Students struggle with PCB design courses. PCB design is daunting and confusing for many new PCB designers. PCB design is highly technical and requires a lot of knowledge, research, trial-and and-error. It also demands hard work that can be discouraging especially for beginners.
There are a number of sites who provide training courses on PCB design to become a PCB designer. You can choose any site for PCB design courses as per your needs. But this short and free-of-cost course help students to easily understand insight working process and how it applies to practice.
With this free course, learn everything you need to know about PCB design in a fraction of the time. The course offers step-by-step instructions on PCB design from basic knowledge, schematic diagram to the final PCB output. Sounds great? Read on to find out!
What Is PCB Design Course?
Here comes introduction of PCB design/ electronic circuits course. It taught students about fundamentals and the basics of printed circuit board design. This PCB design resources teach students how to use CAD software and how to create a PCB layout using it.
This class enhance the knowledge skills of newbies to grow up in the electronics industry.
PCB Design Course Applications
PCBs provide physical protection and act as the connecting platform for different electronic components. They create a lot of opportunities that have a reasonably good growth status worldwide.
- Experienced engineers who need a system-level view of product design.
- Radio frequency design engineering
- PCB design/ electrical engineer
- Electromagnetic compatibility engineering
- Electronics communication engineers
Step by Step Process Of PCB Layout Design
Down below you will get in detail insights on PCB desgin. Lets Dig in deeper!
Introduction to PCB Design Softwares
You have access to different PCB design tools/software such as Ansys, EasyEDA, and EAGLE. You can use any of these software/ tools to design PCB as per your expertise. But one software/ tool that is popular in designing PCB is Altium.
Altium Designer is a cutting-edge PCB design tool. Altium is the product of Altium Limited. You can use Altium Designer on both old/ new computers and it’s clear that this tool is covering all of the bases.
Altium includes HDL design capture, signal integrity analysis, circuit simulation, FPGA based embedded system design and development. You can access the Altium tools to support 3D modeling and track length tuning.
Beyond all this, PCB designers can also customize the Altium Designer environment to fit your needs in other ways. Now we examine how to create a schematic diagram and generate files for a PCB design using Altium Designer.
Design Process In Altium Designer
· Scheme Design
Before creating the actual design of a product, you need to do the following manually. This include Preparation of scheme design, the diagram of circuit, and circuit plan basic module. PCB designer will apply a simple design as an example to indicate the PCB design process.
· Schematic Design Of Circuit
With a detailed schematic and fine PCB design, it can finally come to use! A schematic diagram is the foundation of PCB design, It correlates with the fact that any mistakes made in the schematic diagram could still show up on printed circuit boards. It’s always the first step to figuring out the accuracy of PCB design.
· Establishment Of Schematic Diagram
1. Open AND Run Altium Designer Through User Interface.
The first step in Altium designer is to click File and then click New, followed by Project. Before you can get started by giving this file a name and designating its engineering classes. Engineering file establishment is convenient because it allows PCB designer to administer a number of files in one location.
It includes PCB design files (.PCB), schematic diagram symbol files (.schlib), schematic diagram files (.SCH), and PCB packaging files (.pcblib). Once you’ve translated and made edits to your schematic diagram, a netlist will be created in PCB that is associated with the original schematic.
2. Establishing symbols for Schematic diagram
To create a layout in an engineering file, first, click File, then New. Pick Libraries, then Schematic Library; a list of schematics will appear. It is important to set up the required schematic symbols.
Throughout this circuit in Altium Designer, the LED, switch, and socket resides, and the symbols for these components have been maintained. If you want to manufacture a design that meets all your requirements, it’s best to build your own design library.
In reality, most engineers utilize the built-in library. When building a library, PCB designers have to find specifications of material that correspond to the design. Your design can enforce pin names and symbols like the anode and cathode on an LED, or a transistor’s three terminals.
3. Establishment Of Printed Circuit Board Packaging.
Click File, select New, and then Libraries. Select PCB libraries in the .pcblib format. Well-established PCB packaging is an important part of manufacturing PCBs. It is important to be mindful of the difference between the anode and cathode, as well as to recognize their individual symbols.
Apart from this, there are other important details that you should take into consideration. As an example, a lot of attention has to be placed on the QFP package because a back view is generally provided with specifications.
So, it’ll make things quicker when establishing the PC board package. On the other side, the established library is the opposite. The padding for this component and the size of the via is also according to the principle’s techniques.
In Altium, component via size is determined by the diameter of the pins while hole pad size is determined by the size of its via.
Let’s take the package of LED as an example. Assuming the LED has a diameter of 3mm, pin spacing of 2.54mm, and the thickness of the pins at 0.6mm. In printed circuit board Libraries’ interface:
a. Placement Of Pad
①. Pad Via diameters = pin diameter + 0.9mm + 0.3mm;
②. A circle is perfect for a pad. Its diameter is equal to diameter of pad via 0,9mm + 1.2mm = 2.1mm (typically one sideboard + 1.2mm while two sideboard + 1.0mm);
③. If PCB designer use SMT, they can place Pad at the top layer;
④. Coordinate placement: X (-1.27mm) and Y (0);
⑤. 1 pin explained as a pad ( 1 is as a Designator);
⑥. The second pad is placed in the same way, with a different coordinate placement than: X=1.27mm and Y=0. You can design a second pad by 2 pins with a designator of 2.
To create a convenient solution for manufacturing, you have to set the original point located in the center of the component. This is why coordinates 1.27 and -1.27 are respectively mentioned in the text above.
b. After Placing Pad The Silkscreen Is Drawn
c. Save And Name The File
4. Set up a connection between printed Circuit board pACKAGE AND SCHEMATIC SYMBOLS
You can connect the PCB package with the corresponding schematic symbols from the component attribute list. After setting up the PCB package libraries and schematic symbol libraries. you have to translate and edit the corresponding libraries too.
Altium Designer can automatically check the component information and detect any possible errors. If it finds any, it will prompt you with an error message.
5. Schematic Capture Or Drawing
To create a schematic drawing, you need to Click File>>New, then select the schematic inside the drop-down list. In the schematic interface, you can choose a range of formats for standard drawing like A4 drawing: depending on your project.
Once you’ve found the schematic symbols, simply insert them into the schematic interface. At last, ensure that pins are connected with electric power distribution lines to retain signal integrity. Once the schematics for a design have been completed, it can be checked for errors automatically.
On the schematic in Altium designer, right-click in the area with the completed diagram and put your cursor over compiled document ***.Schdoc” in the popup bar.
· Establishment Of PCB Design Files
In Altium, Go to your services file, then click File, New, and select PCB. After that input a filename and save it.
- You can adjust the size of the sheet frame for PCB to meet the needs of your system structure. Mechanical 1 is used for creating a frame for PCB, the size of the PCB in the example is 62x55mm.
- Lead component info. The component information or data you see in the netlist and schematic capture is stored in PCB. Click Design, then Update your PCB designs Document.
a) Once students make changes here, they will be validated and saved automatically.
b) If you want to manually you can do so by clicking Validate Changes and then Execute Changes.
- Setting Of Design Rules. In this section, you will make adjustments to the distances between lines and their widths.
- A good layout is half of the job. Students should remember layout rules that include:
a) One possible solution is to fix the location holes.
b) Avoid moving components until they are ready to place in the final configuration. This will help prevent them from being moved by other components and ruining their final location.
c) It is often best to layout from larger components to smaller ones.
- Routing. Routing is where you’ll connect your lines, vias, and components together on a PC board.
a) Interactive Routing: Click place and then interactive routing with a cursor that looks like a cross, which can be used to follow the route.
b) Auto Routing: Ensure that “Click Auto Route” is selected and then all of your routes will be automatically calculated.
- Add Copper And Teardrop Coating. If you’re looking to build more strength between your lead and pad or between your through-hole vias, adding a copper and teardrop coating is an excellent way of achieving this.
a) Generally, the coating should be applied to the PCB designs after routing.
b) Ordinarily, the copper coating is usually applied to ground lines to meet the increasing need for stable power and signal transmission due to their low impedance levels.
- Design Rule Check. Firstly tap Tools then Design Rule Check. Check the error log in your design report to see the types of errors you need to fix. Students can then modify their PCB design process accordingly, and run DRC until no more errors are found on the report.
Output Of Printed Circuit Board Files:
PCB design training courses present such output:
- Gerber file: It is provided to PCB manufacturers.
- Assembly diagram: You can use it as an instruction manual.
- Component coordinates: It allows the workshop to just mount the components automatically on the machine.
- BOM: It is offered to the supplier and production department.
- If necessary, other files in other types of formats can be created.
These days PCB design/fabrication require student and instructor to keep up pace through developing innovative design for future endeavors. The lessons taught on PCB design course will surely be helpful. Now you need to test yourself through practice.
We have discussed in detail process on PCB design. After this course you are able to design your PCB board with the least amount of error. In case if you have any queries or interested in learning more about PCB desgin feel free to reach out or comment below. We would love to help you.