Q: @jon: do you prototype with through-hole parts? When do you go for SMD parts?
A: Both. I use through-hole devices as much as possible for prototypes because these old eyes have a tough time seeing the tiny SMT parts. I have glasses (see photo at tope) and use a magnifier, too. It's also easier to replace through-hole components if I need to modify something. I like the SMT chip adapters from SchmartBoard and use them to turn SMT chips into through-hole components. Their boards "self align" chip pins with contacts. Get some good solder flux, too. I recommend ChipQuik.
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.