How Are Printed Prototype Circuit Boards Created?

Prototype circuit boards

What makes a good circuit board? Considering the world as we know it is dependent on advancing forms of technology and it’s hard to find a business or even a person without a PC or a tablet on their side, this question has risen to the top of many a business’ priority list. Prototype printed circuit boards are an essential part of the printing and distribution process, allowing manufacturing houses to dissect and analyze the most effective ways of printing off circuit boards and sending them to the companies that need them. Let’s take a look at what a prototype printed circuit board can do, how they’re made and what advances we can expect to see in the marketplace.

What’s The History Of Circuit Boards?

Although high-quality computers and related devices are commonplace now, this certainly wasn’t the case a mere century ago. Printed circuit board technology was actually used for radios before they were used for computers, cropping up in the 1930’s and going through many changes before achieving the more accurate and particular methods we have today. Originally called point-by-point construction, these were hand drawn and could only achieve simple tasks. Nowadays printed circuit board construction can be done in a short amount of time and created in bulk for businesses across the country.

How Is The Circuit Board Market?

The prototype printed circuit board market is an ever-expanding one, with more and more businesses and entrepreneurs clamoring for the useful and particular skill set of engineering and production. The world market for PCBs reached a stunning $60 billion back in 2012, averaging a 1.7% real growth from the previous year, and is expected to keep going strong for years to come.

What Is Circuit Board Prototyping?

Prototype printed circuit boards are used to experiment with different fabrication methods, as circuit boards can be used for a wide variety of different technologies. There are generally two methods used for assembling these, with the first one being Surface Mount and the other known as Through Hole Construction. Each board is designed for a highly specific use and needs to be the right size and material to fit in the required space. Board designers generally use specific software to create layouts for the final design. The spaces between these paths are highly particular and be as small as 0.04 of an inch.

What Type Of Circuit Boards Are There?

There are three major types of printed circuit boards, though are by no means the only ones available — single-sided, double-sided and multi-layered. Components on a printed circuit board are connected electrically by the two methods stated earlier, Surface Mount and Through Hole, and are widely considered to be both more accurate and quicker to realize. Rigid PCBs are produced with glass epoxy, a primary insulating substrate that can be combined with copper layers.

What Techniques Are Used To Make Them?

The three methods used to print the legend (which includes the component designators, switch settings and test points) are silk screening, liquid photo imaging and ink jet printing. There are also many soldering techniques used to attach components to PCBs — while high volume production normally calls for SMT placement machines and reflow ovens, skilled technicians are able to solder tiny parts by as small as 0.02 inches by 0.01 inches. Last, but certainly not least, laminates are created by curing cloth or paper under pressure to encourage a balanced and uniform thickness. With all the available resources and techniques available, the future of prototype PCB manufacturing is looking bright, indeed.

Leave a Reply