Printed Circuit Board Prototype
Printed Circuit Board Prototype – PCB Prototype Assembly and Fabrication.
Printed Circuit Board Prototype is one the most important part and tool for any engineer in electronics and PCB Manufacturing and Assembly.
PCB prototype is extremely important starting from designing to finished electronic product. It allows testing a given design to find out if it will work or not. This way one can debug and rectify any error. This is also very useful before mass production. Without a Printed Circuit Board Prototype (PCB Prototype), there always remains a risk with mass production of the board.
In complex circuit boards, a slight mistake can be very expensive and time consuming to rectify. A faulty design can make soldering of electronic components very difficult. It also gets harder to point out the point of error on the circuit board. Therefore, it is wise to design a PCB Prototype prior to actual mass production in order to avoid any future risk and loss.
What is a Printed Circuit Board (PCB)?
Most electronic equipment and products have circuit boards. Printed Circuit Boards (PCB / PWB), are made of PCB Material that are non-insulating and highly heat-resistant such as fiberglass. These boards are also called substrates. A conductive metal such as copper is used to make conductive pathway or traces to facilitate flow of electricity. Once PCB itching is done, it is termed as a “Printed Circuit Board”. This same PCB after Assembly or Soldering of Active and Passive electronic components is called Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCBA).
Different Types of PCB
There are Different Types of PCB:
Printed Circuit Board Prototype (PCB Prototype)
When designing a new circuit board, it is important to draw a circuit board schematic prior to making a Printed Circuit Board Prototype. A circuit board schematic will help to debug and fix any mistake made during the process. If the circuitry on the circuit board is simple, one can use Protoboards that are quite simple and easy to understand. In case of complex and customized circuit board, making a prototype board is a must.
Circuit Board Layout Editor
To start making a printed circuit board prototype, one will need a circuit board layout pattern. Layout editors are available for this purpose. A circuit board layout editor is software to draw a layout of the circuit board with all of the traces and points where basic electronic components will be soldered on the board. The PCB layout will look like a diagram. PCB layout software like ZenitPCB allows editing the layout until the desired layout is achieved.
How to Make a Printed Circuit Board
PCB Manufacturing Process involves several complex steps:
- Solder plating
- Testing the circuit board
PCB Design Rules
Layer Process Vs Standard Size
- Minimum trace / space: 7 mils
- Minimum via / hole size: 14 mils
- Minimum pad for plated hole / vias: 26 mils
- Minimum plated slot: 32 mils
- Minimum solder mask Clearance: 4 mils
- Minimum silkscreen Clearance: 4 mils
- Minimum silkscreen line width: 6 mils
- Minimum board copper/edge margin: 10 mils
While making a PCB prototype, it is important to follow the rules right from photoengraving to testing. Any slight mistake can make the circuit board useless. In case of mass production, Printed Circuit Board Prototype are a must.
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