What are the custom PCB making processes
The printed circuit board are fundamental part of any electronic device. They play as a foundation for the electronics component to settle and make connection. They come in different sizes and color. Due to their high demand the process of making a custom PCB has become fast, straightforward and efficient.
What is a custom PCB?
The green color plastic board which is seen in electronic devices is called printed circuit board(PCB). These boards provide surface for electronic devices to function properly. Basically, a printed circuit board(PCB) is an insulating layer which is thick and rigid. It provides strength to the PCB.
This insulating layer is covered with conducting layer of copper for electrical connection of electronic components. Holes are made through this insulating layer by which electronic components leads are passed and soldered to make electrical connections. PCB design is made to meet project requirements.
The custom PCB, as the name suggest depends upon the requirement of the user. The first thing to do when making a custom PCB is to design a layout of the circuit. A number of circuit designing software are available which provide a library of electronic components for circuit design to the required need.
What are the characteristics of custom PCB?
A high quality custom PCB depends upon many factors and requires long checking and testing processes to meet the project needs. The base for custom PCB which is non-conductive board must be of good quality. Normally, the base material used is glass reinforced epoxy which is also called FR4.
The PCB stackup also adds to the characteristics of custom PCB. Appropriate estimation of layers help the designer to minimize the production size which controls the impedance of the circuit. Copper acts as an conducting path between electronic components, copper traces width and length is calculated to find impedance that it is adding to the circuit.
Most important thing in a PCB are its componenets. The designer has unlimited options to choose from but selecting electronic parts depends upon the function, availability and the type of packagingthey provides.
Finally, the design should meet all the rules of EE standards and the need of client requirements.
What material are used to make a custom PCB?The primary material which is used to make PCB may effect on the working of PCB. It plays important role in PCB functioning and behavious under different working environments. The three common materials which are to make PCB are:
FR-4It is a non-conductive, rigid and high tensile board made from glass epoxy resin and has the ability of water resistant and flame retardant
PTFE(Teflon)It is a synthetic polymer which has flexibility, flame resistant and temperature stability. It is lightweight which makes it valuable for various industries for its high speed and high frequency.
MetalGood conductors like copper, aluminium and gold are use in PCB for electrical conductivity which provide low resistance. Due to their physical properties it increases life of the PCB.
Can you make PCBs at home?
The process of making custom PCB at home is simple and requires few commonly available materials and help of designing software. Firstly, it is better to simulate the circuit on simulation softwares like multisim, proteus, etc to find any error or changing required to be done.
These softwares also provide layout for PCB etching. This layout is printed on the copper plate and etching chemical is used to remove extra copper from the PCB board. After etching, holes are drill for electronics component and soldering is done after fixing of components.
Which tool is best for PCB design?
The use of software plays a significant role in PCB manufacturing. PCB designing software is used to design and simulate electronic circuit to check its proper functioning and provides easy modification for the user to make any adjustment required. Different types of PCB design software are available for hobbyist, students and professionals.
Multisim and KiCAD are common in hobbyist and students due to their simplicity and basic application. When complex design and high number of layers are required in a PCB design then Altium designer and Fusion 360 are best options. They have auto routing and easy troubleshooting features which in reducing complex and size of PCB.
Can you 3D print your own PCB?
Electronic manufacturers are looking to alternate ways for circuit production due to limitation in versatile, cost effective and complex design which is face by traditional methods. 3D printers are still in R&D phase and they are solving this entire problem on small scale production. The PCB 3D printer use conductive material as an ink to make circuitry.
The ink consist of infused copper, silver or graphite which act as an conductor. These printer are able to make complex and multi layer PCB board. Electronic components are placed and soldering is done.
How do you print a PCB at home?
Printed circuit board are made hobbyist and students at home. The simple process of printing a PCB board at include a vero board (copper cover insulating sheet), printout of a schematic from inkjet printer and iron. The iron is used to apply temperature and pressure on the schematic by which the the design copies on the vero board. The etching chemical and drill machine is used for making holes.
How much does it cost to make a custom PCB?
Printed circuit boards have different quality, complexity and price range. Normally, a PCB can range from few cents to few hundred dollars according to customer requirements. The price of a PCB depend upon many factors such as number of layers, complexity, components and electronics parts. Few major factors which PCB cost are:
A PCB comes in three types of assembly type namely surface mount, through hole and the combination of both. Surface mount technology is easy compare to other and cost less.
Component position also add to costing factor of a PCB. It is better to evaluate a PCB design about its component placement .
Number of Components
The number of electronic components used on the board effect the cost directly. When large quantity is being manufactured then even a single component remove effects the cost of the board.
The size of the board also key component in custom PCB cost. It is always prefer to minimize component and their placing to reduce the total area of the PCB board.
The custom PCB, as the name suggest depends upon the requirement of the user. The first thing to do when making a custom PCB is to design a layout of the circuit.
Yes,the process of making custom PCB at home is simple and requires few commonly available materials and help of designing software.
The price of a PCB depend upon many factors such as number of layers, complexity, components and electronics parts.
The need of PCB board are increasing and the manufacturers are strugling to fulfill customer demands. The manufacturers are seeking new ways to solve traditional problems in process of maiking PCB board and meet the client demand. But it is also very easy to make custom PCB at home with few materials. The cost of PCB board decrease with increase in quantity.