the steps in the process. Successfully program, test, and assemble a device and you can take it with you.
(Information about the Open Source Firefly Project is at http://fireflydesign.com.)

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The Complete Hardware Crash Course

  1. 1. The Complete Hardware Crash Course SXSW 2014 Denis Bohm
 denis@fireflydesign.com Andrew Sanderson
 andy@modernfuelproducts.com
  2. 2. Team • Denis Bohm • Andrew Sanderson • Kyle Bohm
  3. 3. HO: Hands On • Follow the tiny URL for details. • Start anytime. Feel free to jump ahead. • This is a workshop, so please ask questions. • Keep it casual. Help each other out. Share what you are doing with others. • Introductions.
  4. 4. Introduction • Why use open source? • Overview of how to leverage open source hardware & software. • Tips to save iterations. • Walk through the typical steps from concept to production…
  5. 5. Our Focus • Quantity matters (1,000 is hard) • Starting from scratch vs iterating • Production has unique requirements
  6. 6. Open Source Checklist • Hardware (electronics, mechanicals) • Firmware (RTOS, driver, app) • Software (API, apps, storage, sites) • Production (sourcing, fixtures, program & test, FCC testing) • Tools (IDE, SCM, eCAD, mCAD)
  7. 7. Firefly Ice Project • Wearable & Internet of Things Platform • ARM Cortex M3, Bluetooth 4.0 LE Radio, USB, Accelerometer & Magnetometer, Rechargeable Battery, etc… • Open source hardware, firmware, software, production (and a couple of handy tools) • 1,500 Units for First Customer
  8. 8. HO:Try It Out • Instructions @ http://tinyurl.com/loc4qne • Open the Firefly Utility app • Wake & connect to the Firefly Ice in your parts kit • Play with the LEDs, check the battery level, and name it
  9. 9. Process • Now we are going to walk through the process of designing a product. • Normally, things happen intertwined and in parallel… But we will discuss them as separate items (industrial design, mechanical design, electronic design, etc)
  10. 10. HO:View Mechanicals • Instructions @ http://tinyurl.com/kx9nel5 • git clone https://github.com/denisbohm/ firefly-ice-mechanical.git • open firefly-ice.3dm in Rhino3D
  11. 11. Industrial Design • Materials, finishes, colors • Shape, locations of all visible features: LEDs & USB Connector, impact on PCB • Markings: Logo,Word-marks, FCC ID, etc • Mechanical considerations: seams, mold lines, etc…
  12. 12. Mechanical Considerations • Design for ease of assembly (no rework) • Design for molding (price, 4 pieces) • Robust design (drop test, USB wrenching)
  13. 13. Mechanical Design • Light pipes, color mixing, isolation, co- molding • USB opening (robustness, splash proofing) • Battery swell (add battery to 3D model) • Wire management (photos) • Mold design, surface finishes (draft, add plastic), thickness (drop test, opaqueness)
  14. 14. HO: Edit Mechanicals • Instructions @ http://tinyurl.com/l38r5az • Increase the post length • Export to STL for prototyping
  15. 15. Mechanical Prototyping • 3D Printing (Price vs Time) (Personal & Outsourced) • Milling (Personal & Outsourced) • Sections vs whole parts • Production materials vs prototyping • Colors & Finishes (sand, plate, paint, etc)
  16. 16. Mechanical Future • Band-Aid:Thinness & Flexibility • Waterproof: Charging • Clothing: Power & Communication
  17. 17. Software • CoreBluetooth, USB HID Manager • SDK API: detour, executor/observable, manager, sync • App: discovery, connect, communicate, active/inactive, background/foreground
  18. 18. HO: Using the API • Instructions @ http://tinyurl.com/knmmxod • git clone https://github.com/denisbohm/ firefly-ice-api.git • open MacOSX/FireflyGame/ FireflyGame.xcode
  19. 19. Q & A • And now for a short intermission…
  20. 20. Production • Manufacturing Plastic Parts (Molds (time) + sampling and tuning, then production run) • Sourcing Components (BOM Tool) • PCB Fabrication & PCB Assembly • Programming & Test (Fixture + Firefly Tool) • Final assembly (PCBA + Battery + Plastics)
  21. 21. Test Fixture • Mechanical design - spring pins for test points • Electrical design - PCB for mounting spring pins and eliminating wire management • Connectors (SWD, USB, battery, etc…) • Software design - program & test software using SWD
  22. 22. HO: Program & Test • Instructions @ http://tinyurl.com/ls7yt33 • Connect Test Fixture to laptop • run FireflyTool • press PCBA into fixture until complete • connect and uniquely name your device
  23. 23. Firmware • Source code: src/*.c,h • Boot loader, main firmware, test firmware, SWD programming firmware • Memory map & placement, startup code • Bluetooth Profile / nRFgo Studio • Hex & Elf
  24. 24. HO: Firmware Development • Instructions @ http://tinyurl.com/lyp6p3b • Debug hardware: JTAG, SWD, Cables • Target hardware: Firefly Ice PCBA • Tool Chain: gcc, gdb, FireflyFlash
  25. 25. Q & A • And now for a short intermission…
  26. 26. HO: Electronics • upverter @ http://tinyurl.com/mx8lv55 • PDF @ http://tinyurl.com/m9rcju5 • Schematics & Board Eagle files on GitHub • Multiple sheets & 4 signal layers • CadSoft EAGLE Layout + Schematic (Hobbyist $169, Standard $575)
  27. 27. Electronics • Eagle 6 • Firefly Ice: firefly-ice.sch,brd • Fixture: firefly-ice-fixture.sch,brd • Parts Library: firefly.lbr • Sourcing attributes on each component
  28. 28. Schematic Considerations • Power domains (voltage, switchable, translation) • Busses (pin count, speed, power, robustness) • Probe points (SWD, switches, USB, etc) • Wires vs SMT (motors, batteries, etc) • Power, availability, dimensions, fine pitch
  29. 29. Layout Considerations • Power planes, RF clearances, crystals • Probe pads (SWD, clearances, 1 sided) • Layers, pitches, in-pad/micro/blind/tented vias • Markings (copyright, model, revision, pads, placement) • Panelization (milling, mouse bites, fiducials)
  30. 30. Expansion Connector • 6-pin low profile SMT connector (2.25 mm + 2.5 mm = 4.75 mm) • 3 power pins: unregulated voltage (5V to 3.5V), system voltage (2.2V), ground • 3 data pins: I2C SDA, SCL, INT (or UART, or Low Energy Sense, or analog comparator, or GPIO)
  31. 31. HO: Sourcing & BOM • Instructions @ http://tinyurl.com/lhmx5ha • A prebuilt BOM release is in the GitHub firefly-production-tools/releases repository
  32. 32. BOM Tool • Reads sourcing attributes from schematic • Gets pricing information via OctoPart • Generates Bill Of Materials • Generates purchasing quantity for each distributor
  33. 33. HO: PCB To 3D • Instructions @ http://tinyurl.com/k9ualyy • A prebuilt PcbTo3D release is in the GitHub firefly-production-tools/releases repository
  34. 34. PCB to 3D • Reads printed circuit board layout • Writes Rhino 3D script • Script creates PCB and places Rhino components • Useful for checking PCBA with enclosure
  35. 35. HO: Bluetooth
 Direct Test Mode • Instructions @ http://tinyurl.com/kqvtjhe • Use one firefly in direct test mode to send test packets. • Use another firefly in direct test mode to receive test packets.
  36. 36. FCC • Preparing a test device with SMA connector • Complete sample device • Using a computer w/ USB for testing • Documentation • Markings
  37. 37. HO: Final Assembly • Instructions @ http://tinyurl.com/lzxkkpk • final assembly into plastics (snap fit)
  38. 38. Main Costs • Electronic Components 100 $50, 1,000 $25 • PCB Fabrication & assembly (10 $250, 100 $50, 1,000 $25) • Milling a plastic part $250+ ea @ FirstCut • Mold $3,500+ ea, $1 per set MOQ 1k • FCC Testing $6,500+ (w/radio, US only)
  39. 39. 10 100 1,000 Components $50 $35 $25 Milled Parts $1,000 $0 $0 Molds $0 $14,000 $0 FCC $0 $6,500 $0 PCBA $250 $50 $25 Cost Each $1300 $290 $50 Total Cost $13000 $29000 $50000 Cost Progression
  40. 40. ManufacturingVendors • Component Sourcing (meet, bundles) • PCB Fabrication (local low volume) • PCB Assembly (right fit local, similar projects & tools) • Plastics Manufacturer (right fit) • Final Assembly & Test (self, interns) [learn & improve the design]
  41. 41. DesignVendors • Product Design (everything in parallel) • Industrial & Mechanical • Electronics & Layout • Firmware • Device API (iOS & Mac OS X,Android, Windows, etc)
  42. 42. What’s on my Bench? • CNC Milling Machine • Microscope w/ Light, Camera, andVise • Oscilloscope with uA Current monitor • Soldering Station with SMT tweezers • Power Supply (on/off), Multi-Meter (uA), Wire Stripper, …
  43. 43. ThankYou Questions, comments, ideas? Denis Bohm
 denis@fireflydesign.com Andrew Sanderson
 andy@modernfuelproducts.com
  44. 44. How  was  the  session?
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