As an amateur PCB assembly manufacturer, it can be hard to know where to start. While you’re still learning how printed circuit board construction process works, it’s important to know a few tips and tricks.
When designing a PCB prototype, there are some general rules to follow. By following the tips below, you’ll be assembling a circuit board like a pro in no time.
- Component Placing
Before you get started, you should know the three major type of PCB prototypes: single-sided, double-sided, and multi-layered. While each board type has its own set of rules to follow for each component, it’s safe to place the components in the top side of the board. The switch connectors, LED, mounting holes, and heat sinks all have specific places to go, so double check your references to make sure they are right.
The ultimate goal of a PCB assembly manufacturer is to shorten the trace lengths between each component. By doing so, you minimize the risk of the PCB short circuiting (which is an ironic name if you think of it). By placing the components that need to connect next to each other, it becomes much easier to lay down the traces later on.
Once you’ve placed all of you components down, print out a copy of the layout. By doing so, you can use the copy as a reference to make sure that you leave enough for the components before you start soldering anything into place.
- Ground and power traces
Once you’ve soldered the components down, you need to lay the power and ground traces. The traces will connect to common rails in order to share power supplies. This is how to avoid daisy-chaining.
Placing signal traces
Again, the traces need to be short and direct. Vias, or the holes that carry signals between the layers of the circuit board. The traces carrying larger currents should be wider than those that carry weaker signals. This will also prevent any short circuiting.
PCB manufacturing and assembly is meant to be fun. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes much easier — almost second nature. PCB assembly is almost like a puzzle to make sure that you know where everything will fit properly.
Of course, once you start your PCB prototype, be sure to check your electrical connection to make sure the whole thing doesn’t short circuit after you’ve already put all the work in.