The first step in the manufacturing of a PCB is deciding which electronic circuit you will be making on the circuit board. Once you have made that determination you will need to make the design for it on your personal computer with the use of PCB designing software. Then you will use a laser printer to print out the design you have created making sure that all of the components will fit on your print out. Next you must sand the copper plate to make a rough surface so the design will stick to when it is applied. After sanding the copper plate wash it with water and rubbing alcohol and then allow it to dry.
It is now time to cut out the design, make sure to place them face down on the copper plate, then run it through a laminator until the plate is hot, if you do not have a laminator, you can use an iron. Once this step is complete it is time to place it in cold water moving it around until the paper comes off of it. Once this is completed you will see that your layout design has now been etched on the copper plate. This is called the etching process. It is now time to introduce the copper plate to the etching solution, place the plate into the solution and gently agitate it for twenty-five to thirty minutes or all of the copper has dissolved around the design. When complete rinse off the plate in a water bath, after you let it dry you can use the alcohol to wipe away any ink that is on it. This completes the etching process.
You will now move on to the drilling process, the only way to complete this step is by VIAS drilling aka laser drilling. This helps ensure that correct size holes are created for the circuit board.
The next step in the manufacturing process is conductor plating, in order for the copper plate to allow soldering of the components it must be plated with gold, tin, or nickel. You will then move on to the solder resist.
The solder resist is the part of manufacturing when you make sure that any areas that are not solderable are covered in a solder resist material such as a polymer coating.
Once the above is complete it is time to test the circuit board to make sure that the appropriate voltage is being conducted to the correct areas of the board.
Now the assembly of the components can begin, this can be accomplished by one of two methods, through-hole construction or surface-mount construction. The type of assembly will depend upon what your fabrication needs are. The assembly consists of placing the correct components it the holes that were created by the VIAS drilling.
There you have it! An overview of the PCB manufacturing process. Call Rush PCB LtdCircuit today to find out how they can help you create the PCB you need.