Nowadays, Printed Circuit Board (PCB) design must be the most required skill among engineers who deal with manufacturing electronics. And it doesn’t only involve familiarity with special software but lots of standards and recommendations that allow making a high-quality product. So, here are some of the guidelines for designing PCB.
1.Choosing a suitable board for PCB
The first thing that should be checked is the board’s physical characteristics used for manufacturing PCB. These factors play a huge role in further steps, such as the concept or overall PCB design.
- Find suitable reference points for the manufacturing process, such as obscure crosses or holes.
- The size that can fit in a device can still accommodate essential tracks and components.
- The more complex your design, the more tracks, consequently layers, you may require. The drawback is its increased production cost.
- Determine the mounting method in advance. Otherwise, you may experience a lack of free space on the surface while mounting components.
2.Rough PCB layout
It’s better not to skip this step but to do it right before drawing the main PCB design. The purpose is to plan and check where the components and their areas will be located, so they don’t interfere with tracks. Draw multiple solutions and choose the suitable one.
3.Planes and layers in PCB design
Embedding a complete plane or layer for power rails or earth is quite a common practice. These are more beneficial dealing with current capability and noise. The partial planes may lead to warping during the manufacturing process.
Considering the width of tracks on PCB is another critical thing that should be done at the early stages. Try to determine the standard track width that will be applied within the whole design. It shouldn’t be too narrow or thick since it may lead to short. Besides, take into account that tracks that carry current have to be of the proper width. For example, to carry 1A current, the 1.0 oz board has to have a 0.01-inch track while the temperature increase doesn’t exceed 10 degrees Celsius.
Besides, you should define the size of pads and holes. Usually, they are calculated by a ratio of 1.8: 1 which means that the pad should be bigger than the hole. However, it’s better to check with the manufacturer’s standards. The shape of pads also matters.
5.Prevent thermal issues
Modern small PCBs do not have any issues with thermal issues like the big ones with a higher density of components, and the speed of processing may become a huge problem. That is why you should leave enough space around the components that produce too much heat.
6.Signal and Radio Frequency integrity
The signal and radio frequency integrity can be disturbed by incorrectly etched tracks. That is why, to facilitate consistent signal, you should avoid running tracks in parallel and make sure that tracks cross at a right angle.
This list of guidelines is not complete, but implementing these principles will help you deal with PCB design to achieve good results. However, if you are not sure if you can do PCB design by yourself, then Axonim can assist you with that. Axonim company has broad expertise, so even mass manufacturing is not a problem at all.