For those of you like me who are interested in the world of DIY electronics and analog synthesizers, but are intimidated by the expense and complicated nature of electronics, the Atari Punk Console (APC) is a great entry point into this field. It is pretty cheap to build, and the sky is the limit when it comes to customizing the circuit and how you present it.
I purchased my APC from Synthrotek, which has a diverse range of DIY analog Synthesizer products. You can purchase full kits, which include the printed circuit board (PCB), components, and the enclosure. Or, if you're feeling a little bit more adventurous, you can purchase only the PCB and hunt for the components yourself. For this project, I sourced all my components from Mouser.
Step 1: Components
Step 2: Modeling
For the modeling, I used Autodesk's Fusion360. It is an amazingly powerful program, and if you are a student or an instructor, the majority of the Autodesk software sweet is FREE! That's right. Free.
I encourage anyone who has experience with Adobe Illustrator to try Fusion360. When you are finished with your design in Illustrator, go to File --- Export --- DXF. If you want your model to be precise and/or you have pieces that fit together, it is import to have your scale be 1 to 1, and the "Preserve Appearance" box checked in the Adobe export window.
Here's the established workflow for Fusion360:
Insert DXF on a selected plane
Begin to create extrusions from your newly created sketch
Each vector shape you extrude is it's own independent body. It's important for your model to be separated in this way for printing.
Once you are happy with your design, you can export your individual bodies for printing (as STL files)
Step 3: The Print
Depending on the size of your model, your print could take anywhere from a couple hours to a couple days. In total, all my parts took almost 40 hours to finish
Step 4: Assembly
Since my project is more focused on the final presentation of the APC, and less focused on the circuit, I will not be covering the soldering process. Synthrotek has a super handy build guide, which can be found here.
My model has a total of 7 pieces:
3 outer triangle edges (one edge for the pulse-width potentiometer, one edge for the oscillator frequency and one edge for the audio out mono jack), the center triangle (which houses the circuit, battery, volume knob and power switch). And the top curved pieces, which I gold leafed.
The most challenging part of this entire build was these final steps. The wires were somewhat in the way, and I had to act quickly when I placed the hot glue on the edges.
Step 5: The Final Build
All in all, I was really happy with how this turned out. As I continue to explore in the world of DIY Synthesizers, I would like to build more modules in this same way, and have them click into a table where you could plug and play.