A PCB or printed circuit board prototype is what your final PCB will look like. In other words, it is the sample or model of your product. With a prototype, you will see how it looks and how it functions. Prototyping is important for your PCB before you proceed to mass production for you to check whether your product is ready for launching and selling in the market.
Importance of PCB Prototyping
Prototyping helps determine if a PCB design will look and function as expected. Any possible flaw of the product will be seen, thus helping product designers make the necessary improvements or changes of the product. Any other enhancements that the designers would like to add to the product will be suggested during this stage. Normally, no product can go directly to mass without going through the prototyping stage.
PCB Prototyping does not necessarily mean revealing flaws because if the product is perfect, then everything goes well. It is more of confirming and making sure that the design and the performance and function of the product is consistent. The manufacturer as well as the customers can also comment and suggest on the improvement of the product.
At this stage, manufacturers and PCB designers must be prepared and open for the possibility of reworking the product and design, and it will be an additional cost. Skipping the prototyping stage and going into mass production directly is a huge risk. In case of product failure, it will entail great loss in terms of time, effort, materials, and money.
General Stages in PCB Prototyping
The first stage of prototyping checks if the PCB design is viable. This stage is called the breadboard test, which is also known as the proof of principle. The next stage involves examining the preferable dimensions or size of the PCB. Then, the designers will generate a visual model of it. If approved, they will proceed to the appearance and function, which is the final stage.
PCB Prototyping Services
The PCB prototype production is a process with time constraint. It should not take so much time to do prototyping to give way to the actual manufacturing. Most companies that offer prototyping services for PCBs are involved in manufacturing also. These companies aim to produce good and even perfect prototypes. With the advancement in technology and computers, the prototyping and manufacturing processes of PCBs have improved and made them as flawless as possible.
Therefore, choosing a PCB company is crucial. Select the company with the latest technology. This will ensure that the process will have an almost zero error. A reputable company also avoids using harmful chemicals. The ideal PCB size is small, just as they are a requisite in modern electronic devices.