Laying out PCBs in the past was a very complex and intricate practice that was susceptible to slight design errors that could potentially trigger very long manufacturing delays. Thanks to today's PCB layout software, these days are long in the past. Now, free programs allow anyone familiar with the basics of electronics to create their very own PCB layout in a matter of hours instead of days or even weeks. Learn more about PCB layout.
Many manufacturers have created free PCB layout programs that are available to anyone. As a matter of fact, the PCB layout software is what caused a decrease in price for PCB manufacturing. If these programs were not in place, PCB manufacturers wouldn't have enough time to confirm and construct each prototype PCB. Of course, each program has pros and cons, but they basically do the same thing.
PCB layout software enables the user to select a component from a vast library and place that component anywhere on the board. Sophisticated measuring capabilities allow for the optimum placement of each component and its associated traces. Get more information on PCB layout.
Adding vias used to be an extremely tedious procedure, but now connecting traces is fairly easy. However, it's still a good idea to print a copy of the layout and place the components to ensure all traces and vias are present, even though most software also attempts to determine this automatically.
Other aspects of testing a board's suitability to be manufactured are also handled by the PCB layout software. This really helps when creating multilayer PCBs where the number of components to test could seem like an impossible task. After testing, the software even has the ability to send layouts to the manufacturer. Some PCB manufacturers will offer tools like FreeDFM that will perform additional test to catch any problems with the design. Explore PCB layout options.
With PCB layout software, low-cost PCB manufacturing has truly become viable for any interested party.