Solution to PCB Layout Problems
Advanced computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software systems are now available for most PCB designers and manufacturers. These sophisticated and specialized tools have many advantages over traditional engineering methods listed as follows.
Cost savings- efficiency equates to savings in redesign or manufacturing errors.
Documentation- designed to generate detailed documentation about component use, error reports, design status, version control, and more.
Drag and drop design- place components easily and accurately, then have the software produce the connected traces. Easily move or add components.
Efficiency- using such specialized programs can reduce errors and shorten the time to market.
Error detection- check basic errors in real time to avoid errors detected by manufacturer which will cause delays.
Generate manufacturing files- quickly create Gerber files or other formats for manufacturers to ensure accurate manufacturing specifications including component placement, via specifications, traces, silkscreen, solder mask and drilling hole files.
Reuse- once the layout is approved and saved, it can be reused as a template for new PCB projects and used by other engineers.
Custom rules- many programs support creating custom rule sets that are specific to designers’ purposes. Creating these rules and storing them allow designers to share and enhance the functionality of the software.
Layout verification- tolerances, compatibility, component layout, etc., need to be verified during the design phase, as well as before making a PCB, or even a prototype.
Always take design for manufacture into account during PCB layout and design process. If it can’t be manufactured within the project budget or beyond the fabrication capability of your designated manufacturer, then even the most creative and most innovative PCB layout is of little value.