Material: Circuit board
PCB or printed circuit board commonly found in electronics plays a crucial role in their functioning.
PCB Material Composition
PCB generally consists of four layers, which are heat laminated together into a single layer. The material used in PCB from top to bottom includes
The substrate layer is made of fibreglass also known as FR4 which stand for fire retardant. It provides a strong foundation for the PCB and its thickness may vary according the uses of a given board.
The copper layer is laminated onto the substrate using heat and adhesive. There may be up to two layers of copper on the PCB.
Some of the cheaper boards are also made of phenolics and epoxies, not using any of the above materials.
The green colour of the PCB is the result soldering mask which is commonly used, other colours such as yellow and blue are available as well.
The white silk screen layer is above the soldering mask with letters and numbers that makes it easy for the programmers and assemblers to read the circuit board and place each component in the right place.
The circuit board can’t be
melted as the substrate melting point is so high
stitched as it is hard
bent as it is thick and not stretchy
Burnt as it releases toxic chemicals
PCB Layer Technical Terms
• Annular ring. The copper ring that surrounds the holes on a PCB.
• DRC. An acronym for design rule check. Essentially, DRC is a practice whereby the design of a PCB is checked for its functionality. Details that are checked include the width of the traces and drill holes.
• Drill hit. Used to describe all holes on a PCB, whether correct or misplaced. In some cases, a hole might be slightly incorrect due to dull drilling equipment used during the production.
• Finger. Metal exposed along the board edge that serves as connecting points between two PCBs. Fingers are most often found on old video games and memory cards.
• Mouse bits. A PCB section overly drilled to the point where it threatens the board’s structural integrity.
• Pad. An area of exposed metal on a PCB, onto which a soldered piece is generally applied.
• Panel. A large circuit board consisting of smaller boards, which are eventually separated for individual use.
• Paste stencil. A metal stencil on a board, onto which paste is placed for soldering.
• Plane. A larger section of exposed copper on a PCB, which is marked by borders but lacks a path.
• Plated through hole. A hole that goes straight through a PCB, usually for the purpose of connecting another component. The hole is plated and usually features an annular ring.
• Slot. Any hole that isn’t circular. PCBs with slots are often high priced due to the production costs of creating odd-shaped holes on a circuit board. Slots are typically not plated.
• Surface mount. A method whereby external parts are mounted directly to PCB without through holes.
• Trace. An ongoing line of copper across a PCB.
• V-score. A place where the board has been partially cut. This can render a PCB vulnerable to snapping.
• Via. A hole through which signals travel between layers. Tented versions are covered with protective soldermask, while the untented vias are used for connector attachments.
CIRCUIT BOARD MANIPULATION
The circuit board is sprayed with the silver paint and painted over with the aero color. This process changed the entire look of the board, the texture of the board complemented the silver paint. After the process I realized I should have painted it in a thoughtful way that reveals the circuitry at some places. I initially displayed it in a different way which can be seen in the gallery below. But I realized changing the way it is displayed made the object look more artistic.
I tried to manipulate the circuit board digitally using the typography as a medium. the .PSd file can be seen here. The font I used is Cooper Std Bold.
I used the aero color as a medium to manipulate the object. My intention was to paint the object as much as I can. later I changed the way it is displayed by breaking one of the board into pieces.
I used jaggery to manipulate the object, the transparency of it revealed the inner contents, I couldn’t make it as a frame because it is melting down so easily. I used brown sugar to display the object as it gives the context in which it is being manipulated.
This is one more manipulated to represent the domestic object (a stand/shelf). The wooden man is made by Zac in the first semester.
The circuit board is manipulated using the plaster which is again inspired from semester- I working on plaster. I scraped the plaster at some places so that it reveals the circuit board. The way I presented reveals the context in which it is manipulated.
The circuit board is manipulated using heat as a medium. The process video can be seen below. The burnt bricks also represent the context in which it is being manipulated.
The circuit board is manipulated by breaking it into pieces and sticking them together with a glue gun. the process video can be seen below.
The circuit board is manipulated using the PVC. The contents of the board are visible in the transparency of PVC. My initial idea was to do it in resin due to budget restrictions I had to use plastic polymer.
The circuit board is manipulated using the wax as a medium. The iron rod is a found object which elevated the presentation of the object.
For this I didn’t manipulate the circuit board much but I used the tiny bits to represent like a spider web installation. This is the first object I made when I don’t know where to start.
I freeze the circuit board for two days. More images can be seen below. I realized the circuit board after defrosted looks different as it absorbed all the water into it.
This object is almost thesis for all the other objects. To make this I used fire, glue, break the circuit board, colored them. I realized after I finished that what if I use the different processes individually which resulted in many manipulated objects.
I used the Hydrochloric acid to manipulate this object. I left It in acid for two days and I found all the transistors and circuits on the board dissolved making the board smooth and also revealing more of the copper.
Photography as manipulation 15
Process Involved & Failed attempts
Link to Raw files of photographs
Link to .PSD files for typography