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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Great Designs and Prototypes Lead to the Best Circuit Board

Whether you will be using circuit boards for a small, personal project or you need them for a product you are releasing to the masses, you naturally want to be sure that you have a high-quality circuit board. Boards today are better than they’ve been at any time in the past. The technology used to create them, from the prototyping stage through final manufacturing, is at a high level. Everything begins with the design. Fortunately, the tools for creating a great design are better today, too, including software.

Use Software to Design the Circuit Boards

Modern software has helped to make it easier to design printed circuit boards. It has cut down on the amount of time it takes, not to mention the number of errors that would need to be fixed. Software, such as Advanced Circuits’ PCB Artist, will make it nice and easy to create just the board you need. The software will let you create your circuit boards virtually. You can add and remove components as needed and test them in the software to get a better sense of how they would work.

This is a nice benefit for designers. It allows for the creation of a range of interesting and new designs far faster than it would be with a breadboard. It’s possible to find problems and errors in the board even before it goes into prototyping. It becomes possible to save time and money, which is helpful for anyone whether working as a hobbyist or creating circuit boards for the latest and greatest electronic gadget.

If you want to have the best possible design for your circuit board, our PCB Artist software is an ideal solution. Even better, you will not have to pay anything for the software. It is available at no cost to those who need to use it. You can use it to create the files for your circuit boards, and then have them sent to us to be manufactured. We even provide a review of the files to ensure they are ready to be made. This cuts down on potential errors even further.

The software we offer is intuitive and easy to use. If you have any experience putting together circuits, even minimal experience, you should not have any trouble with it.

Always Use Good Design Protocols

One of the issues that some designers come to find when they are creating circuit boards is crowding. Boards today have the potential to do quite a bit. However, there is often the temptation — especially with new designers — to put too many components onto the PCB. While it might seem like a good idea to make the best use of space, too many components could be a problem. Typically, these problems will arise during the testing phase. Therefore, you will want to be sure that you do plenty of testing.

A better option is to think simpler. Consider what the circuit board needs to do and make sure it can do that with as few components as possible. It might mean needing an additional board or even redesigning the device. Still, finding the cleanest design possible tends to be the best option. It can reduce problems later.

Also, consider how the components are mounted on the board, along with your trace angles. It’s a good practice to use 45-degree trace angles. This can help to reduce the amount of overcrowding that you might have otherwise.

One of the main problems that can come from overcrowding a board is overheating. If there are too many components on the board trying to do too much, there is a good chance it will overheat. Even with the fans that might be in the device already, there is still a chance that it could overheat. It’s best to use the right design principles and protocols in the first place rather than trying to add more fans to keep things cool with your circuit boards.

Check Your Prototype

Once you believe that you have a great design, you will want to order a prototype. You should test this prototype (or several of them) in real-world situations with your device. See how they work in practice, not just in theory. This will give you a chance to see if there are any issues that weren’t discovered during design. It’s better to realize that you have a problem with overheating on your prototype before you order 5,000 units from the manufacturer.

If you notice there are issues, it’s time to head back to the drawing board and make some changes. However, don’t jump the gun and think that those changes were all you needed. It’s best to err on the side of caution and to continue with another prototype round. Test it again and put it through all of its paces to ensure it will work properly no matter what you put it through.

Choose a Quality Manufacturer

Ideally, you will have chosen a great company to make your prototypes that can also manufacture all of the circuit boards you need. This will be a better solution than trying to find two different companies. Fortunately, Advanced Circuits can provide you with what you need. You will be able to use the free software and take advantage of the engineering review. You can order some prototypes to see how it all works, and then you can place your main order.

You will be happy to know that we have some of the best and fastest service in this field. You can often get your orders within days of placing them. We strive to make it as easy as possible for you to get high-quality circuit boards quickly and easily, and at prices that you can afford. We work hard to ensure that you get the best possible service no matter the size of your order. To stress this, we don’t have an order minimum. Order as many or as few as you need. Get in touch to learn more.


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