Printed Circuit Board Manufacturing for Beginners

The success of a printed circuit board depends completely on its design and manufacturing processes. While the manufacturing process can be quite intricate, there are some basic points that can help a novice to understand the basics of printed circuit board manufacturing

PCB Manufacturing Process The following steps can be immensely beneficial for any PCB manufacturing start-up, or a novice who is interested in ‘Do It Yourself’ PCB manufacturing. The PCB manufacturing process is basically divided into the design process and then the manufacturing process.

Design Process: The first step is getting a complete understanding of the client’s requirements. Once the points are clearly defined, then you can move onto the next steps.

Creating a Bill of Materials (BOM): Create a complete list of materials and components that will be used to construct the PCB.
Create a Concept Layout: Draw a basic schematic diagram of the PCB on paper. The schematic also list the various features, components, and functions of the PCB.
Scan the Schematic: The diagram is then scanned onto a computer. CAD software is then used to create the PCB layout. Once this has been completed, the manufacturing process begins.

Manufacturing Process Print the PCB Layout: Use a laser printer to print the designed PCB layout onto alight sensitive film. Ensure that the layout has marked areas for component placement.
Prepare the Board for Image Development: A rigid laminate board made from glass woven epoxy with copper on one side is used as the base of the PCB. The light sensitive film (also known as resist coating) is applied to the copper surface of the base.
Perform Image Development Process: The film is then exposed to UV light. The clear areas harden or polymerize, resulting in the creation of an image of the circuit pattern. The pattern is then covered with acid or chemicals to remove the resist coating that wasn’t hardened. This leaves only the artwork pattern on the base.
Conduct Etching Method: The unmasked copper that wasn’t covered by the film resist is also removed using chemicals. This is known as etching. Ferric chloride is an appropriate chemical for this process. Once this step has been performed, it is important that the PCB is washed in water to remove the ink and any remaining chemicals.
Drill the PCB: Once the PCB has been cleaned, use a drilling machine to create holes in the respective areas where the components will be placed.
Mount and Solder the Components: Place the components in their designated areas. Use solder paste to hold the components together. Use an oven to help solidify the paste and fasten the components properly.
Mount and Solder the Components: Place the components in their designated areas. Use solder paste to hold the components together. Use an oven to help solidify the paste and fasten the components properly.
Inspect the PCB: The PCB is then checked to ensure that there are any physical errors created during the manufacturing process. The soldering paste is check to see if any bridges are not created. Ensure that the vias and ball grid arrays are soldered. Use solder masks dams to preventing bridging between pads.

After these steps, the PCB is packaged and delivered to the client.

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