pcb prototype

What is PCB Prototype?

A printed circuit board (PCB) prototype is an early stage of a product’s development that’s designed to test its design ideas. Although most of these are made to test the basic functionality of a product, engineers also require functional PCBs to check the overall functionality of a design. Throughout a project, the design teams use different types of PCBs to test different aspects of a design.

PCB prototype

Working Prototype:These are functional boards that contain all of the features and functions of the final product. They help designers identify potential problems and weaknesses in their designs, but they rarely represent the final product.

The Conception proofing Prototypes:  These are prototype PCBs that replicate the functions of a standard PCB without the need for additional equipment. They show viability.

Visual Models: Models provide a visual representation of the various components of a printed circuit board (PCB) design. They can also help engineers review and communicate the design quickly and easily.

Functional Prototype: Similar to the final product.

The design process for a specific system or application begins with gathering information about the requirements of the project. In this stage, engineers explore the possibility of developing hardware that meets these specifications. After the experimental design has been validated, it will be transferred to the product development stage.

The goal of a product design is to find a way to meet the specifications of the user while being as accurate and efficient as possible. This process can be done in a couple of iterations.

PCB prototype

Our capabilties of pcb prototype

Contents  Fabricating Capabilities
Quality Grade Standard IPC 1
Number of Layers 1 – 8layers
Order Quantity 5pcs – 100pcs
Build Time 2 – 7 days
Material FR-4 Standard Tg 140°C
Min PCB Size 6*6mm 
Max PCB Size 500*500mm
Board Thickness Tolerance ±0.1mm – ±10% of thickness of board
Board Thickness 0.4mm – 2.0mm
Board size tolerance ±0.1mm – ±0.3mm
Inner Layer Copper Weight 0.5oz – 1.0oz
Copper Weight 1.0oz – 2.0oz
Copper Thickness Tolerance +0μm +20μm
Min Tracing/Spacing 5mil/6mil (copper weight: 1oz)
8mil/8mil (copper weight: 2oz)
Solder Mask Color White, Blue, Black, Red, Yellow,Green, 
Solder Mask Sides As per the file
Silkscreen Color Black,White
Silkscreen Sides As per the file
Surface Finish ENIG – Electroless Nickle/Immersion Gold – RoHS
HASL – Hot Air Solder Leveling
Lead Free HASL – RoHS
Min Width of Cutout (NPTH) 0.8mm
Min Drilling Hole Diameter 8mil
Min Annular Ring 5mil
Min Width of Slot Hole (PTH) 0.6mm
NPTH Hole Size Tolerance ±.002″ (±0.05mm)
PTH Hole Size Tolerance ±.003″ (±0.08mm) – ±.006″ (±0.15mm)
SM Tolerance (LPI) .003″ (0.075mm)
Surface/Hole Plating Thickness 20μm  – 30μm 
Aspect Ratio 10:1 (board thickness: hole size)
Test 10V – 250V, testing fixture OR flying probe

PCB prototype   2 (18)

Why you need to make a PCB prototype?

Before you start a production run, make sure that your assembled PCB is working properly. Since it’s an integral part of electronic devices, failure or even a complete failure can cost you a lot of money. Having a well-designed and functional PCB can help minimize these types of issues.

Even though your designers are carefully monitoring the project, small errors and invisible problems can still threaten the functionality of the final product. Usually, engineers use a prototype of a PCB during the design phase to test the various functions of a device.

Usually, engineers order multiple prototype runs to test different aspects of a device before moving on to more complex designs. Through the process, they can discover potential issues that require correction early in the design process, which can be very cost-effective.

Although it’s tempting to skip the prototype step, it’s important to note that this process is very important to the process of PCB Manufacturing. One of the main advantages of this step is that it allows engineers to quickly identify potential issues and improve the design of their products. Although true innovation can always lead to failure, building a prototype allows you to avoid costly mistakes and focus on the ones that work.

Having a prototype allows engineers to quickly identify potential issues and improve the design of their products. Even though a device’s design will likely have unforeseen or foreseen problems, having a prototype allows them to tackle these issues and come up with a solution that can be applied to the final product.

Having a prototype is also a great way to demonstrate the viability of your design. It can help investors feel more comfortable supporting your project. Having a working prototype can also help engineers get a patent for their product. Having a working prototype can make it easier for them to pursue this type of patent.

Before you start working on a printed circuit board, it’s important that you go through the prototype stage. This step is the most important part of the design process to ensure that the product will be useful and will be able to meet the needs of your customers.

PCB prototype

PCB Prototype benefits

Throughout the design process, a prototype is used to test the functionality of a solution against various changes. It’s also a good idea to use it before a production run to ensure that the solution is working properly.

Although it seems like a lot of steps and costs are involved in the design process, prototypes serve an important role. They allow your designers and engineers to test different ideas and make changes before a final production run.

Before committing to a full-production run, it’s important to have a prototype for function testing. This allows engineers and designers to test different ideas before a final run.

Advantages of a PCB Prototype listed below:

  • Visual Inspection

Using a prototype as a visual aid helps your clients visualize the design and helps speed up the process of getting the final product. It eliminates the time spent explaining the design to the client and allows your team to identify problems more quickly. Having a rough idea of what the product will look like before it’s fully produced helps your design team save money and time.

  • Testing

A good quality printed circuit board (PCB) prototype is helpful in developing new products and solving issues during the design process. It can help engineers see and test their final product’s functionality accurately. There are various types of PCB designs that can be used to test a product’s final product.

  • Manufacturer assistance

Through a PCB prototyping service, you can benefit from a new set of eyes during the design process. There are a variety of factors that can go wrong during the process, such as design blind spots, excessive input, and design-rule-check limitations. These can result in design flaws and inefficiencies, which can affect the quality of your product.

  • Individually Test Components

With the ability to test and validate every component individually, your team can identify areas of concern during a complex project. This is very important for identifying issues early on.

  • Save cost

Besides reducing the overall cost of a project, a PCB prototype can also help your design team identify potential issues earlier. This eliminates the need for costly rework and allows them to fix them before investing in a production run.

PCB prototype

  • Rapid finished project

Through the use of PCB prototyping, your design team can spot issues early and identify the components that need to be adjusted. This process can significantly extend the time it takes to develop a project.

Proto boards are designed to meet the requirements of your customers. Once they have been thoroughly tested, they are ready to start a full production run.

PCB Prototyping Process Steps

1. Design your PCB prototype.

2. Make out your Schematic Design

3. list out detail information of those components part you need to use in the Bill of Materials.

4. The first step in designing a routing is to determine which elements of the PCB you want to connect. This process can be carried out using traces. Some of the factors that can affect a routing’s design include power levels, noise sensitivity, and signal noise generation.

5. Throughout the process, we check your design to identify potential issues and improve the efficiency of your project. However, before you start the fabrication phase, do a comprehensive examination to evaluate all aspects of your design.

6. In order to create a photo film of a printed circuit board, the professionals at INTOPCB use a plotter to create a photo film that fits the various layers of the board. The plastic sheet is then printed with a photo negative that identifies the parts that are non-conductive and conductive.

7. We start by pre-coating copper to the substrate material. We then apply a layer of photoresist, which is a photosensitive film, to the substrate. We use UV light to harden the film. Any areas that are blocked by black ink will remain unhardened.  We remove the unhardened photoresist. This leaves a hardened photoresist that’s protecting the copper where it should be. Then, we remove the hardened photoresist and reveal the copper in the exact spots that it should be.

8. If you have multiple layers, you will need to align them and punch registration holes that are correct. Doing so will allow you to correct the inner layers after the outer ones have been merged.

9. The process starts by placing the prepeg over an alignment basin. We then stack the various components, such as the copper sheet, the aluminum foil, and the copper press plate, into a stack. These components fit into the pins that are attached to a steel table. After a couple of minutes, the stack cools down and the pins are removed. We then leave with a PCB. A bonding press computer controls the process and the pressure plate.

10. We will use the holes in the stack to add components later. The holes have to be precisely drilled to around 100 microns in diameter. To do this, we use an x-ray locater and a computer, which controls the drills using air-driven spindles. Although the process can take a while, it usually only takes around 15 minutes to drill.

11. The chemical bath is used to deposit a layer of copper on a panel’s surface. This layer, which is around one-micron thick, covers the entire surface of the panel. It also covers the interior walls of the holes that were previously exposed. Computers control the process.

12. We apply a layer of photoresist to a panel to create an image of the outer layers of your printed circuit board. This process is similar to the one used previously.

13. After a couple of rounds of copper plating, the board is then treated with a photoresist layer to prevent the copper from getting stuck on the surface. Tin plating is then added to the board to protect the copper.

14. After removing all of the excess copper, the conductive connections are made. Tin plating then protects the copper from the damaging effects of the chemical solution.

15. We must clean the board and then apply an epoxy solder mask. The board then undergoes ultraviolet light, which hardens the film. Any unhardened or covered parts are removed.s through the solder mask photo film and hardens the film. Any covered, unhardened parts are removed.

16.  We then add more plating, usually gold or silver. Hot air is then used to level the pads to ensure that they are uniform. This process then produces a surface finish.

17. Applying Silkscreen on the surface of the PCB.

18. After conducting an electrical test to ensure that the board is working properly, we split it into two pieces using either a v-groove or a router. These two boards can then be easily removed from the panel.

19. according the BOM to purchase the component and material.

20. A flux is applied to the board, which then mixes with the solder to form a bond. We then apply a stainless steel stencil over the board, which only covers the areas where components will be placed. This ensures that the solder paste will only be applied evenly to the surface. After the stencil is removed, the remaining solder paste is left on the desired locations.

21. Place the SMD components on the surface of PCB board by pick and place machine.

22. Use the Reflow Soldering machine to solidify the solder paste and components on the PCB board.

23. Inspection by x-ray inspection, automatic optical inspection and manual checks to check any error exist.

24. Inserting PTH components, then use wave soldering or manual soldering.

25. Prototype testing, If your prototype found problem, you may need to improve your design and make new prototype for testing, if not found any problem, congratulation, you can go on developing your new product and mass production now.

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Email: sales@intopcb.com

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