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Building a circuit board is easy when using Altium’s software tooling, a unification platform that captures and connects circuits for fabrication and assembly.
TOPICS IN THIS SOLUTION
Letting designers feel confident in how they understand circuits.
Altium shows how to build a circuit board in it’s unified environment
Building a circuit board results from an inventor’s circuit design idea. Circuit boards can be small devices containing one simple circuit or they can be large high density boards with multiple circuits, such as a CPU motherboard. Whichever the case, steps to representing those circuits for build are the same.
Fabricated circuit boards used in everyday devices are built with automatic design tooling software. That software allows circuit designers the ability to draw circuit blocks into schematics with components and nets. Schematic information facilitates rendering of circuits into footprints, layers, and nets using PCB editors. PCB editors generate fabrication and assembly documents to build the circuit board.
Altium Designer offers automatic design tooling that unifies each step of the circuit board building process. Altium’s tool removes unnecessary confusion, instead guiding the inventor in how to build a circuit board that is effectively fabricated and assembled. Component catalogues are integrated and available during schematic capture. IPC footprints and 3D models are available during PCB layout. Fabrication and assembly documents are accurately generated and interlinked, removing redundancies and facilitating success.
Are you wondering how to build a circuit board using automation? If so, you may have a circuit design or be helping a circuit designer actualize their design onto a board. Most often, this is done for use in consumer or industrial devices where automating circuit board builds helps get them to market faster and at lower cost. Doing this requires software that can represent the circuit, the board layout, and produce fabrication/assembly documentation.
Starting from a breadboard and moving into a fully printed circuit board can be a task. Utilizing electronic components, planning solder, solder mask, and copper foil on your electronic circuits, and managing electrical connections within a schematic diagram can all be tasks for you to complete within your PCB design software. However, a printed circuit is more than just copper and solder. A printed circuit is an art form.
Use Altium Draftsman to represent orthogonal views of the circuit board
Building a circuit board is a fun adventure encompassing hardware and software tooling. It starts with ideas that become circuit designs and moves into software graphics programs. Software programs allows designers to draw their circuits, representing components and connections necessary to drive the design. With a completed schematic, software tooling allows actual representation of the circuit board in fabrication drawings used to program assembly tooling.
Now that you’ve decided to investigate how to build a circuit board, you’ll need to find software tools that can get the job done.
To build a circuit board, you’ll need to start with the design. Circuit designers choose and build circuits around components. Using the components within their design, a schematic is drawn. Symbols representing components are placed into schematic capture tools after which nets are drawn, representing eventual wires that will connect the components to complete the circuits. Notes to include considerations for noise immunity and for power budget are added to the schematic. When the schematic is done, graphic artists who specialize in PCB layout use the schematic to route the board.
Schematics hold the design that will be built onto a circuit board. Moving into layout involves specifying number and arrangement of material layers. Material layers include copper interleaved with non-conductive laminate materials. It is within the PCB Editor that layers are defined and traces graphically drawn to represent the eventual circuit board structure.
Sensitive nodes, such as high-frequency transmission signals defined in the schematic, are arranged to maximize quiet transmission throughout the board. This results in design files called Gerbers that are used by fabrication machines to program dimensional locations of each component footprint, pads, and traces.
Making a circuit board has specific steps that can get convoluted without a well-designed software environment. Moving a board into PCB fabrication is an important part of PCB design, however, requires careful layer management to ensure the manufacturing process goes without a hitch. Altium Designer provides such a tool with unified editors that seamlessly communicate with one another across schematic, PCB layout, and documentation output files. Changes to one propagate through the entire design container. Read on to find out more.
Build circuit boards that include plug-ins
Altium Designer leads you through the how-tos of making a circuit board with it’s unified environment. It has integrated component libraries that mate symbols with real-world supplies of your circuit board parts! You can make informed decisions early about components. By the time you generate a Bill of Material for your purchasing partners, sourcing and costing information is already available! Not only that, but the editors contain menus that allow clear definition of materials, dimensioning, net definitions, and assembly instructions.
Within Altium’s unified environment, you no longer need to learn extraneous commands just to draw a circuit. You have an elegant command structure that anticipates your needs before you have to search for them. Building a circuit board encompasses a wide range of tasks and Altium provides tools that facilitate building your board. Design and material notes included from schematic capture propagate into PCB layout, generating documentation file directories that can be directly used by fabrication and assembly houses. Having component sourcing information early in the process allows management information systems early access to proactively set up the circuit board build for success.
Building a circuit board incorporates a process to realize electronic ideas into actual hardware. The process includes circuits, components, wiring, materials, and dimensioning which incorporate design analysis. Design analysis includes impedance controls and mechanical tolerancing. Altium Designer has a unified tool that incorporate the process to build a circuit board. That process starts with schematic capture and component selection and moves through PCB layout into materials management. All is captured in documentation containers that are interdependent. Altium Designer has you covered in all process steps that show you how to build a circuit board.