The term "Badge life" emerged as a trend to design printed circuit boards with unconventional shapes, generally including very striking characters. These cards were originally designed for DEF CON, one of the oldest hacking conventions, and included puzzles that wizards had to solve by programming and "hacking."

At KawaiiTech they design small irregularly shaped printed circuit boards with reprogrammable LEDs so that the user can easily customize light patterns using an Arduino compatible ISP programmer.

Designs are created with open software tools such as KiCAD and Inkscape. Once the image has been vectorized, we proceed to define which layer the different sections of the vectorized image will correspond to, in order to create different effects. The svg2shenzhen extension enables the generation of all the layers necessary to be included in the KiCAD PCB editor. That is: contour, copper layers, screen printing, etc.

The electronics in their designs are very simple, they choose to use small 8-bit microcontrollers compatible with Arduino and include LEDs, switches and batteries. Due to the limited number of input and output pins of the microcontroller, the charlieplexing technique is used which allows to include more LEDs in the circuit without compromising more pins of the microcontroller.

The dimensions of the designs are small since another objective is that they can be used as accessories (wearable type).

With simple projects like these they manage to generate interest in the maker movement in those who still do not know it.


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