Atrick Designs simplified, elegant, and innovative products with great user experiences. We have the multidisciplinary skills and experience to think, design, and build across disciplines and manufacturing techniques. Work with us for a better way forward with your product.

Blog - PCB Design

Vending Controller

This collaborative project was to build a vending machine essentially from scratch. We architected the controls, robot design, communications, mechanical design, UI / UX, lead design reviews, and trained the production team in assembly in all disciplines. 

This hardware was made during the first months of the chip shortages. There were about 4 revisions made before going to manufacture because of the rolling chip shortages. We were very lucky to get the required microcontrollers and supporting chips. Some evolution path components were not populated due to the shortages and lack of availability.

RS-485 was used for communications and to be able to integrate with existing hardware.  3 modular control boards were made.  Some served double duty to run different configurations.  1 firmware was written (by a collaborator) for all satellite boards to check it's addressing and carry out its assigned tasks. All IO are static and short circuit protected.  The project was completed in the timeline Atrick gave at the start.

Industrial Controller

This scope of work was to refurbish and evolve a prototype machine done by a local competitor, improve functionality, UI, UX, and overall design of the machine.  This controller used a Linux small board computer (SBC) and visually showed all normal operational parameters in 1 view.  Settings were available in 2 different menus for user and service adjustable settings.  The user menu added input and output test functionality to check operation. All digital IO's have indicator LEDs to allow for easy troubleshooting. The BOM cost was reduced by about half and took assembly time of controls and harnessing from about 30 hours to about 3 hours. All sensitive or wear parts were socketed for quick and simple field repairs.

Steppper Controller

This was a personal need for a rotary weld positioner or handheld roller.  It runs a stepper motor at adjustable speeds and has an optional step back function with both adjustable time between reverse and a reversing time.  This is to give welded parts a consistent "stack of dimes" look.  Inputs are static protected and current limited. It uses an off the shelf stepper driver chip.

This design was later incorporated into a reverse osmosis water system to adjust the waste and recirculate flows.

Exercise display

This was a product evolution project.  Keep the existing look of a problematic display that ran on an Arduino and evolve it.  The assembly time was reduced by 15x, static and reverse polarity protection were added, power consumption was 8x as efficient, BOM cost was reduced by 7x. The new design eliminated all of the issues.  

Why choose Atrick Design?

We deliver long term value with simplified, turn-key, world class designs.  We have the practical hands on experience, understanding, and tools to navigate risk, simplify, and deliver designs and turn key solutions above your expectations.  You won't be bogged down with flashy acronyms, false badges of achievement, empty promises, surprise costs, or blindsided by trouble areas.  We're raising the bar on design, communication, and quality. Work with us to experience a better way forward.