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Common mistakes while PCB designing and how to counter them?

As you all know, PCB is an electronic component that engineers and electronic enthusiasts use to connect components together in a single board. But this is a process that takes a lot of intricate details and precision, hence making it easy to make mistakes.

Let us check out a few common mistakes that are made while PCB designing and how to counter these.

1. Selection of incorrect design tools: Select the right design tool is the first and fundamental step for a successful PCB design. If you accidentally choose the wrong tool, it leads to problems such as time delay and increased manufacturing costs. There is numerous design application that you can choose from considering what works best for your design requirements.

You should always keep in mind that EDA software you select must be chosen only after you do proper homework and analysing the need.

2. Improper Copper Thickness: The tracks running in the PCB is finished off by a thin strip of copper; most accurately an ounce. The improper thickness may lead to an unsuccessful circuit and not do justice to the design. To prevent this from happening, it is always recommended that you select copper with a finished thickness of 1 to 2 ounces per square ft.

3. Wrong Placement of Capacitors: Decoupling capacitors are a crucial component to ensure stable voltage. The point to be noted while placing the capacitors is to ensure that they are present on the power supply rail and placed close to the pin which is in need of stable voltage. If they are not placed incorrectly or placed far from the pin that needs stable voltage, the decoupling capacitor will not work properly.

4. Acid Traps: One of the most important placement tips is that 90 degrees angle must be avoided. This is because it might lead to acid collecting on the corners and thereby ending up in etching problems and similar troubles. To avoid this problem, 45-degree angles are preferred. If not checked properly, it might lead to the formation of these angles and then acid traps. Hence, always check the design twice and these angles before forwarding it to the manufacturer.

5. Not adding Solder Pads: This might not seem like an unimportant task, but this simple thing might be the reason for the short circuit caused by the formation of solder bridges. It should be noted that design boards, especially large ones are covered with solder mask and must also be taken care of while applying them. In the boards that have tightly packed components, precision is king.

6. Incompetent Layout techniques and Overcomplicated Designs: In the current generation where the number of circuits and components on a PCB are countless, it is important for the designers to use smaller components so that they can be placed close to each other. If an incompetent layer technique is chosen, then the chances of connections going wrong are pretty high. Hence it is very important that you pick up the suitable board layout technique.

A common mistake made by designers is when they have too many components at hand and choose to place SMT on both sides of the assembly. Unless absolutely necessary, these should be avoided as it costs a lot more on the board as well as machines used.

7. Lack of Communication and Design Reviews: Stress, multitasking and fatigue a few factors that can adversely affect productivity while working. This leads to miscommunication and later consuming a lot more cost and time. It is advised to have proper communication and allow circuit designers to have time to design circuits with patience and deliver the product on time.

One of the most vital steps while designing PCB is design reviews of the features and functioning of PCB and interconnection of circuits. They are really effective in reducing errors and common mistakes.

These are some of the most common mistakes that are engineers encounter while PCB designing. Keeping note of these points will surely help you achieve a successful PCB in the foremost attempt itself. Else you might've to pay severely due to a small carelessness.

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2 comentarios

Anushka Gupta
Anushka Gupta
31 jul 2023

Thank you, Learn Electronics India, for this treasure trove of advice. It's evident that the author has hands-on experience and genuinely understands the challenges faced by PCB designers. I'll definitely be implementing these insights in my future projects.

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Short and effective! LearnElectronics India never disappoints.

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