What’s The Process Behind PCB Design?

The process of designing a PCB involves a lot of steps. A PCB design specialist can help you design a high-quality circuit board that meets your technological needs and requirements. A specialist can provide a comprehensive analysis of your electronic device’s requirements to ensure that your product contains the right support to help it perform well in the market. These PCB designers will have experience in using various design strategies and they will also have access to the latest software for designing. You may also want to consider using a PCB company that can provide a one-stop solution for circuit boards as it can ensure consistency of your products.

If you are looking to design a PCB or get a PCB manufactured, then a PCB designer can help you speed up your project. There are several steps which a PCB designer will go through, so here is a quick overview of the PCB designing process.


Designing the Schematic for the Circuit

The first step in the designing process is designing the circuit schematic. The schematic design is a crucial step, before getting to the design process for the board itself. This process is important as it serves as the blueprint for laying out the different traces and components on the board. Your PCB designer will design the circuit layout to accommodate your technological needs. This is done by placing different symbols on the schematic to represent the various aspects of the circuit.


Planning Components on the PCB

After designing the schematic for your circuit, your PCB designer will then plan out where all of the components will be placed on the circuit board. This is to figure out if there is enough space to fit all of the necessary circuitry on the board. By planning out the placement of the components, you will be able to make more informed decisions on the number of layers needed for the circuit board. Following initial planning of the components, your specialist will specify all of the relevant information that needs to be associated with the components. This information includes the footprint for the pads of the circuit board and the information for drilling.


Routing the Connections

Once your designer has completed the initial placements of the components, the following stage of the design process is to route the connections to all of the components. Using the PCB software, you can plan out the routes for the physical connections on the circuit board according to the schematic. Usually, one layer of the circuit board will be used as a ground plane and another layer will be used as a power plane. This is to reduce the level of noise and to also allow the power to have low source resistant connections.


Designing the Circuit Board

After designing the schematic for the circuit, it is then imported into an electronic design automation (EDA) software to lay out the design. During this design process, the number of layers, the dimensions of the circuit board, and the components are all planned and laid out. For various boards, there may be different requirements which your PCB design specialist can provide advice on, such as whether you need surface mounting or through-hole technology. With the PCB design software, your PCB expert will then export the design into an industry-recognised format, such as the Gerber format. By exporting the file into a Gerber or CAD format, you can have a recognisable set of instructions ready for the production process for the printed circuit board.


Exporting Files for PCB Manufacturing

Once the design specialist has exported the CAD or Gerber file, the process of manufacturing your printed circuit board can then begin. If you have decided to use a PCB company that can provide all circuit board services, then you can benefit from being able to manufacture your products at the same place, which can ensure consistency with your designs. The design for the circuit board can be bulk manufactured by using multiple automated machines that can perform various tasks including drilling, punching, plating, and the final manufacturing processes. You can learn more about the PCB manufacturing process here.


Contact Clarydon for PCB Design

Clarydon Electronic Services has a wealth of expertise in PCB design. If you require PCB design, manufacturing, or assembly, then please get in touch with one of our PCB specialists and we would be happy to help.

Call us on 01902 606 000 or you can email us at [email protected].