I've spent the past week or so working on my first circuit board project, and I'm wondering what resources are available online or otherwise for reviewing and checking my design. I want to check to make sure that the parts I've selected are suitable, that there are no better (cheaper, more efficient) alternatives, and that they are wired correctly. I'm a mechanical engineer, with very basic knowledge of electrical circuits, so the whole process is a learning experience. I've followed the data sheets to the best of my knowledge, but there's still a lot of potential for error.
I've sought quotes on Fiverr, but most come back offering to redesign the whole thing for several hundred dollars. Given that this is a private project and that it's not that large, I can run a few trial-and-error iterations for that price. Having said that, the component cost isn't insignificant with some components costings tens of dollars.
The project is fairly simple - it's a 4-axis stepper motor controller, driven by a Raspberry Pi Zero. I'm happy enough with the stepper driver portion of the circuit, but I've also had to incorporate 2x voltage regulators - one for 12 V, 5 A and one for 5 V, 1 A. Until now, I've never tried to design a voltage regulator, so I've followed the TI documentation as closely as I could understand it.
For anyone interested, here's the design:
- [02/08/23 - Updated to include feedback from user1850479.]
- [03/08/23 - Updated to include feedback from Jens. Added copper layer images - Top (Red) and Bottom (Blue).]
- [04/08/23 - Updated with inspiration from Jens' layout (Solid Areas). Corrected SW/EN Logic. Corrected VLDOIN trace and revised 12V Reg layout to suit. Added UART trace]
To clarify - this question is mostly about the process of error checking, and less about the specific project. However, I'll accept answers for either.