The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

Questions tagged [pcb-fabrication]

About the manufacturing of PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards).

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
111
votes
8answers
36k views

Best One-Off DIY PCB Creation Technique

I have finally built up a lab to design electronics in. I have quite a few designs I would like to test. I have tried the printer toner/iron technique a few times but have found that I cannot create ...
84
votes
6answers
6k views

Looking for circuit board material that can be dissolved

We are working on a product where the entire device needs to be dissolved in liquid after the device has operated and the device is no longer usable or desired. This is a down-hole application. The ...
58
votes
6answers
31k views

What is Copper Thieving and why use it?

On many boards I've seen, there are little copper dots used for the purpose of "Copper Thieving". They're small round copper dots connected to nothing and arranged in an array. Supposedly they're for ...
57
votes
16answers
73k views

How do you cut PCB?

I just spent about 20 minutes trying to cut through a PCB with a hacksaw. These things are really tough. What is the correct tool to cut PCB material, and get a nice straight line? I saw something ...
37
votes
2answers
5k views

What did the manufacturer mean by asking if an angle should be made for the fingers?

I sent in Gerber files designed by someone else to PCBWay. It's a cartridge for a Commodore 64. They responded today with this question, and I'm not 100% sure what they are asking. Ref attached ...
36
votes
8answers
6k views

How to prototype?

How is prototyping done in a professional EE environment? Do you do your prototypes on breadboards, on copper clad boards, Manhattan style, or do you just draw schematics, order PCBs made and ...
28
votes
6answers
4k views

Is it better to route a pad to a trace, or a trace through a pad?

When routing a PCB, is it better to route a trace through a pad as in 1 below, or to route a pad to a trace as shown in ...
27
votes
6answers
16k views

High PCB copper thickness: What are the pitfalls?

We need to carry high currents on a PCB (~30Amps sustained), so we are likely to order our PCBs with high copper thickness. So far we've only used 35 microns (1 oz) in our designs, so 'high thickness' ...
25
votes
6answers
9k views

Have I placed too much on this PCB layout?

I am doing my first PCB layout (using Altium) and have finally gotten past the auto-router stage. The result is a mess and there are some missing nets and design rule violations. Have I packed too ...
25
votes
9answers
2k views

What PCB fabrication methods for *prototypes* are used by professional engineering departments today?

Ten years ago, I worked at a small engineering department within Philips Semiconductors that prototyped all designs before getting them professionally fabricated outside. The method was pretty ...
24
votes
1answer
10k views

Why is “silkscreen” called that way?

Why is the set of white labels on a PCB called the "silkscreen"?
22
votes
4answers
6k views

Different PCB color (is it a different material?)

I have acquired this PCB. The right side of the PCB handles high voltage AC power (250 V maximum,) while the left side handles low DC voltages (24 V maximum.) They are separated, not ...
21
votes
2answers
24k views

Mounting hole on a PCB

Here is a picture of 3 mounting holes on three different PCBs. The red one is what I prepared on Eagle CAD and used "hole" button on the left side menu , something like this: Do I need to use "...
21
votes
3answers
6k views

How are multi-layer PCBs made?

I know how normal PCBs are etched, but every time I grab a magnifying glass and examine the edge of a multi-layer board I'm astounded by the precision that must be required during production. On top ...
20
votes
6answers
80k views

Standard via sizes?

Is there a standard for via sizes, or can you make them any size you want? (I'm going to be using traditional PCB houses to manufacture my PCB's.)
19
votes
4answers
5k views

Why are vias bad?

I am designing a PCB with EAGLE and saw that it was trying to limit the amount of vias through the PCB. Why do you want less vias? Why are they bad? Do they bring extra manufacturing cost or is it OK ...
19
votes
6answers
5k views

Is it safe to design board at fab houses minimum trace width?

I am working on my first board to have professionally fabricated. Right now I am planning on using seeed studio mainly because they are the cheapest I have found. 10 5cmx5cm boards for $10 is pretty ...
18
votes
13answers
5k views

Recommended PCB houses / Assemblers [closed]

Can anyone recommend a good place to go making PCB's? I'm particularly interested in places that also offer assembly, because this makes SMD parts an option. GoldPhoenix is an option, but not the ...
17
votes
7answers
4k views

My PCB manufacturer only requires eagle board file, and not a gerber file is it fine to go about getting the board fabricated with him? [closed]

It's my first time getting a PCB manufactured. My manufacturer only requires eagle board file, but not a Gerber file. Is it fine to go about getting the board fabricated with them? Or should I be ...
16
votes
4answers
9k views

Feasibility of PCB edge plating?

How feasible is it to edge plate a PCB or at least a portion of one? I've seen it done but as I understand the outer edge is only cut after plating at most fab houses. Is this something that's ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do some PCBs have exposed plated perimeters?

I've seen a number of PCBs, largely high speed and RF boards, that have exposed copper, either at the perimeter of the entire board, or in various sections, often with stitching vias. I've never ...
16
votes
1answer
20k views

Difference between drill layer, hole layer, and milling layer in Eagle

What is the difference between the drill layer (44), the hole layer (45), and the milling layer (46) in Eagle PCB?
15
votes
5answers
6k views

Anything bad to place a via on a pad?

Once I mistakenly placed a via on 0603 pad and didn't have any problem on soldering. I am routing another board now and I could save some space by placing some vias (0.3mm) on a 0603 pad. I wonder if ...
15
votes
3answers
10k views

BGA escape via dimensions at 0.8mm pitch?

Are there any kinds of standards or common practice dimensions which define what BGA escape vias and routing trace/space should look like at 0.8mm pitch? If not, what's the most economical set of ...
14
votes
1answer
4k views

Why order a laser stencil?

Quick two part question on PCB manufacturing. I am looking to order a prototype PCB and all the manufactures I've gotten a quote from all offer to include a Laser stencil, some charge for the stencil ...
14
votes
2answers
21k views

How to chose via diameter and drill size based on trace width

I am designing a two layer board, the problem is I do not know how to select via diameter and drill size, as well as outer and inner diameters. In my circuit I use 056, 012 and 006 mil traces: I ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Using a via to strengthen surface mount connector on or near pad

I am trying to design a board that has a surface mount connector. I was shown a picture of an example board that has vias on the pads of the connector. I don't believe the via is for connecting to a ...
13
votes
5answers
15k views

Filling vias and holes on custom pcb

I've made my first ever pcb myself and the etching and drilling all look pretty good at this point. I am still not sure, however, what to do about the vias. I have about 15 holes that I need to make ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Blasting copper off a substrate with a 808nm laser diode- viability

So, I'm working on a way to produce PCBs for small jobs, and I thought that lasers might be a good way to go, as etching seems to be very difficult from small traces, needed for many microcontrollers. ...
13
votes
1answer
9k views

How to select FR-4 board thickness

The PCB manufacturing house that I use says the board thickness between 0.4mm and 1.6mm are the same cost (I have 2 layer design). What is the benefit of having thinner or thicker board thickness for ...
12
votes
7answers
1k views

Custom PCBs… what can go wrong?

I'm anxiously awaiting the delivery of my second set of custom designed PCBs from BatchPCB. The first board I designed was pretty darn simple and didn't have any problems. This second set includes a ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

PCB fabrication vs PCB assembly

What is the difference between PCB fabrication and assembly? Some companies like Golden Phoenix list that based on the size of PCB, it outputs a quote. Mine was 2.1 x 1.6 inch. It outputted 29 pieces ...
12
votes
4answers
4k views

What standard PCB notes should I use?

I have seen wide varieties at previous companies, from too few to too many with boilerplate, old revisions of standards, etc. Can you suggest a middle of the road list? This is for regular PCB ...
11
votes
12answers
9k views

Moderately priced 6-layer PCB fab?

I have a board I'm working on with a coworker; we are debating whether to go 4-layer or 6-layer board, and would like to use 6-layer but haven't found a reasonably priced fab house. Is there any ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

My PCBs etch all bad! (sodium persulfate)

I've recently started having problems with etching my PCBs. I use a permanent marker to do the traces and etch them in a stainless steel cup, heated with a tea light (small candle.) The PCBs come ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

When are fiducials needed?

On a single-layer board with no through-hole and no machine placed components, is there any need for fiducials (for example to route the board outline)? Board house has asked for permission to add ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Is 3D printing of PCBs possible?

I just saw this picture about PCB 3D printing on a website, can it work in real life? It's would be so cool, if it could useful in the real life.
11
votes
7answers
5k views

An easy method to align a two layer PCB

When I prepare a double layer DIY PCB using Press-n-Peel I have a problem aligning the bottom and top layer so that the holes and vias match on the copper between layers. Can you suggest any easy ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

PCB, pads with holes but with different nets on top and bottom sides

I need pads with holes in by PCB, but the top and bottom side of the pads need to have different nets i.e. the top and bottom sides must be isolated. Here is the picture Is this possible to fabricate ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Magnetic power connectors (ie. “dots”) for slim power supply connection

This may be more of a mechanical question, but does anyone know what these magnetic power connectors are called? You see these on Fitbits and other IoT devices. I'm building an IoT board, that has ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Flexible-PCBs: what data is needed for manufacturers?

Can someone explain more about how you generate data for flexible or flexi-rigid PCBs for manufacture? Do I just make more layers and export more gerber files? Is there anything I need to keep in mind ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

How paint an electronic circuit?

I want to make a electronic circuit more hidden. So, I want to make it all black. The easy way is get a spray ink and use it. But will it work? Which ink or paint I can use?
10
votes
5answers
3k views

PCB routing T joint alternative

Whenever I come across this situation: I feel a strong urge to make a T - joint like this: However 90 degrees are usually frowned upon. As such what's a better alternative to this T-joint? If I ...
10
votes
6answers
4k views

How much does it cost to etch your own PCBs?

I am at the point that my projects are becoming limited by the space on my breadboard. Rather than buying more, I have decided to look into PCB fabrication. My question is this: is it cheaper to make ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

What is this adhesive tape that comes in some parts?

I think this is a Mylar tape, but why they come with it? I guess its so to make the Pick and Place machine job easier? And why is so common to find them holding cables inside some laptops? Just ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the purpose of the brown pads on this PCB?

This PCB has wire connections to external coils that are soldered to pads on the board. Each of the connections has a patch of brown material carefully placed in between the two pads. What is the ...
10
votes
2answers
603 views

Actual Assembly Yields — 0402 vs. 0201 / 01005

I've been designing boards mainly using 0402s. I can hand solder 0402s all day with a microscope and some tweezers. Our passive supplier (a random Chinese passive company) has told us to get ready ...
10
votes
4answers
9k views

How do I get an Excellon Drill file with 2.4 precision and trailing zero suppression out of EAGLE?

I'm trying to output CAM data from EAGLE 6.2.0 to get some PCBs made at Advanced Circuits. Their preferred NC drill format (particularly the one used by their online FreeDFM tool) is Excellon ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a way to make a drill hole only up to half depth of the PCB in Eagle?

I need to solder a through hole ZigBee as though it were an SMD part. The other side of the board is a touch pad so there should not be any solder or components on it. I think it is better if I can ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

Air gap on isolation space

The below photo belongs to a PSU. I wonder what was the reason of placing air gaps on the 8 mm isolation. Is it to improve the isolation or provide a thermal relief (although there is no component ...