Limor Fried, Founder of Adafruit


Cool Tools Show #38 Limor Fried

Limor Fried is an MIT engineer and the founder of Adafruit, a one-stop shop for makers to buy electronics kits and components, and learn and share ideas related to electronics prototyping. Limor’s picks will be especially useful for anyone interested in electronics prototyping or looking to learn more about the field.

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Show Notes:

Samsung SM482 Prices vary

“They’re awesome machines. This is a 6-spindle pick and place chip mounter. It’s very flexible. It can place components as small as 0201s, which are basically like dust, up to 64×64 millimeter parts, which are big chunky modules or chips. It can kind of do it all and it’s very, very fast. It’s got flying vision. The software’s good.”

Samsung 481 Prices vary

“Even though the number is one less than the 482, it’s actually a much better machine. It has 10 nozzles, so right off the bat it’s at least 60%, 70% faster.”

Speedline Momentum Elite Prices vary

“Getting a good stencil printer is key. We used to stencil by hand, literally. We used a stencil printer that you would use for t-shirts. But after you get to fine pitch components, you can’t do that anymore.”

Metcal 500 Soldering Station $1262

“The thing that’s nice about the MetCal is that it’s a reliable and dependable machine that’s very fast. There’s a wide selection of tips that you can use and you can quick change them. That’s important…”

Circuit Playground Free

“It’s the longest running electronics puppet show because it’s the only electronics puppet show. They take quite a bit of effort to do. I don’t know if you’ve done puppeteering but it’s a lot harder than it looks. Sesame street makes it look easy. It’s actually really, really hard to make a puppet seem fun and alive.”

Pigrrl $100

“There no soldering required, you just plug it in then you’re ready to go. We sell it fully assembled now. It basically adds a little display to your Raspberry Pi.”

Lady Ada Toolkit $100

“The Lady Ada tool kit is in the store and is very popular. It has one of every tool that you need and it will last you quite a while. It’s very good quality stuff.”


FX888 Soldering Iron $92

“Whenever I’m not doing fine pitch work, this is the soldering iron I use for day-to-day use. It heats up very fast. It looks adorable. It’s very durable.”