A printed circuit board, or PCB, is easier to design than you think. Even if you know very little about electronics, there are free e-books and websites that go into detail about this skill, and their step-by-step instructions make the task uncomplicated and easy to understand. Creating your own PCB board is often called PCB design, so if you’ve ever been asked, what is PCB design, now you know!
Getting Started Is Simple
To get started creating your own PCB board, all you have to do is draw the pads, holes, and wires for your circuit; and etch the design yourself or send it to a manufacturer. If it sounds a little too simple, you’re basically right. If you already know someone who’s designed a PCB board and was successful, why not copy the same design? After all, you know what they say about not reinventing the wheel!
If you do decide to design the board yourself, not to worry because there are free resources that will help you get started, including e-books and websites. Many people start with a basic lighting LED design, which essentially involves just transistors and a relay, or even create their own design. It’s really up to you how you want to do it, but once you make your decision, the next few steps are simple.
Drawing the Schematics and More
The best part about this step is that there is now software specifically designed to create and design PCB boards, and many of them are free. These software packages take you through each step of the process and even have self-checking tools to make sure you’re doing everything correctly. Using whatever circuit diagram you’ve chosen to work with, your next step is to draw the schematics. Once you think you’ve finished, just run the electrical rules checker, or ERC, to make sure no serious errors have been made.
Now it’s time to draw your board, which is much simpler than you think. You’ll have to transfer your schematic diagram to a drawing of the printed circuit board, but the software will help you do this.
The software compares what you’re drawing to the schematics file, which ensures you’re making the same connections. When you’re sure everything is right, simply use the design rules checker, or DRC, to look for mistakes you may have made. Naturally, this is a very important step of the process.
What is PCB design? It is creating your own PCB board, either from an already-proven design or one you’ve created yourself. Between free e-books, websites, and software programs, the task doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. The skill of designing a PCB board is very valuable, especially for people who love to create their own electronic devices so they can feel like their devices are personalized to meet their needs.
Just remember to decide which circuit you want to build before you start drawing wires and other things, because taking it one step at a time increases the odds of being successful in the end.