Cyberoptix TieLab

vintage circuit boards.


our vintage screens - the story

In June of 2011, we took delivery of a literal truckload of vintage screens destined to be repurposed, as we've done many times before. (Blank screens are quite costly; it is customary to reuse old screens many times -- also, makes for a happier planet!) Usually they're festooned with the remains of custom T-shirt graphics, including the less-than-engaging likes of "Uncle Larry's 40th Birthday" or "Herbert's Down Home Family Reunion, YEEHAW! This time, when the light caught them, all these glorious, old circuit board and electronics schematics appeared. Obviously, annihilating these treasures was not going to happen, and after pacing, staring, agonizing over the fact that circuit boards have been done to death already, we just couldn't resist the serendipity any longer, considering our fascination with electronics history.

So, we decided to find the best aesthetically pleasing portions of those screens, get the line-up perfect, and produce as many as possible on as many ties as they could print before they give up the ghost. In the machine. (Sorry.) When fabricating actual circuit boards, silkscreens are used to print etch-resistant inks on to the board to protect the copper foil. Subsequent etching removes the unwanted copper and one is left with the desired copper pattern for conductivity. Destined for the landfill, a few have been damaged already in storage, there are strange bits on some of them, some odd splotches on others, but we're excited and feel very lucky indeed to be able to bring these to you.

When you're the first to be decked out with one of these at your hacker space, local convention or board meeting, (be proud) and let your friends know. The language of old circuits should never die.


the make magazine video

As longtime fans of MAKE Magazine, imagine our delight when they visited the studio to record the process. Here's Bethany on the spot showing how it's done.

MAKE has been pretty great to us through the years. You can see the other kind demonstrations thereof right here:
Maker Faire Detroit Interview With Bethany
Geek Chic: Ties That Don't Suck
Refashioned Ties