Find Out More About PCB Design and Layout Services

Prototype circuit board

Printed circuit board (PCB) assemblies have been integrated into quite a few electronic devices over the decades. Most of the traffic lights in North America, for example, have PCB assemblies. As a recent article in Sciencing magazine reports, household electronic appliances and other devices, such as computers, televisions, and cell phones all have some type of PCB. Furthermore, a computer’s “motherboard” is integral to this device’s operation. Other circuit boards enable memory, power, and other vital operational aspects.

Surface Mount Technology

With surface mount technology (SMT), the components are placed on a PCBs’ surface. These are 1/10 or less the size of a through-hole circuit. In addition to SMT, there are other types of circuit assemblies. These are Integrated circuits and hybrid circuits. Integrated circuits are often referred to as ICs or microchips.

Legend Printing

When printing the legend, which is used to provide a PCB layout guide, there are 3 methods: silk screen printing, liquid photo imaging, and ink jet printing. These legends show where to place these and other indicators that are beneficial when assembling, testing, and servicing circuit boards:

    Component designators

  • Switch settings
  • Test points

Creating Laminates

In order for PCBs and their components to connect mechanically and electrically, a laminate is used. These are created with layers of cloth or paper that are cured under pressure and temperature with thermoset resin. This then forms a final piece that has uniform thickness. Laminates can range in size and be up to 4 by 8 feet in length and width.

Insulating Substrates

Most rigid PCBs are produced using FR-4 glass epoxy as the primary insulating substrate. In order to produce these substrates, a thin layer of copper foil is laminated to either 1 or both sides of the panel. After the copper has been laminated to the FR-4 panel, the circuitry interconnections are etched into the layers of copper. This is how the final PCB is created. Multiple layers, however, are used in order to produce complex circuits.

Prototype Circuit Board Design and Assembly Services

When you have a product design that needs prototype circuit board design and assembly, it’s important to remember that having the entire process taken take of by the shop can expedite the process. PCB manufacturing has made considerable advancements over the years, and quick turn PCB prototypes can take a fraction of the time to produce.

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