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Most effective PCB Prototyping Techniques for Better Performance

Most effective PCB Prototyping Techniques for Better Performance

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This is a continuation of our article

How to Design a great PCB or Printed Circuit Board

If you have not yet seen it, you should consider reading this to get a overall grasp of the whole process of any electronics DIY or Professional Projects from designing to finished products.

In this continuation article, you will know about:

 

  1. PCB Prototyping

  2. PCB Fabrication

  3. Components Sourcing

  4. PCB Assembly

  5. Basic Testing

  6. Enclosure Design

  7. Final Testing

 

1. PCB Prototyping

PCB prototyping begins where the PCB Layout design ends.  The Gerber files generated as output from the PCB layout software is send to the PCB manufacture for fabrication along with specific instructions.  Even though it is possible for a hobbyist to prepare a PCB at home, it is too much of a hassle to attempt.  The process flow for prototyping is shown in the diagram below:



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Prototyping is done so that the circuit designed can be physically tested and validated if it works the way it should.  Even though there are very advanced circuit simulation tools available which can be used to simulate a circuit and a model very close to the actual physical model with all the real world parameters included, there is nothing like having a physical prototype in hand.  The prototype can be tested thoroughly and if there are any issues, it can be debugged and the design goes for another iteration.  If the designer feels that fabricating a PCB is too much expenditure, the components can be wired using a breadboard or a General Purpose PCB.

But when using the above two options, debugging an issue can be quite a hassle, since one has to navigate through a mesh of wires interconnecting the circuit components.  Hence it is always recommended to fabricate a PCB.

 

NEXT:

PCB Fabrication

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