PCB design is a process with plenty of mistakes which could happen whether you are a pro or an amateur playing around. People make changes and mistakes all the time even if they make PCBs for a living. Nevertheless, you should know about some of the most commonly occurring mistakes in PCB design. Knowing where they are likely to occur and what you can do to avoid them will make you a much better designer overall. Let’s take a look at some of the easiest mistakes you can make when designing a PCB.
#1 Choosing the Wrong Tools
Design software come packed with plenty of tools you can use to design your PCB and you need to make sure you are always using the right one. Using the wrong tool can result in a delay in manufacturing or major problems when it comes to testing. If you are relatively new to the world of PCB design, choosing the right tool for your needs can be a little difficult. Therefore, you need to make sure that you have the support you need to get it right the first time.
To do so, you need to make sure that you have a design software with electronic design automation or EDA capabilities. This is something which the PCB software Altium comes with – if you take a look at their products page and check out Altium Designer, you’ll get a feel for all of the features and can even give their free trial a go if you want to try before you buy.
#2 Bad Layout Techniques
You sometimes might be constrained by the size or shape of the board you have which might require you to get a little imaginative with the PCB layout. However, even the most seasoned of designers can make an error and end up with a design layout which doesn’t work. Most often, this is due to connections failing or components being improperly placed.
The best way to get around this is to focus on the design and try to improve it as much as you can. Keep an eye out for some of the techniques which you know are going to make the components fail and try to draw from everything you know about PCBs if you are designing one with an unfamiliar layout.
#3 Lack of Effective Communication
If you work professionally as a PCB designer then you need to make sure that you are on top of all communication between members of your team and your clients. Lazy communication can lead to a whole range of different problems. You might not know about changes to the deadline or even changes to the actual design that are needed.
Not knowing about these things could have you working full-tilt up against a deadline if there are significant changes to be made. This could result in more mistakes getting made and more issues than ever. Don’t take the risk, make sure that communication is kept clear and open as much as you can.
If you follow these tips, you are well on your way to making better PCBs. Pay attention to some of the most common mistakes you make and think about ways you can improve upon them. It won’t be long before you are designing even better PCBs than you can currently imagine.