Congratulations, you have just finished your PCB design! All that is left to do is order it from a manufacturer, right? Not so! You should take one more look at your design to double check that everything is good to go. Want to know why this is a good idea? Keep reading to find out!
You Might Spot a Mistake
First and foremost, you might spot a mistake in the fabrication of PCB design. The easiest way to make sure that you do spot any mistakes in the design is to take a short break away from it. Leave your desk and your computer, go for a short walk, and return to the design with fresh eyes.
Take the time to go through every aspect of your design. Make sure you go over every aspect of the fabrication like the board outline and the gerber files to ensure that everything is standard. You may be surprised to see exactly where the mistakes are.
You Might Save Time
By checking through the board, you might actually save yourself some time later on in the process. Yes, right now it might seem unnecessary to spend an extra hour checking through the design, we understand that. However, you need to think about how much time will be wasted in the event that your PCB fails its tests after it has been manufactured.
Not only will you have to spend time fixing the design anyway, but you will also have to send off for a second round of manufacturing. The manufacturers also might not be able to complete your design in the same turnaround time that they did before. This could push the entire schedule of the project back even further when it could have been avoided by completing a final check.
You Might Save Money
Along with saving yourself time with a double-check, you might also manage to save yourself a bit of money on the prototype. If you can guarantee that your PCB design will work upon manufacturing, then this means that it won’t have to go through multiple manufacturing processes. This will obviously save you money as you are not having to pay for the second round of components plus time and labour.
Small cost-cutting practices like this may seem unnecessary but if you are not careful, they can add up to a lot of wasted capital. If you are concerned about how much you are spending on your PCBs, taking a look at the design process might be the best place to see if you can make a savings.
As you can see from above, these are excellent reasons to double-check your designs before you set them for manufacture. Take the time to go over your design and ensure that it is perfect. Teaching yourself how to spot mistakes in your PCB design is only going to help you become a better project manager and a better PCB designer. Remember, PCB design is as much an art as it is a science!