ECE Design Lab

The Duke ECE Design Lab is located at 113B Hudson Hall. The lab contains two hot air SMD Rework Stations from Weller. Both stations can perform conventional through-hole soldering and newer SMT soldering. The stations allow for quick and simple IC attachment and detachment through the use of solder paste and the hot air tool.

In addition to the soldering stations, the Design Lab features a mini-reflow oven that can solder an entire board at once through the oven reflow process. In contrast to the expensive (and very large) conventional reflow ovens used in industry, the Design Lab utilizes a Cuisinart Toaster Oven to model an appropriate thermoprofile for the reflow of the solder paste. Many students enrolled in ECE Design courses such as ECE 459 Embedded Systems (F) and ECE 449 Sensors & Sensor Interface Design (S) have utilized the oven successfuly to complete their final boards.

The ECE Design Lab also provides in-house Printed Circuit Board etching capabilities. Although it is often easier and less expensive to order a printed circuit board for a project design from a reliable manufacturer (Advanced Circuits (use "Student Special", $33 per board), PCB Fab Express, Express PCB, and others...) , for smaller, typically surface-mount only designs this do-it-yourself approach is a useful technology.

Early on, the ECE Design Lab added the capability to 3D print making it one of the first labs at Duke to have 3D printing capacbility.  A MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printer is still available with permission in the laboratory.  The 3D printer greatly expands the possibilities for enclosing final project circuits in compact, customized boxes and housings.  Examples of 3D printed objects are available to view in the laboratory.  The Technology Engagement Center, Co-Lab is has become the best go-to resource for 3D printing in Engineering now.

The lab is managed by Chris Bingham, Undergraduate Laboratory Assistant and by Kip Coonley, Undergraduate Laboratory Manager. Lab hours are listed below, please stop by for a demonstration, tour of the lab, or assistance—happy soldering and project building!

ECE Design Lab hours:

Hours are available by request. Please do not hesitate to reach out about using the Design Lab at any time for help!

Reflow Overview (Online Version)

  • Last updated on February 14, 2020