The Hacksmith Chooses Altium for PCB Design

“Here at Hacksmith Industries, we create functional prototypes. We need to work fast and get it done right the first time

"Here at Hacksmith Industries, we create functional prototypes. We need to work fast and get it done right the first time because we create something new every single week. Our most valuable resource is time, which is why we chose Altium Designer for PCB design and Altium 365 for collaboration. As the industry preferred circuit design and layout software, Altium makes it possible for us to design fast and collaborate. It's very user-friendly and actually enjoyable to use! " - The Hacksmith

Lightsaber Pike

As the penultimate step towards a true-size lightsaber, we've built a self contained fully portable lightsaber. The tight mechanical requirements made Altium Codesigner especially critical for getting everything aligned and operating.

Kenobi Lightsaber controller

The heart of our 2022 lightsaber build! Driven by an ATMega328p on an Arduino Nano carrier, this circuit controls the oxygen and gas solenoid valves, and a proportional needle valve. Communication with the lightsaber grip is done over RS232 through a MAX3232.

World's most powerful flashlight

The behemoth of portable illumination. The huge array of Cree XHP diodes was split across several PCBs for thermal management. Each array of six LEDs features an I2C thermocouple to monitor LED temperatures.

Mandalorian Flamethrower Control Board

Even gadgets from a galaxy far far away need a simple way to provide user controls. This button pad provides an analog multiplexed array of inputs to a single microcontroller elsewhere in the assembly.

Mandalorian Jetpack

Making use of the ubiquitous Arduino Uno, this board runs a pair of pan-tilt stages to control the turbine nozzles of a prop jetpack.

Spidey Senses

To replicate the eponymous powers of the friendly neighbourhood Spiderman, we built an aptly-shaped rigid-flex PCB that connects an array of single-chip LIDARs to a set of buzzer motors, all orchestrated by a microcontroller.

Mario Kart Controller

We made Mario Kart real! But with mushrooms not doing much for the power of brushless motors, we designed a system to provide adjustable gain to the throttle controls of the go karts. By inserting a digital potentiometer and a DPDT relay between the throttle lever and the motor controllers, we could ramp up and down throttle to match the in-game boost provided to the kart. And when outside of a game, the entire attenuator is bypassed by the relay, giving full power at all times.

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