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Printed boards for prototypes

Printed boards for prototypes

Printed boards for prototypes

Any1 know what kind of equipment does one need to make a printed board , that is , a home-made prototype of some piece of equipment designed previously "on paper" and simulated in Matlab or a similar tool . In my case , I'm developing a circuit that is using a DSP processor , ROMs and RAMs....I have already opted to use the chips made by a german company...The only thing i dont know is how (or by what kind of equipment) to make a printed circuit board , so that i could present it to businesmen interested in investing in production of it...Thx in advance

RE: Printed boards for prototypes


   There are several ways to make your board.  First you must buy the tools and chemicals needed.  Radio Shack and most electronic component suppliers(such as the one you buy your chips from)would have the basic chemicals and tools.  The way most people make boards at home is to etch the patern using ferric chloride(etching solution).

First you buy the eppropriate copper clad board. Then you need to get the patern transfered to it. You can do this several ways. The first is to use stick on pads and lines from a kit of etch resist labels. Or you could just draw the patern with a felt tip permanent marker. Another way is to buy an ultruviolet kit to transfer it on. You proberably want it to look professional, and you if have it on computer you can buy some sheets of "Press-N-Peel" which you can print on a laser printer or Photocopier directly from your program.

Next you need to etch the board with the Ferric Chloride. Follow the directions carefully or you will need to scrap it and start over.

Another option it to find a company(there are several) that will make your board for you. You just send them the file from your PCB software via e-mail or whatever they prefer. They will do a professional job and you don't have the hassle of doing it yourself.

You should also be aware that just because your circuit works in simulation doesn't mean it will work when you finish it.   

I wish you good luck with your prototype and beyond. I am working on  prototype myself and the circuit is not quite working as planned.:)

RE: Printed boards for prototypes

Visit http://www.cadsoft.de and http://www.pcb-pool.com

Cadsoft offers a very good PCB-Design software called eagle at attractive cost level.The files generated by eagle are accepted by many manufacturers, at least in europe.

PCB-Pool is a company specialised on providing pcbs in low quantities by collecting orders from several customers. They arrange the different pcbs together and give them away for manufacture to a proffesional workshop

I used to manufacture my own pcbs in the way it is described by jarvis, but that was nearly twenty years ago at it was difficult even for simple circuits. For a design with a DSP you will at least need a double-sided, plated through board which cannot be manufactured at home.

RE: Printed boards for prototypes

EAGLE is a cost-effective SW for layout. Generates GERBER files, accepted by any PC maker.  

Do not make -- etch -- your own boards unless they are very simple.

Cheapest -- lower resolution -- photolithography :
Eggwhite -- Potassium dichromate -- Ammonia solution.
Expose, coat with priter's ink and asphalt powder, develop
with water and heat until fusing.



RE: Printed boards for prototypes

I disagree with nbucska.
If you decide to use eagle try to find a manufacturer who accepts the *.brd files generated by eagle (This is easy in Europe. I do not know, if this is a commonly used file-format elsewhere). This file contains every information necessary to manufacture the board. If GERBER-files are used a lot af additional information has to be exchanged and this may lead to errors.

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