When you’re designing a tech product that includes a PCB (printed circuit board), satisfying consumers usually means your product will need a fast board that performs without glitches or unexpected outcomes. Getting the design of your prototype’s PCB right can be a challenge, especially if your product is unique or complex. Fortunately, you can take the following steps to make sure the design and manufacturing process goes smoothly.
Use the Best Software
Good PCB software can be costly and hard to use. Full-featured computer-aided design packages can cost thousands, but some circuit board makers offer free software to help attract your business. Choose intuitive software with a good reputation that allows for multiple layers, can output a range of file types and offers design rule checking. Make sure your computer has the memory and speed necessary to run complex software.
Streamline the Design
The fastest printed circuit boards are uncluttered and built around good design principles that allow you to create functions without unnecessary complexity. Get the best results by creating a board that isn’t crowded. Cramming too many functions onto a board increases the chances of overheating and malfunction. Consider simplifying the device or using multiple printed circuit boards if several unrelated functions are necessary.
Test Your Prototype
Virtual checks don’t find all problems, though they will find many. Carefully testing a prototype can find issues you can’t discover any other way. Check for overheating, triggering problems and real-world use and abuse situations that could impact PCB function. If you used the right software and kept things simple, your prototype may work perfectly. When you find significant flaws in a prototype, a second may be necessary after some retooling.
Choose the Right Maker
If your product is important enough to bring to the marketplace, it deserves to be made by an experienced, established manufacturing company. Instead of choosing a broker that arranges for foreign manufacturing of your PCB, consider working with a company that makes boards in the United States. This means the maker is in control of every step of manufacturing, which can provide you faster delivery and reduce the chances of impact from supply chain disruptions.
A simple, carefully designed, well-tested PCB prototype is key to a tech product that performs its function properly and meets consumer expectations. While many companies rush products with inferior boards and little testing to market, your company’s devices will be better and faster when you focus on smart PCB design and manufacturing practices. You can talk to a PCB manufacturer, like Advanced Circuits, about your options.