Soldering Circuits

During our third lesson in Fab Lab, I learned soldering skills and finally put together the ultra light box. In the first and second lesson, we engraved a wood board box and designed the circuits in respective lessons. This week, we soldered the circuits and fixed them into the box.

After the first two lessons, I’ve already got myself comfortable working in the Fab Lab. However, I was still nervous when I stood at the soldering station with a soldering gun heating up in front of me.  We first had the parts laid out on the table, and then holding the solder gun near or touching the part. Next, we have the soldering tin near the part, and the soldering tin will melt to the part.

One common mistake for first-timers is that because tin will flow to the higher temperature face, it is important to have the soldering gun touching the part instead of the soldering tin. Otherwise the tin will be left on the soldering gun.

The other concern is the safety issue. When you solder, you need to be very careful with the soldering gun. In addition, you also should try to avoid inhaling the gas. It is crucial to ventilate the room after a period of work. You should also try not to touch anything before washing your hand after doing soldering works. That’s also part of the reason I didn’t have photos with middle processes of my soldering work.

Finally, we have everything ready for the assemble. After testing out the circuits and battery, I started to stuff the box with the circuits. During this process, I had to be gentle in order to avoid breaking any soldered joints. Compared to the other processes, this is the simplest one. After all the work is done, my ultra light box, with my customized prints, will react to the light it sensed and have different patterns of lights.

From the 3-week long learning in the Fab Lab, I gained great hands-on experience of how to make and design things. This is the first time that I build a electric device from the most basic components. To me, it also demystified how things work behind the computer screens a little bit. Most importantly, it helps me to gain necessary skills for building prototypes for our term project. In the future, I’m looking forward to implement the skills I learned into building prototypes.

Leave a Reply