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Boldport's Experiments with Multi-Coloured PCBs

Gareth Halfacree

We're firm believers that electronics can be beautiful, and we're not alone. Our good friend Saar Drimer at circuit design specialist Boldport has made a career out of creating printed circuit boards that are both functional and elegant, typically with the aid of his PCBmodE software. Now, Saar is looking to increase the flexibility of circuit design still further by working with manufacturing house Eurocircuits to create multi-coloured boards. Where traditional PCBs house a maximum of four colours - the board colour, the copper layer, a solder-mask layer, and a silk-screen layer - Saar has extended this considerably by adding additional colours of solder-mask. Dubbed Circuit Love, the result is a selection of test prints with up to three distinct colours of solder mask to produce attractive designs - housed, incidentally, between laser-cut acrylic sheets we provided, which won't be the last time you read of our collaborations. The boards aren't just for show, either: they're fully-functional circuits, fitted with an LED which shines through the PCB to produce a pleasing muted glow - proving, in case there was ever any doubt, that art and engineering don't need to be mutually exclusive.

I've asked Eurocircuits -- who I've often used to make my circuits for the past couple of years -- if we could collaborate on experimenting with new techniques for PCB manufacturing. Their PCB manufacturing expertise is instrumental to the making of boards that are unique but that are also mass-manufacturable and affordable.

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