Top 10 Design Tips for a Working PCB Prototype 3
We all want our PCB prototypes to get done fast and cheap, but sometimes this will not happen. After all, when you start a new design and focus all your time on the circuit design or component selection, little time is left for your PCB layout. But during PCB manufacturing, the layout process is the most important. So what’s the key to design a PCB that gets you a working prototype back right the first time? We have concluded 10 design tips below for your reference, and the last 3 of them are discussed in this article.
h.Leave gap between copper plane and board edge
Whenever designing a PCB board, it is always recommended to leave a small amount of clearance between the board edge and any copper plane or trace. The last thing you will do is to have your PCB cut off from the panel during the manufacturing process and your copper should be trimmed as well. If this happens, the exposed copper will short your circuit board.
Before designing, set some design rules in your DRC to define copper-to-edge or plane-to-edge clearance. It is better to keep a clearance of at least 50 mils, besides, you should always check with your manufacturers ahead of time to see what clearance requirements they suggest.
i.Avoid heat issues
If you had a circuit whose performance decreased over time, then you know how important the thermal is in a manufactured product. To help check your heating problem, always know which components on your board will pump out the most heat. You can find this information in any datasheet by looking for the thermal resistance ratings and their accompanying guidelines.
j.Double check acute angles for traces
Most designers try best to avoid making acute angles in traces, but they can still slip through the cracks, especially when two traces combine. During PCB etching, the existence of acute angles can cause the accumulation of acid material which will consume copper and damage the circuit.
When your routing process is complete, always check all traces, especially the segments where two traces nay connect, to see if there are any acute angles. Besides, it is better to choose 45 degree trace angles instead of 90 during your routing process.
Take time to incorporate these 10 design tips into your own PCB design workflow, then you can get your prototypes fast and cheap without wasting any money in the process.