Electronics design is a specific niche which involves lots of building steps and expertise. Each electronic device has overcome many manufacturing and refining cycles until it is safe to use, blends within the environment have necessary and useful features and are much supported. Everything starts from the need for functions electronics can provide. A simple LED lamp is a quite complicated product that needs to last, operate within specifications and overcome certifications to be safe to use as a home appliance. It is hardly achievable by a single person. The core of almost every electronic device is its working circuit laid on PCB. Let’s go through PCB manufacturing processes to see what steps are usually involved until design reaches production.
Designing, prototyping, assembling and testing new electronics-based ideas require high-level expertise, instruments and proper source channels for materials and parts. Hardly any small businesses can cover all PCB building cycles from design to working prototype. Today when the world is ticking at a fast pace, most of the labour is outsourced. Such practice is standard within a software creation, as there is a lower risk – everything can be fixed and modified at any stage. Hardware is a bit more complicated because mistakes made at the initial stage are passed to the following cycles. This is why companies, hobbyists and enthusiasts usually tend to take most of PCB manufacturing and to assemble control to ourselves. The cost and capabilities of PCB assembly service at PCBWay PCB assembly has never been so cheap. As an example, let’s look at one of the leading PCB manufacturers- PCBWay. They are offering a broad spectrum of PCB related services including prototyping of different types of PCB boards, assembly, testing and even design when you basically need to provide guidelines of device and care is taken from designing to the finished working device.
Printed circuit boards are the most essential components in all electronic appliances and products. Most of use these boards every day without even realizing what they are. If you ever open up your broken remote, you will see a circuit board which is infused with a lot of wires; it is called the printed circuit board. They are an integral part of electronic devices and are used in our everyday lives. They have many lines on them and continue to be infused in all electronic devices until this day. These boards are responsible for connecting the product to the wires via copper sheet. They are commonly used by the following industries:
Are you in the process of designing your next product? We are sure you want to get every detail right, which is why you can benefit from a flexible PCB. These boards are bendy and capable of accommodating any design. However, you should ensure to pick a reliable flexible printed circuit board manufacturers, and that is not always an easy task. Take a look at this simple but informative guide on flexible PCBs, and learn how to pick the right company to order from today. 1. What Is a Flexible Circuit Board? A flexible circuit board is a PCB that has been specially designed to be flexible. Flexibility is the essential feature of these boards, and it is the reason why they are becoming so popular. Flex PCBs have a wide application field, including but not limited to: Smartphone Automotive electronics Computer electronics Industrial applications Medical field E-commerce You can use them wherever you need adaptability from the circuit board. If you realize that you require a bending circuit during the assembly process, flex PCBs will be the ideal solution.
Many PCB manufacturers offer good quality PCBs for a low price. Anyway, there may be lots of small things that may lead to a few inconveniences if your choice isn’t the best. Of course, the primary source to check out is the Internet. Customer feedback may be a good starting point to evaluate the PCB manufacturing process of the chosen vendor. Other sources worth to check are the social media, colleague recommendations or other influences. Sometimes there is nothing wrong to give a try on any manufacturer with some small batch and evaluate PCB manufacturing process and build quality by yourself. There may be a different experience for different people and what is bad for one may be right for others. Evaluating the quality of delivered PCB If you decided to try a new PCB manufacturer, there are some key points that you may want to check when boards are received. Most of them are PCB quality checks. You may go through several aspects such as: Dimensions of the board – are they right as specified The holes – are dimensions correct and accurately positioned and centered Cutting quality – inspect the edges of boards are they properly cut Silkscreen…
SMD entered a hobby market a long time ago, but there are still many people who afraid to push their projects to SMT level. Once you try, it appears to be very easy – even more, comfortable than through-hole PCB technology. Dave from eevblog.com has published a series of PCB soldering tutorials where he goes through tools needed to make quality soldering, then through-hole soldering tips and finally SMD component soldering. In this video, Dave carefully explains what main techniques (individual pin soldering, well based and drag) can be used to successfully solder SMD parts and what odds are awaiting for inexperienced players. If you don’t want to solder with iron, then you’ll see how it is easy to do this with solder paste and hot air gun.
Designing electronics devices doesn’t end with building a PCB board. Most of the finished products are placed in enclosures. Even if you don’t use enclosure – the board has to sit somewhere or has some mechanical attachments like heat-sinks, holders, etc. One way to be sure everything fits nicely is to put everything together in mechanical CAD like Google Sketchup which is free. The problem is – how easy to transfer PCB image into Sketchup. There is no direct export to format that 3D CAD would understand. So RS Components (EU electronics component distributor) have put all pieces together. They developed a simple solution that clears the gap between PCB and 3D CAD formats. Their small software takes IDF file format (Intermediate Data Format) that is supported by most of PCB software packages. Then with the RS program, this file is converted to Collada (.dae) file which can be imported in most CAD packages like Google Sketchup. Once imported, the board can be made to look realistic with additional 3D models of electronics components and put into enclosure virtually. This way your design can be finished virtually before anything is manufactured and it costs nothing.