Circuit Board Fabrication

Written by Adam Blau
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At the heart of every electronics device rests the circuit board. Here, the various electronic components, such as resistors, capacitors, and integrated circuits, are placed in various arrays and interconnected with conductive pathways. The circuit board provides a solid, sturdy surface that both houses and connects the components.

The process of circuit board fabrication can, unfortunately for the novice, be remarkably complex, requiring a tremendous amount of advance planning. It is one thing to know how the various systems of your proposed electronics device should be connected. It is quite another thing to plot out those systems in an efficient manner that makes the best use of your circuit board space and outboard components.

Planning for Circuit Board Fabrication

Whether you are creating a circuit board for yourself or you are using a company to realize your circuit design, the first step in circuit board fabrication is coming up with a proper design. Simpler circuits can be designed with breadboards and components. More complex circuits can benefit greatly from the use of computer-aided design (CAD) software.

If you are using CAD software to design your circuit board, you may be in luck; many companies that manufacture circuit boards will be happy to import your CAD specs directly into their system. From there, they will process the raw circuit boards for you, drilling holes and placing solder resist and labels at the appropriate junctures. Having a dedicated company perform these operations for you can alleviate the need for tedious hand etching and messy chemical baths.

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