LED Coasters Make the Perfect Parting Gift

Mindtribe is an engineering team that specializes in developing new hardware for startups. They also value their employees highly. So, when…

Cameron Coward
2 years ago

Mindtribe is an engineering team that specializes in developing new hardware for startups. They also value their employees highly. So, when Adam, a member of the team, announced he was leaving, they decided to build something special as going-away present. What they came up with is a beautiful coaster that’s lit up with RGB LEDs.

The finished coaster is impressive in its own right, thanks to the refined design and exceptional build quality. But, even more noteworthy is how quickly they took that design from conception to production. From the time Adam announced his departure, the team at Mindtribe had just 16 days to finish the coaster in order to give it to him before he left.

They started by fleshing the idea out with the components that would go into the coaster. There is an STM32L433 microcontroller for control, which is well-suited for low power consumption. An LIS2DH accelerometer provides a way to interact with the coaster. Ambient light sensors allow the microcontroller to automatically adjust the LED brightness. And, a LiPo battery, charger, and voltage converters power it all.

With that in mind, they created a PCB for the SMT (surface-mount technology) components — with the LEDs arranged in the shape of the Mindtribe logo — and sent it out for manufacturing. While the PCB was being made, they milled the faceplate from polycarbonate on an Othermill. After some shipping delays, they received the PCB and electronic components just in time to get it all assembled and tested before Adam’s final day. The finished LED coaster looks great, and now Adam will always have something to remind him of his time at Mindtribe.

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