Every time i wanted to use the ESP8266 ESP12 in a project i hated that it didnt fit on a breadboard so you could connect to it, and you also had to wire it to an FTDI serial module and a button to pull GPIO0 to gnd to program it.
So to avoid that in the feature i decided to make programming jig where i can plug my breadboard wires into.
I first made an eagle component of the ESP8266 ESP12 breakout board and the designed a PCB in eagle where i connect an FTDI and plug in the ESP8266 ESP12, with an on off switch for the ESP, and a button for reset and one for programming. Then later designed an 3D-printed case for it.
Step 1: Components/parts List/tools
1x ESP8266 ESP12 or ESP12E
1x ESP8266 ESP12 breakout
1x USB FTDI module
1x ams1117 3.3 volt regulator
1x 3 pin pcb sliding switch
2x tact button
1x 6 pin male pin header
4x 8 pin female pin header
50x50 mm single sided PCB
an leg from an resistor to make an bridge
Cnc router to make pcb or another way to make home made pcb's
3D-printer to make the case
Step 3: Make Pcb and Solder It
I went to my local hackerspace HAL9K (https://hal9k.dk/) where we have an cnc router that is perfect to make PCB's on, it needs gcode witch i made with the ULP script PCB-GCODE
the voltage regulator need to sit on the under side of pcb because of it is an smd component.
Step 4: 3D Print Case
I didnt like the bare PCB so i decided to make a case for it. I designed the case in a program called Designspark Mechanical.
I printed the extendion for the buttons in different colurs to make it posible to identify the reset and program button, where the blue is the program button and the red is the reset button, The white part is the on/off switch for the ESP.
Step 5: Begin Prototyping
Now it is easier to prototype with the ESP8266 ESP12
Let me know if you have any questions or you find this instructable use full.