Introduction to Rapid PCB Prototyping
What Exactly is Rapid PCB Prototyping?
The idea behind rapid printed circuit board (PCB) prototyping is to develop sample circuit board assemblies which can be used as the models for manufacturing brand-new products. The reason that a prototype needs to be developed quickly and with maximum flexibility built in, is so that specific ideas can be implemented, tested, and then modified as needed. In most cases, rapid PCB prototyping can be completed in less than a week, and sometimes far less than that, depending on the complexity of the desired assembly, and the manufacturing objectives.
How it works
In the first step, computer-aided design (CAD) software uses specific layout data as its input to generate a number of circuit board prototypes. After having chosen the most desirable circuit board material for the project, fabrication of the actual PCB can begin. In the next phase, either a laser system or circuit board plotter is used to impose the layout of circuitry on the circuit board material.
For most applications, a circuit board plotter would be used, and for those involving RF applications or ultra-fine structures, a laser system would be a better choice. In this manner, circuit boards can be imprinted on either a single side or on both sides before testing begins. During testing, the conducting paths of the circuitry provide test results which indicate whether or not modifications are necessary to achieve the objectives of the PCB.
Why rapid PCB prototyping is so advantageous
In the past, electronic design and manufacturing wasn’t nearly so efficient, with PCB prototypes taking weeks to develop and test, and as everyone knows who’s associated with a business enterprise, time is money. Getting new ideas to market in the shortest time possible is pretty much the default mantra where electronics are concerned. Compared to the development life cycle of a decade or two ago, rapid PCB prototyping is lightning fast, and can literally be accomplished in as little as a few hours, depending on the extent of testing.
Another advantage is that even the most diverse and complicated circuit board designs are manageable through this kind of prototyping. Since the CAD software does all the real design work in super-fast time, more emphasis can be placed on the testing and modification phase to achieve the desired results, and fine-tune the design.
PCB assembly services
The most reliable and reputable company for Michigan PCB assembly services is ADCO Circuits of Rochester Hills, MI. Having more than three decades of experience in electronic manufacturing services, as well as the most stringent Quality Control standards in the industry, ADCO Circuits is the company to trust.