Prototyping Boards

Cutting Mat

Five months ago, the pandemic was still a phenomenon mainly confined to the Chinese mainland. We were busy packing our suitcases ready to visit relatives in Hong Kong for Chinese New Year with only a mild degree of trepidation! Little did we know what the future would hold.

Amidst all this however, I also had something else pressing on my mind. I had a then new process for prototyping dual-layer boards and had been trying to capture all the steps on camera. It’s surprising how much harder it is not just to do something, but to get good take of doing it on camera. Fortunately, I managed to get the last piece of raw footage done before we had to get out of the door, leaving me to enrich my holiday by spending some time recording the voice-overs and editing it all together.

I actually uploaded the resulting video to YouTube in that distant age before the UK entered lock-down. That is to say, I got almost everything done with the exception of writing this blog post and telling people about it. It seems fitting somehow that, as the government tentatively flirts with returning the UK to normal, I should get around to posting this now. Like putting a new battery in a stopped clock, in one sense no time has passed.

It’s only the second video I’ve made and first one to include any speaking. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, although on reflection, successful videos tend to be more exciting or humorous, and less instructional. Still, one must start somewhere.

The process has also improved a bit since I made this video. I have the artwork printed onto thin cardboard now, which is a bit more sturdy, and glue all the layers together at the end rather than trying to cut the mounted artwork. This combined with using more layers of thinner board has made the cutting process a lot less time consuming than it used to be because fewer passes are needed. It only takes one slip for the machine to ruin a board, so it’s better to get through them as quickly as possible, even if more are needed.

Now, onward to the many other things which need doing. The next blog post should be about the either the new artwork or an update on the computer modelling, depending on which materialises first. Until then!

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