Pcb Design Guidelines

Written by Adam Blau
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If you are designing a printed circuit board (PCB) to send to a circuit board fabrication plant, there are likely guidelines to which you must adhere in order to ensure the proper execution of board creation. These guidelines will differ from company to company, so it is important to check with the PCB fabrication company to make sure you are supplying the proper files and specifications. Some PCB manufacturing companies have these guidelines posted on their websites for easy reference.

Possible Variables of PCB Design Guidelines

Many inventors and designers today use computer-aided design (CAD) software to create printed circuit boards for their electronic devices. The advanced design and testing features of many CAD applications make them impeccable tools for circuit design. Fortunately, some PCB fabrication companies can import files directly from the CAD programs.

Since not all CAD applications use the same file format or have the same features, you should check with your prospective PCB fabrication company to verify their preferred CAD format. This will ensure that your PCB design will be produced to the exact specifications you request in an expedient and efficient fashion. If you provide a CAD file that is in an improper format, the measurements and guidelines may be distorted or--even worse--unreadable.

If you have been using a CAD program for your PCB design that does not conform to the fabrication company's specifications, all hope is not lost. There are applications available that can effectively translate one CAD program's file format into that of another CAD program. Such translators are readily available on the Internet (sometimes for little or no cost). Even so, you should double-check your CAD file after translation just to be certain that everything transferred correctly.

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