Creative Destruction Board

I remember making my first board. It was designed and constructed under the tutelage of a senior electrical engineer. I asked him if I was putting the capacitors in right and he said yes. There were about a dozen capacitors in my circuit and I carefully, diligently made them all match the direction of that first one.

Maybe he didn’t notice or maybe I subsequently turned it around when I soldered it together.

I powered on the board and PFFZT!, a little firework flew off my board. Then another and another: pffzt, pffzt, pffzt, they flew off, gently arcing over the cube wall into the hallway.

It was wonderful.

I have an idea for a board that is beyond my skills to create. I want to show all the normal, everyday, little failures that we see on our boards: capacitors turned backwards, LEDs without current limiting resistors running too hot until they change color and smoke, resistors of different sizes carrying more current than they are rated for, high voltage that over-arcs its traces… there must be more. I’m sure there are more.

It would be a thing of beauty to see. On a high speed camera, it would be a poetry of electrons, tiny fires, and billowing smoke.

 Image from the photos I took looking at  Ben Hencke’s fire-catching 3D printer .

Image from the photos I took looking at Ben Hencke’s fire-catching 3D printer.