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.
Probably you’re following Dave’s eevblog. He regularly publishes great stuff for electronics engineers and enthusiasts. Following video might be useful for someone who deals with small SMD parts like LGA. Soldering those might be tough, but there is always a way out of the situation. This video demonstrates how to solder three-axis accelerometer on to prototyping board in dead bug style. By following this technique, you can solder almost any SMD chip that is meant for re-flow soldering.
Well this sound amazing and scary. Everyone knows that printer toner usually is transferred with special glossy paper and iron, but printing directly… anyway fact is that it is possible and gives amazing results. Author claims and proves that he was able to print 2mill traces what means four traces between two DIP pins. There isn’t any information about how it’s done as other people claim that printers modified as flat doesn’t give even close results. Take a look for more photos in gallery.
You have to prepare many multi-platform eagle designs for manufacture, but you have no ideas what to do about it? Well, there are many ways to turn an eagle design into an actual PCB. One of the best ways is to save the eagle designs as industry-standard gerber files, where you can use the gerbers files to order a single prototype or in a full panel. For your information, the toner transfer is the favorite choice of beginners to make a PCB, as the total investment in materials is minimal comparing with other methods. Most of the PCBs are made with the photo-resist process, since the photo process makes nice boards, but it requires a bit of equipments. While some of the board manufactures, such as the olimex, can be used to make PCBs directly from eagle .brd files. Olimex requires a minimum order of one eurocard-sized PCB (100mmx160mm). Here’s the simple process of Eagle Designs: Firstly, you’ll need to prepare the design; Secondly, create grebes and generic files that accepted by any PCB fab house; Thirdly, remember to verify the gerbers; Lastly, send the design for production! The best and cheapest option you can get is to submit gerber…