User Input

User Input: Creative Repurposing II — Electrical Circuit Boogaloo

Waste Printed Circuit Boards

The head of our engineering department at work plopped 75 printed circuit board “trees” on my desk, each about eight inches square, still wrapped in cellophane packs from our supplier. He announced, “These are useless to us, but I hate to just dump them in a landfill. Can you think of something creative to do with them?” (I’m a graphic designer, so he’s under the false impression that this makes me creative.)

I replied, “I have no idea what else you could do with them, but I know a group of people who will.”

Yes, Atomic Toasterites, you are that group. So, let’s have your bright, ingenious ideas — what would you do with these unopened, un-snapped-apart, unpopulated sheets of circuit board wizardry?

The winning suggestion gets a wonderful prize: 75 unused circuit boards, of course.

  • OA5599

    Those are 3×4 panels so it's actually 900 boards once you snap them apart.

    Since you are a graphic designer, you should paint, draw, or print playing card details on one side of them. That's enough cards to make 17 decks. There isn't anything to indicate the scale of these in the picture, but I imagine they would be suitible for playing card games, though they might be a bit smaller than the ones used at casinos.

    Give them to the guys at the office, and save a few to give out as prizes here at AT. $kay doesn't come here often so there is usually not much reason to hope for a prize; see the overwhelming lack of participation in recent scavenger hunts, for example.

    BTW, I tried to come up with a photo from Google showing someone who already executed my idea. Look what came up instead:

    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src="; width=500>

  • P161911

    The last time I was at the scrap yard I think they were paying about $1/lb. for scrap "computer parts" circuit boards, etc.

    • FuzzyPlushroom

      Wait, gold's up enough that scrap PCBs are worth money?


      • texlenin

        Please see "Thrift Store Prospecting" by
        Megan Rose via Pen Press, Parma, ID
        and C.W. Ammen's book,"Recovery
        and Refining of Precious Metals" chapter 4.
        Might be a profitable little hobby for all us

  • XRSevin

    iPad cover? Acoustic tile replacements? Corkboard on one wall? Art Car project? Or send them to these guys:

  • mr. mzs zsm msz esq

    8×8? That might be just enough for tiling the floor of a small bathroom, I wonder if mine is small enough?

  • Break apart one row. Glue three of them together along their long edges to make a triangular prism. Glue the fourth on top. Use some Dymo tape (ooh, retro!) to make a label that says HCOTY 2011, then send the whole thing to Pete as the Atomic Toasters Supplemental Award for Stuff Awarded Elsewhere.

    Pete will be thrilled. (Yes, he will.)

    You'll be rid of four of them.

    You'll have a source of trophy material for some time to come. Or, better yet, Deartháir will if you send the rest to him for safekeeping.

    You're welcome.

    • The Professor

      Good lord! You are evil, aren't you?

      /I approve wholeheartedly.

    • Deartháir

      Actually, that's brilliant. We should make Pete a trophy out of them.

      If you send them to me, I'm tiling the wall behind my projector screen with them. When Lynn's not looking.

    • craigsu

      Be sure to attach several rare earth magnets to the trophy so it doesn't fly off the ZomBee the next time it goes airborne.

  • White PCBs are cool! Am I the only one spending 100% brain power trying to figure out what these boards are for?

    In related news, I have 4, green 100mm by 85mm PCB sitting on my desk right now. It is very unlikely that they will ever be used for their intended purpose… Any takers? They are nice rectangles with clean edges…

  • Mousepads and clocks would be my first guesses, but that only uses one at a time.

    Arranging them in geometric patterns for lampshades would probably work pretty well, like these done with playing cards, but on a larger scale.

    <img src="; width="500">

    <img src="; width="500">

    And definitely use 4 for mdharrell's suggestion.

    • Those are nice, even though they lack the "sticking Deartháir with most of them" elegance of my solution.

      • The Professor

        Evil, evil….

      • Deartháir

        You say that like it's a bad thing.

        /My spouse thinks it's a bad thing.

      • Your plan does have some outstanding advantages. There's no import restrictions on circuit boards, right?

  • skitter

    Doesn't your cubicle need an arched or domed roof?

  • The world's most unique set of poker chips

  • craigsu

    A PCB lamp would be nice.

    <img src="; width="600" border="0" style="border:none;" alt=" " />

    You'll have to squint with this one.

    <img src="×225.jpg&quot; border="0" style="border:none;" alt=" " />

  • texlenin

    Several ideas:
    LeMons/Hoon/Atomic Toasters shoulder patches
    (ah, crap- I see they are surface mount- no holes to sew with)
    Notepad covers
    brake/clutch pedal covers (nonslip!)
    tech manual bookmarkers
    (two end to end?)
    make smartphone holsters
    windchime pendulum
    rapper medallions
    electronic project boxes
    pet tombstones
    level the tables in the AT HQ lounge
    wallets (add duct tape)
    replacement for that little flag on the
    use to make a CD rack
    Alright, I've run dry for the moment.

  • Christmas cards?

  • corytate

    tile the wall of an office or computer room? just one wall I guess?

  • Pistol targets? One shot each? At about a hundred paces. You'd have to be pretty good.