The Taconic RF-10 is a circuit board that we can use with any computer for electronics design, like the MakerBot or 3D printer. It is an upgrade from the previous Taconic RF-9 released in 2014 and has had many improvements since then. This will show a picture of the Taconic RF-10 PCB board before and after printing. Additionally, it will show how we can use it as a 3D printer in place of the MakerBot.
The Taconic RF-10 PCB is a PCB (printed circuit board) controller for their RF-10 control surface. This surface has a unique design to work with the computer. It allows a user to create interactive artworks and animations. With the characteristics of this hardware, such as its USB connectivity, it is the perfect tool for personal expression. The following article will go through various aspects of using Taconic’s RF-10 PCB controller.
Taconic launched the Taconic RF-10 PCB in 1996. Its design is best when you use it in conjunction with the Apple Macintosh 8600/180 and 9600 series. But we can also use it with other computers via its USB connection. The RF-10 PCB is a joystick controller that allows users to manipulate shapes on the computer screen by positioning a cursor over them. Two large knobs with lights are part of the components to control the intensity of color values. This hardware also has an “AutoTrig” feature that allows users to automate specific actions, such as adding a shape to the screen. We can program this automation feature using the built-in software.
The RF-10 PCB’s design uses a six-pin cable connector that outputs analog signals. RayMing PCB and Assembly recommend people to use special Macintosh video cables. These cables are pin-to-pin compatible with the RF-10 PCB’s cable connector. For example, Apple part number 922-9041. We can find these cables on eBay, electronics supply stores, and other sources. When we connect the RF-10 PCB to a Macintosh 8600/180 computer or 9600 series, the “AutoTrig” feature will not work, especially if we switch off the Mac or put it into standby mode. We can also use the RF-10 PCB’s cable connector as a pass-through to allow scanners to plug directly into the Macintosh.
The Taconic RF-10 PCB works best with any computer compatible with Windows 10, 8, or 7 and Mac OS X Mountain Lion or Yosemite. It also requires an internet connection to install software or use the program. You can run the connection by an Ethernet cable, 2.5 USB cable, or a Wifi network. The Taconic RF-10 PCB has many features, such as tools for etching and soldering, a 3D printer, and a programmer for Arduino and Raspberry Pi projects.
How it works
We can easily turn the Taconic RF-10 PCB into a 3D printer. One can do this by adding a plastic extruder that moves in the X and Y direction and, with an object at the end, can get melted into filament. We melt the filament into different colors to use for printing. There is much open-source software you can use with the Taconic RF-10 PCB to design models for 3D printing. First, you have to make or download STL files and then open them with Slic3r, which will create G-code for the printer. G-code is the file type that moves in X and Y directions with an object at the end that melts into filament and makes the object get printed.
You have many benefits when taking the Taconic RF-10 PCB and printing with it. You do not have to connect the 3D printer to a computer or go through any software to design as there is no software needed for this.
After the 3D printer finishes printing all the layers, it will be very sturdy and easily moved around for easy printing. The plastic extruder is easy to place on any machine that can move it back and forth from X and Y directions.
Excellent price/performance ratio:
The Taconic RF-10 PCB is around $20 for the board and free shipping. There are free software downloads that are also free to use on any Windows or Mac computer. A 3D printer can cost around $2000-$5000 depending on the size and quality. The 3D print quality is much better than the price.
Low X, Y, Z expansion:
The 3D printer does not need a computer or any software to operate, so it does not take up much space to store.
Excellent adhesion to smooth coppers:
You do not need to glue the 3D printer to the surface. One can easily replace the plastic extrude anywhere, and it will stick to any smooth surface.
High thermal conductivity for enhanced thermal management:
The plastic extruder heats molten plastic into different colors for printing. This makes the material make a better bond with the 3D printer.
Low 0.0025 loss tangent @ 10 GHz:
The plastic extruder has a wavelength of around 150 to 200 nm. It is around 0.25% loss tangent at 10 GHz. This is an acceptable percentage to print with and not too difficult to work with.
Tight DK tolerance (10.2 +/-0.3):
The Taconic RF-10 PCB has a tolerance for the dielectric constant of around 10.2 at +21 to -71 degrees Celsius. It is a fairly high-temperature range. A tight loss tangent and good thermal conductivity make it easy to work with and less likely to fail on the 3D printer.
Excellent dimensional stability:
With a temperature around 10.2 +/-0.3 and high thermal conductivity, if you cool down the object from high temperatures to a lower temperature, it will be easier to move on the 3D printer without becoming brittle or breaking apart. Excellent moisture resistance for high-pressure wash applications: You can wash the 3D printer with any water and still work correctly afterward. You do not need to dry it off before use, and it can still print correctly.
High DK for RF circuit size reduction:
The dielectric constant around 10.2 makes it easy to work with, especially radio frequency circuits. You can use it with a radio frequency circuit board with a low ESR and low loss tangent.
The Taconic RF-10 PCB has a temperature coefficient of 0.0039%/C at +30 to -30 degrees Celsius, which is acceptable for working with RF designs.
The Taconic RF-10 PCB can be helpful for electronics design and a 3D printer, whose original purpose was when Stratasys released it in 2014. It uses a 3D printer that moves back and forth with thin layers of material extruding from the nozzle. This creates any shape or form depending on the design.
Military and Aerospace Electronics
Taconic RF-10 PCB has many applications. One example of this is satellite components. We can use the Taconic RF-10 PCB with a printed circuit board to design the satellite components attached to the antenna. Suppose you take another 3D printer that uses a metal extruder and print it on separate layers. In that case, you can join these two layers together with soldering material to make the final product. Then you can use the Taconic RF-10 PCB to design the satellite components you will print on the composite material. Then you can print all your thermal management, EMC, and RF designs on these components.
Microstrip Patch Antennas
Another example of an application is using the Taconic RF-10 PCB with a 3D printer to create microstrip patch antennas. Microstrip patch antennas can be helpful in any electronics design. You can use the Taconic RF-10 PCB as either an input or output device for any radio frequency circuit board that needs designing with a microstrip antenna for wireless communication.
Satellite components consist of metal, and many components help make the satellite functional. Many different printed circuit boards are helpful inside of a satellite. These boards have components that use the Taconic RF-10 PCB to conduct their circuitry. These components include transistors, resistors, capacitors, diodes, and many more. The metal also acts as shielding to prevent the satellite from getting damaged by radiation from the sun. The satellite also needs to transmit the data back to Earth which the command center controls. Antennas are helpfully attached to the Taconic RF-10 PCB printed circuit boards to transmit the data back.
Solar Power Systems
Solar power systems consist of many different parts, and they can be quite large in scale. There are a lot of electronics involved in a solar power system that we can print on the Taconic RF-10 PCB. This will allow you to print many different components onto one substrate, such as a single printed circuit board with all of its components.
The first component needed in any solar panel system is the first part of the sunray spectrum, which is around 0.5–5 μm wavelength light. We achieve this by using optical fiber from solar glass to a solar panel. The second component is the polycrystalline silicon cell. The polycrystalline silicon cell converts the sunlight into electricity. Solar panels have many different optical fibers attached to glass solar cells on circuit boards that use Taconic RF-10 PCB. According to the USGS, a very small amount of silicon is also helpful in the cells. It costs around $15 per kilogram.
Aircraft Collision Avoidance Systems
Aircraft collision avoidance systems consist of many components, such as radar and LIDAR, which use radars and lasers to detect targets and avoid collisions. A Taconic RF-10 PCB can design the circuits for these components.
The Taconic RF-10 PCB can help upgrade your MakerBot or 3D printer by adding a plastic extruder to it. We can easily add the plastic extruder by screwing a threaded rod into the end of the board and melting it. The Taconic RF-10 PCB has many features that make your 3D printer more powerful and easier to print objects.