So, you are ready to take the plunge into the world of PCB design? Wait right there, it might not be as simple as you think! PCB design is a complicated process and everyone who wants to dive in and take a look needs to know a few things before they load up their design software for the first time. Here are some of the things we think you should know before you try PCB design.
There’s a Right Way – and a Wrong Way
When it comes to a circuit board, it is either going to work, or it won’t. Everything needs to be placed in certain ways otherwise it simply might not work. One of the first things you should learn is the strategy behind PCB layout, particularly if your background knowledge about circuits is not the best. Look to expert sites such as Altium who have a number of useful guides that will help you in each area. Nipping this in the bud early on will give you a hand later when you feel ready to tackle more complicated designs.
Everyone Designs Differently
If you are learning PCB design from a teacher, don’t be afraid to start to feel around for your own style and flair. Think about some of the great artists of the world. A Rembrandt is very different from a Picasso, wouldn’t you agree? The same logic can be applied to PCBs. Every designer is going to have their own little signatures which they incorporate on their boards and you should not be afraid to find your own.
It Can Teach You Valuable Skills
There is a lot more to PCB design than just the technical aspects. It challenges you creatively, especially when you have to work with an unusual board or components, and it can do wonders for your patience and problem-solving skills while you try to smooth out complications. Even if you keep PCB design as nothing more than a hobby, you may still learn some transferable skills to help you in your professional life.
The Manufacturer is Important
Choose your manufacturer wisely. There is nothing worse than putting all that time and effort into the perfect PCB only to receive a sub-standard board back. Ask for recommendations from friends and check out reviews and message boards so you know that you are choosing the best manufacturer who can bring your project to life.
There is a Community Waiting to Help You Improve
From forums to magazines to YouTube channels, if you are struggling with your current project then there is a whole range of different people you can turn to. Don’t be afraid to post your queries and someone may be able to help you out.
You never know, a problem which has been bamboozling you may be perfectly solvable to someone else. You could even make some brand-new friends or new contacts for manufacturing. If you are searching for the perfect hobby with a thriving online community and the chance to test your creativity, you should definitely dive into the world of PCB design! Hopefully, these 5 tips will have given you some insight into what you can expect!
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Hey, I’m Rory and I am the ultimate accidental geek.
Born in London I was never interested in technologies until I started a part-time job at Apple and now I can’t get enough. Join me as a help you navigate the world of tech with some of my fellow geeks.