The Basics of PCB Fabrication

PCB fabrication is somehow considered a complicated task to complete because you will need some special types of equipment to get the job done. Aside from the fabrication methods, this article will orient you to some of the most common pieces of information that you have to know about the process so you will have a good idea of where to start off with everything.

PCB or printed circuit board is considered as a type of mechanical assembly that consists of multiple layers of fiber glass sheet.

This is also known as the PWB or the printed wiring board. The fiber glass sheet has been laminated with some etched copper patterns that serve specific purposes. This board is typically used to mount some electronic parts in a rigid fashion. This makes it highly suitable for packaging.

Before you start off with the PCB fabrication process, you have to come up with a schematic diagram.

The schematic diagram should clearly show the connection of the parts that will be present on the board itself. Each component of your schematic diagram should have at least one reference designator. The reference designator should highly match the one portrayed on the BOM or Bill of Materials. Many applications used for the creation of schematic layouts will permit automatic Bill of Materials generation. If you are using one of these programs, it can somehow help you save a lot of time in the process.

For PCB fabrication, you have to carefully choose the dimension and the type of board that you will use.

Creating a functional printed circuit board does not necessarily equate to the creation of a finished product. This will always require some connections from the outside world to display results, exchange information, and obtain power. You should also be able to fit this inside a case or slide this in a rack so it can fully perform its main function.

Pcb fabricationThere may be some areas that will need height restrictions for your board. Some of the restrictions will be designed for additions, like a battery holder that has been molded in the case, or some rails on a rack where your board is supposed to slide into. Keep-out areas and tooling holes should be defined before you even start off with board designing. This includes the external features such as the mounting brackets, displays locations of the connectors, and maximum board dimensions.

You should carefully consider the thickness of the copper that will be laminated on the surface. The amount of current that the board will carry will most likely dictate the copper foil’s thickness. “Standard thickness” is typically considered as the most advisable.

There are different materials used for the PCB.

For the materials, phenolic and fiber glass are typically utilized. Phenolic is typically considered as an affordable material that you can use for your PCB. This is typically the material of choice if you want your PCB thickness to be somewhere between 0.8 mm to 1.6 mm. the latter is considered as the conventional thickness if you will use this material.

On the other hand, fiberglass resin laminate is your material of choice if you want to end up having a rigid PCB. The thickness is somehow similar to the phenolic type.

PCB fabrication may seem like just the process of attaching random metal parts to a kind of structure that highly resembles a plank of wood. If you are in that current state of mind, you have to reconsider performing this process because this can greatly affect the result that you will have in the end, as far as the fabrication processes are concerned.