PCB Design: The Process


May 17, 2024

Printed Circuit Board(PCB) design involves several processes to ensure the creation of a functional circuit board. Since it is used to manufacture gadgets such as phones and laptops, the design of a PCB is crucial in determining the performance of the electronic device.
In this guide, we’ll look at five major processes of PCB design. Let’s dive in!

pcb design 1What Are The Three Layers Of PCB

The three layers of PCB include

  1. Substrate layer: This is the base layer of the PCB which is often made of fiberglass or other composite materials. It provides structural support to the board.
  2. Conductor layer: This layer consists of thin copper traces that connect different components on the PCB. These traces are etched onto the substrate using a chemical process.
  3. Soldermask layer: The soldermask layer is applied on top of the conductor layer to protect the copper traces from oxidation and prevent solder bridges during assembly. It is typically green in color, but can also be found in other colors based on design preferences.

Can PCB Be 3D Printed

3D printed PCB involves using specialized 3D printers that can deposit conductive materials layer by layer to build the circuitry. This is still a relatively new concept in electronics manufacturing.
One of the main advantages of 3D printed PCB technology is the ability to create complex, three-dimensional circuit designs that would be impossible with traditional manufacturing methods.

pcb designProcess Of PCB Design

Although the number of processes for PCB design varies with the devices, here are five major steps involved in designing a printed circuit board.

  1. Schematic design: This is the first step in the PCB manufacturing process. It involves creating a schematic diagram of the circuit board layout, including all the components and their connections.
    Engineers use specialized software to design this blueprint while ensuring that the circuit functions as intended. During this process, they carefully analyze the electronic device’s requirements and specifications to determine the components’ placement.
    Every detail is meticulously considered in this stage and engineers collaborate to fine-tune every aspect of the printed circuit board.
  2. Component placement: After the schematic is designed, the next step is to determine the optimal placement of components on the PCB. Engineers carefully consider factors such as signal integrity, thermal management, and ease of assembly when arranging the components.
    They use computer-aided design (CAD) software to place components in a way that minimizes signal interference and ensures efficient heat dissipation.
  3. Routing: Routing involves tracing the electrical connections between components on the PCB. Engineers use the schematic diagram as a guide to create copper traces that connect the various components in the circuit.
    This process is critical in ensuring the proper functioning of the electronic device, as any errors or inefficiencies in routing can lead to malfunctions or performance issues.
  4. Design Rule Check(DRC): After routing, a design rule check is performed to ensure that the PCB design meets the required specifications. The software analyzes the design based on predetermined rules set by the engineers.
    It checks for errors such as short circuits, clearance violations, and other potential issues. Any discrepancies are then flagged for review and correction by the design team.
  5. Gerber File Generation: Once the design passes the DRC, the PCB design enters its final stage of Gerber File Generation. This step involves converting the PCB design into Gerber files which contain all the necessary information for manufacturing the printed circuit board.
    Engineers meticulously review the PCB design one last time to ensure accuracy before generating these files. The Gerber files include details about the conductor layer, silk screen, solder mask, and other essential elements required for the fabrication of the PCB.

Why Choose LHD Tech To Design Your Printed Circuit Board(PCBs)

Here’s what our experienced team is good at. We carefully analyze the requirements and specifications of your electronic device to create a schematic design that guarantees optimal performance.
Want to start your next innovative device? Contact us today to get cutting-edge PCB design services from LHD Tech!


Stone Shen

Stone Shen

Stone is the senior technical support and experienced sales engineer at LHD PCB, with more than twelve years of experience in the PCB design, manufacturing, and assembly industry. Served as an Engineering Manager for a Listed PCB company for eight years and has extensive experience in handling various large projects. Now worked as a sales engineer at LHD PCB and also provide product and technical services to different kinds of companies, rich experience in industrial control, the Internet of Things, medical, and new energy product projects.

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