Today with the advent of customized PCB manufacturing on-demand, we’ve seen a wide range of uses for this technology beyond simply getting electrons from one point to another. For a great illustration of how this tech can be used, check out these LED badge solder kits by Tindarian blinkyparts.
First up is the “Cat in a Box,” kit which seems to hearken back to physicist Erwin Schrödinger’s 1935 thought experiment about a cat’s “status” inside of a closed box. As the PCB art shows it peeking out, the cat is very much OK. On the other hand, it’s eyes wouldn’t normally glow red/orange/pink/green depending on your LED selection.
If cat’s aren’t really your thing, this Rainbow Unicorn may be more interesting. The kit is a nicely drawn horse-like creature, with a metallic outline to highlight its unicorn-ness. The highlight of this device, however, is the way the tail, horn, and mane are made to be slightly transparent, allowing LED backlighting via RGB LEDs that glow in a “rainbow” of colors as shown in the video below.
Each device runs on readily available CR-2032 coin cell batteries, and use SMD parts. So if you’re been putting off trying your hand at SMD soldering and need an intro, this is a great way to get started.