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Student Bootcamp

Prior to week one, Myself and my peer watched three of the student bootcamp videos that neal had done the week prior. This series of videos gave me a general idea for how class would go and an even better understanding of the tools I will use. For example, a lady from Qatar named Duaa spent an hour talking through the various different ways to soldier and gave us tips along the way. The other videos helped me undestand CAD further as well as project management. We also spent time practicing our surface mount soldering skill and techniques. I found out that solder paste worked the best for me and I plan on using it in the future. Burning the bootloader proved to be way harder than expected. A series of terrible instructions led us to the arduino forums to solve our questions. We were able to burn the bootloader and run the test blink code.

Fab Lab Bangkok from


Before the lesson would be taught each video, Neil spent some time having other labs introduce themselves. Originally I thought that each lab was relatively similar to each other but time and time again I was blown away by the differences. For example, we took a brief tour of a lab in India. Their lab had everything that my schools lab but yet there space was so radically different. The lab in Barcelona was also extremely cool. The size and some of the projects that they have taken on made me all the more exicted about Fab Academy this year.

Video #1 - CAD

In the first of the three videos that I watched, we learned about different CAD programs. We started off with a breif, refreshing introduction about the power of CAD. Then we moved onto the different CAD softwares. What I realized from that is that all CAD softwares are practically the same and setup the same way but they each have their own strengths. FreeCAD was a software that I had never heard of until it was presented to me. I am looking to expand into it and challenge myself in the coming weeks.

Video #2 - Project Management

Neil spent the majority of the second video pointing out what he loves in projects and what he does not want to see. Neil really nailed down the point that he wants to see creative use of the machines that we learn how to use. He used previous examples showcase some of the best instances of creativity. Neil also wants our projects to be very organized. Stuff like hanging wires really seemed to irritate Neil. I will implement specific design aspects that will help me organize to the best of my ability.

Video #3 - Soldering

There are so many different soldering techniques that I learned from Duaa from Qatar. She taught and improved upon my current skills. I had not heard reflow soldering prior to her explaining it. I hope that I can take advantage of reflow soldering if I have a really small board that I have to solder. After watching this video each one of us worked on soldering. Below I attached some images that show my soldering as it progressed. My group then spent time soldering Satshakits. I decided that I would warm up with the green testing board that is shown in the first image below before I moved onto the Satshakit. I started off wth the center chip and used the sweep method combined with soldering paste. It worked incredibly well. I was able to solder the whole chip in a matter of minutes because of it. I proceeded with the small resistors and then in less than an hour, I was finished. At the time of writing (2/2/21) we are still working on burning the bootloader. None of us can get it to work but we will soon.

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Last update: February 14, 2021