PCB Design and Fabrication
Stepping into PCB prototyping from breadboard prototyping gives beginners lots of experience about the understanding of electronics prototyping. PCB design and fabrication is as important as designing the actual circuit. PCB design contains careful selection of settings and measurements.
Breadboards and other prototyping technologies use loose contact wires and are free to exchange components at any time. This makes it easier to correct errors in the connection and replace malfunction components. But PCB design and fabrication has limited freedom when it comes to correction errors after manufacturing because components are permanently soldered.
Before designing the PCB, designer should consider the necessary calculations and practical problems that may interfere with circuit functionality. The trace lines must have sufficient space and width to conduct signals without causing any interference and loss. In the case of power electronics projects, it is necessary to calculate the current carrying capacity and trace resistance to make the design efficient.
To get a perfect product, PCB design and fabrication experienced several attempts. If beginners want to design and fabricate the PCB by themselves, it is recommended to follow the beginner tutorial.
A big problem may occur when fabricate PCB at home is that the residue may cause interference and destroy the signal. Incorrect fabrication and drilling can cause the entire PCB to be discarded, which is a waste of resources and money.
Most preferred method is through photo transfer of dry film clad board. This method can produce higher efficiency with sharper edges and cleaner surfaces. While the heat transfer method can lead to rough and distorted trace edge, which will damage the signal and cause inefficiency.