One of the biggest challenges of robotics and DIY hardware is simply finding the right components for the job. You may have cooked up the perfect locomotion system, but obtaining that oddly sized axle bearing or aluminum channel can take up more of your time than the actual design and assembly. Because of this, we’re always on the lookout for good sources of project parts and hardware that can deliver quickly when needed.
Printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing is a black art among the DIY community. If you’re putting together a prototype circuit, the process is very well established: get an Arduino or your microcontroller of choice, pick out some components, get a breadboard and wires, and then string everything together. Easy, low cost, and accessible.
However, what if your project becomes more complex? You can extend breadboard or perf-board work to a point, but the likelihood of making an error grows exponentially with project complexity. Nobody wants to end up with a circuit that looks like this:
Image credit: Big Mess o’ Wires