Advanced Circuits, Inc. (ACI)

As experts in the manufacture and assembly of printed circuit boards, we work to make our blog a helpful resource on PCB topics and the industries that we work with, including automotive, consumer electronics, aerospace and many more. Here you'll find insights into PCB design, tech trends, assembly issues, and trending topics in the general news media as they relate to printed circuit board technology.

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Best Tips for Creating Quality Circuit Boards

Do you need to create circuit boards for a project? Perhaps you are building a new electronic device to sell that needs to have specialized PCBs. Maybe you are creating a printed circuit board for a personal project or an experiment that you want to try. There are countless reasons that someone might be trying to create a circuit board, but they all have one thing in common. Everyone wants to make sure that their design works before they have it manufactured. This is true whether they are going to have thousands manufactured or just one.

Have a Goal in Mind

One of the mistakes that some novice designers make is only having a basic understanding of what it is that they truly want to create. You need to have an overall goal in mind for the board. You need to know what it must do, and you need to have an idea of how to ensure that your circuit board is as efficient as possible. Once you know what you want the board to do and you have an idea of how it should be created, you can move on to the design phase. It’s important that you do not skip this first step.

Use High-Quality Software

One of the most important aspects of creating circuit boards today is choosing the right software to get the job done. At Advanced Circuits, we offer software called PCB Artist, which is entirely free and unlimited. It provides a range of benefits, including Gerber format files, integrated schematics, a design rule and check report, help files, a library manager with more than 500,000 parts, and more. You can even use the software to create a design that is up to 28 layers.

The software will help to make sure that you are creating a design that works. However, you will also want to be sure that the design is fully optimized, not just operational.

Optimize the Design

It is important to optimize at every level, starting with the board size. Consider what you need the board to do and determine how large it needs to be to include the necessary components.  You also want to optimize the layer design and the via selection. Ideally, you will be able to create the smallest possible board for each project. This allows the device itself to be smaller, which is the goal for so many different types of electronics today.

One of the mistakes that many make is trying to be more complex than they need to be with the design. Generally, it is better to have a simple design that works well than a complex design that may not be as efficient as you had hoped. Always look for simplicity and efficiency with your designs. The end product will be better off for it.

Consider the Materials

You should also consider the materials that are being used in the construction of the circuit board. If you want to have quality devices, you do not want to skimp on the quality of the materials you are using. This means you should always make sure that you are working with a high-quality manufacturer that provides great materials and great construction of your circuit boards.

Testing the Design in Software

Once you have a design that you are happy with, you still want to make sure it works before you move on to the next step. The first part of testing is to check the Gerber files with a viewer. Depending on the software used to create the circuit board, there might also be a testing feature that you can use. In addition, when you work with Advanced Circuits, there is a free review before the project moves into manufacturing. This helps to ensure that you are getting a product that works. However, there is another step you can take to ensure it truly is ready for full manufacturing, as noted below.

Consider Getting a Prototype

Even though you are sure the circuit board will work, you may want to play it safe and get a prototype sent out to you before placing a large order. This can be a smart way to ensure that everything works as you intended. It allows you to see how the board works in practice, and you may find that you could make a few more adjustments to improve the board further. It’s better to know this with a prototype rather than when you have a shipment of several thousand boards on your doorstep.

Work with Advanced Circuits

Even if you have a great design in mind, you will not be able to execute your vision unless you are working with an excellent partner throughout the process. Advanced Circuits can provide you with the help you need from start to finish, no matter how simple or complex your project might be. As stated previously, we offer PCB Artist, which is software that will make it easy for you to create your design and to make sure it works before moving forward. You can contact us to get a quote instantly, and you can get in touch if you have questions.

We pride ourselves on our commitment to our customers. We do not have a minimum number of boards that you need to order, so it will be possible to get exactly what you need. Maybe you only need to have one or a handful of circuit boards for prototypes of a personal project. Maybe you need to have thousands of boards. We can help, and we can provide you with very fast turnaround time.

If you are creating a circuit board today, be sure to work with only the very best. As you can see, Advanced Circuits strives to make the entire process as simple as possible from start to finish. From software to create the circuit board to testing options and great customer service, you can be sure you are getting nothing but the best when you choose to work with us. We’ve maintained our reputation in the field for a reason.


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