Creating Printed Circuit Boards From Computer-Aided Design Software to Assembly Services


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Advancements continue to be made within the areas of prototype PCB design and prototype PCB assembly. Given these advancements, it takes less time to complete a project from start to finish.

The Early Circuit Board Creation Process

Printed circuit boards (PCB) used to be created by hand. A designer would use clear Mylar sheets that were 4 times or more larger than the circuit board. Designers would then create their proposed board design using this transparent photomask. Once PCB design software was developed and became more prevalent, it changed the way PCBs were designed and constructed.

How Circuit Boards Are Now Designed

In order to layout a board’s circuit pattern, designers now used computer-aided design systems. These have special software that enables the designer to lay out electrical conducting paths and perform other important design tasks.

How Circuit Boards are Constructed

Now that PCBs can be machine assembled, quick turn PCB assembly services are available. In some cases, a PCB shop can complete an order in just 5 days or less. It’s important to note that this is 75% less than the average time within this industry.

A single automatic line, for example, is the equivalent of 50 hand-solder operators engaged in circuit board assembly, such as prototype PCB assembly. In just an hour, 50,000 or more parts can go through the entire pasting and soldering process in a conveyer configuration. These automatic lines also provide a higher quality and more consistent finished project, which greatly assists with streamlining the overall process for prototype PCB assembly jobs.

The Most Common Types of Multilayer Circuit Boards

There are 2 methods to connect circuits on each side of a double-sided circuit board. These are through-hole technology and surface mount technology.

While manufactured PCBs can have more than 42 layers, the most common are 4, 6, 8, and 10-layered boards. Boards with 42 layers or more are used for much more complex electronic circuits.

How PCB Thickness Is Measured

In order to determine the trace thickness of a PCB board, ounces of copper are used. While some PCB manufacturers are able to provide thickness of 6 ounces, many designers will use 1 or 2-ounces of copper.
There are, however, heavy copper PCBs that have inner or outer layers with thicknesses of over 3 ounces.

The Future of Transistors

Technological advancements continue to be made within this industry. When considering the advent of computer design software, automated manufacturing lines, and other developments, it’s not surprising that transistors will also continue to miniaturize. It’s been theorized that these will eventually become a nanometer in size, which is the equivalent thickness of 10 atoms placed back-to-back.

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