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I'm wondering if anyone has any tips for efficiently and methodically designing perfboard layouts. I'm working under a deadline to transfer several solderless breadboard circuits to perfboards and it's going really slow. I realized that most of the time I spend building these circuits is spent racking my brain to figure out where to put components so that they stay out the each other's way, have enough space for all connections, and connect efficiently. My current method is little more than trying every possible solution until something works, and it seems like there has to be a better way (preferably one that doesn't hurt my brain so much). It's a puzzle with infinite solutions, but I just want to have an efficient and methodical way to get one of those solutions. Ideally, there would be some sort of surefire algorithm that could come up with a solution every time, but any tips to make the process simpler would be much appreciated.

Thanks.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Well...one way is to just use a protoboard that is laid out like a solderless breadboard so you have to do zero thinking. busboard.com/pcbbreadboards \$\endgroup\$
    – DKNguyen
    Jul 28 '21 at 5:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ Wifichicken: If it is any solace, such layout problems tend to be harder than what is called NP-hard, so, that kind of problem doesn't only hurt your brain. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 28 '21 at 8:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ Really not very worthwhile. If you're expending much effort thinking about placement, better do it without perfboard's constraints, by going straight to PCB. Even there, placement is well worth thinking hard about, but because the tools display ratsnests it's easier to visualise the connections. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 28 '21 at 13:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does this answer your question? I painted myself in a corner. How to layout? \$\endgroup\$
    – awjlogan
    Jul 30 '21 at 8:12
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I don't know any software that automatically does the allocation of components , like Proteus/Eagle does for PCB. They could exist but I am completely unaware. But there are some simulation software to do the simulation and confirm before actually building one. These boards generally take a lot of time ,so I prefer to build a PCB which is easier for me than Perfboards. One thing I felt when I made a perfboard was that going for a optimal design might be hard ,instead go for the easiest design to solder even though some area must be compromised.

Check this link for some softwares. Stripboard/veroboard/matrix board design software, URL (version: 2011-01-03): Stripboard/veroboard/matrix board design software

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There’s a really good article about next level perfboard layout at https://hackedfrompieces.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/tutorial-professional-perfboard/ The author lays everything out like a PCB and irons on a toner transfer ‘silkscreen’ and track layout.

I’m not sure if Vero/strip board is good for you, but just in case there’s another good article at https://www.nutsvolts.com/magazine/article/june2013_Dratwa on ‘The Lost Art Of Strip Board Prototyping’

Finally there’s a pretty good all round video of various protoboard techniques at https://youtu.be/J9Ig1Sxhe8Y. I’m sure not all of it will be relevant for you but may give you some ideas you can transfer to your project.

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