If you’re looking to buy or develop prototype printed circuit boards (pcbs), there are a few things you might want to know first. First off, make sure you know the pcb is what you want. Integrated circuits and hybrid circuits are closely related to the pcb. Once you know pcbs are what you want, here are some other things you should look for:
FR-4 glass epoxy is the insulate substrate that the majority of rigid PCBs are produced upon. On one or both sides of a FR-4 panel, a thin layer of copper foil is laminated. To produce printed circuit boards, circuitry interconnections are etched into copper layers. Complex circuits are typically produced in multiple layers.
When it comes to attaching components to your prototype pcb, there are a variety of soldering techniques available. For high volume production, SMT (surface mount technology) placement machines and bulk wave soldering or reflow ovens are often used. If you’re a little more skilled and have more time on your hands, you might consider personally soldering the tiny parts like the 0201 packages.
All prototype printed circuit boards contains at least one legend. This contains the component designators, switch settings, test points and other important indicators. There are three ways to print these legends. The first is silk screen printing. This was the initial established method. Liquid photo imaging is another method and is considered more accurate than screen printing. Lastly, ink jet printing is the newest method but quickly rising in popularity due to its ability to print variable data.
For multi-later pcbs, there are trace layers inside the board. To achieve this, you must laminate a stack of materials by apply pressure and heat over a period of time. When this is complete the total size can be up to four by eight feet in width and length.
There are many more important things to consider when producing prototype printed circuit boards but this is a start. It is best to know what you’re getting into beforehand because the more prepared you are, the better your pcb will be.