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3 Common PCB Design Mistakes

Posted on 18st October, 2018 by Leo Lambert

As an integral part of all electronics, the world’s most popular technologies require sound PCB design. However, the process itself is sometimes anything but. Delicately intricate and complex, it’s not uncommon for mistakes to occur during PCB design. Since board reworks result in production delays, below are three common PCB mistakes to look out for in order to avoid functionality errors.

1.) Landing Patterns

While most PCB design software includes libraries of common electrical components, their correlating schematic symbols, and landing patterns, some boards will require the designer to draw them manually. Where errors can occur at less than half a millimeter, engineers must be hypercritical to ensure proper spacing between pads. Mistakes made in this stage of production will make soldering difficult or impossible. The necessary rework will result in costly delays.

2.) Using Blind/Buried Vias

In a marketplace that is now accustomed to IoT enabled devices, increasingly small products continue to make the biggest impact. When smaller devices require smaller PCBs, many engineers opt to utilize blind and buried vias to decrease the board’s footprint to connect internal and external layers. While effective in compacting the PCB, vias reduce routing space and can become complicated as more are added, rendering some boards costly and not manufacturable.

3.) Trace Width

To keep board size small and compact, engineers aim to keep traces as narrow as functionally possible. Made difficult by the many variables involved in determining PCB trace width, it’s essential to have a thorough understanding of how many milliamps will be required. In most cases, the minimum width requirement will not suffice. We recommend using a width calculator to determine the appropriate thickness and ensure design accuracy.

Recognizing these mistakes before they affect the overall functionality of your board is a great way to avoid costly production delays. A better way to succeed in electronics manufacturing and produce high quality PCBs is to contact the professionals at EPTAC and enroll in a PCB designer course today.


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