Getting Prototype PCBs

Previous to the late 1990's, creating a prototype PCB was a tedious and very costly process that had no certainty of suitable results. These days, with the enhanced manufacturing processes married with the availability the Internet provides, anyone from large corporations to garage hobbyists can design and produce a simple prototype PCB at very little cost. PCBs containing 2 layers or less are not very costly, but prices climb dramatically when adding additional layers. Click here to learn more about Prototype PCBs.

Prototype PCBs commonly have anywhere from 2 to 6 layers. Adding layers increases the time it takes for the manufacturer to build the PCB. Many prototype PCBs can be manufactured in less than 2 weeks. If quicker service is needed, most PCB manufacturers will offer an expedited option. There are an assortment of PCB software tools that help designers create the layout for their PCB. These tools also enable the user to pick out any defect in the design before they send it to the manufacturer. Some manufacturers of PCBs offer the tools like FreeDFM, which will help find any flaws in the PCB design. FreeDFM will analyze a prototype PCB, and give a report showing areas of the board that could possibly cause problems, which allows designers to redesign the board until everything is working properly. Click here for more information on prototype PCBs.

The process of creating a prototype PCB is relatively straightforward for common configurations. Initially, the PCB project design specifications must be determined, along with how many components will be used. After that, a prototype PCB quote should be gathered from a PCB manufacturer. At this point, the designer can lay out the board using one of several free PCB layout software packages. After choosing a manufacturer, designers can send their files right from the design program to the company. It is critical to use tools such as FreeDFM to ensure the quality of the design, and avoid any delays in the manufacturing process. If everything checks out, the PCB will be produced and shipped in a reasonable time span. If it's not done in a reasonable amount of time, most manufacturers will refund the payment. That's all there is for this used-to-be complicated process. The prototype PCB can now be tested. Click here for information on ordering prototype PCBs.


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