Printed Circuit Boards:
Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) form the backbone of all major electronics.
PCB routes electrical signals through electronics, which satisfies the
device's electrical and mechanical circuit requirements. PCBs tell the
electricity where to go, bringing your electronics to life.
Before PCB design, circuit designers are recommended to get a tour of a PC board
shop and communicate with fabricators face to face over their PCB manufacturing
demands. It helps prevent designers making any unnecessary errors from getting
transmitted during the design stage. Hopefully it gives circuit designers and those
new to PCB Industry a clear view on how printed circuit boards are manufactured,
and avoid making those unnecessary errors.
PCB Manufacturing Process Steps:
Design and Output:
circuit boards should be rigorously compatible with, the designer creates a PCB layout
using PCB design software. Commonly-used PCB design software includes Altium Designer,
OrCAD, Pads, KiCad, Eagle etc. Once the PCB design is approved for production, designers
export the design into format their manufacturers support.
PCB Design Software:
Different PCB design software possibly calls for different Gerber file generation steps,
they all encode comprehensive vital information including copper tracking layers, drill
drawing, apertures, component notations and other options. All aspects of the PCB design
undergo checks at this point. The software performs oversight algorithms on the design
to ensure that no errors go undetected. Designers also examines the plan with regard to
elements relating to track width, board edge spacing, trace and hole spacing and hole size.
After a thorough examination, designers forward PCB file to PC Board Houses for production.
From File to Film:
PCB printing begins after designers output the PCB schematic files and manufacturers
conduct a DFM check. Manufacturers use a special printer called a plotter, which makes
photo films of the PCBs, to print circuit boards. Manufacturers will use the films to
image the PCBs. Although it's a laser printer, it isn't a standard laser jet printer.
Plotters use incredibly precise printing technology to provide a highly detailed
film of the PCB design.
The final product results in a plastic sheet with a photo negative of the PCB in
black ink. For the inner layers of PCB, black ink represents the conductive copper
parts of the PCB. The remaining clear portion of the image denotes the areas of
The outer layers follow the opposite pattern:
Clear for copper, but black refers to the area that'll be etched away. The plotter
automatically develops the film, and the film is securely stored to prevent any
Two-layer PCB needs four sheets:
Each layer of PCB and solder mask receives its own clear and black film sheet.
In total, a two-layer PCB needs four sheets, two for the layers and two for the
Registration Holes should be Punched:
To achieve perfect alignment of all films, registration holes should be punched
through all films. When the tiny calibrations of the table lead to an optimal match,
the hole is punched. The holes will fit into the registration pins in the next step
of the imaging process.
Printing the Inner layers:
The creation of films in previous step aims to map out a figure of copper path.
Now it's time to print the figure on the film onto a copper foil.
The basic form of PCB comprises a laminate board whose core material is epoxy
resin and glass fiber that are also called substrate material. Laminate serves
as an ideal body for receiving the copper that structures the PCB. Substrate
material provides a sturdy and dust-resistant starting point for the PCB.
Copper is pre-bonded on both sides. The process involves whittling away
the copper to reveal the design from the films.
Note: Provided here basic information. If you
want to start independently, first have practically experience, then have a clear
project document, get trade licenses from local authorities, then you will be
Wishing you all the best,