Pcb Express

Written by Adam Blau
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One of the most satisfying things about modern computer-aided design (CAD) applications is the speed with which you can compose complex, intricate electronic devices. Gone are the days where it would take days and weeks to plot out the workings of various circuits. With a decent CAD program, you can have full schematics printed out within an afternoon.

It might seem a source of frustration, then, that once your design is complete, it can take a bit longer to have your idea pressed into a circuit board for the purposes of a prototype. Remember, though, that if you were to etch and print the circuit board yourself, the procedure could take an inordinately long time. Particularly if your complete circuit is complex, you would certainly take more than a single afternoon plotting your circuit board!

Getting Your PCB Quickly

Thankfully, there are some relatively young companies that can take your designs and quickly turn them into high-quality, fully functional printed circuit boards (PCBs). The majority of these companies can read your CAD files and send them over to their equipment for pressing. At many PCB fabrication plants, this process is completely automated, making it easy for them to reconfigure their machines even for the sake of only a few boards.

Certainly, it takes time for orders to be processed and the PCBs to be manufactured. However, depending on the number of layers in your board, it can be perfectly reasonable for your order to ship 24 hours after it's been placed. Your manufacturing company will be able to provide their manufacturing schedule in greater detail. In any case, you can be sure that you will have functional boards in your hands much more quickly (and easily) than if you created them yourself.

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