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An Introduction to DIY Printed Circuit Boards

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An Introduction to DIY Printed Circuit Boards

It’s now more than possible to take DIY computing one step further by creating your own PCB for use with your next project.

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Circuit Board

When it comes to computing and electronics, printed circuit boards, or PCB as they’re more commonly known are found everywhere. Just about every electrical appliance in your home, from the toaster in your kitchen to your complicated desktop computer takes advantage of printed circuit boards in one way or another.

With their many uses taken into consideration, it’s pretty easy to imagine that printed circuit boards are complicated bits of kit. So you likely wouldn’t believe us if we told you that it’s more than possible to create your own PCB at home.

DIY computing is becoming more and more popular. The advent of the Raspberry Pi; a cheap little barebones computer has lead to a whole wave of computer users now looking to experiment with their hardware. That experimentation started with users implementing the pre-built board into a range of DIY projects. However, it’s now more than possible to take DIY computing one step further by creating your own PCB for use with your next project.

PCB Design Software

Designing a printed circuit board is no amateur task. Unless you’re well versed in designing a PCB from scratch, the best place to start is with a piece of software that will guide you through the process. There’s an array of such pieces of software available on the market, all offering a different approach to PCB design.

Altium Design Software is one of those such pieces of software, designed with the purpose of providing a clear and effective method of PCB design. The software sells itself as the industry standard for PCB design and by that testament alone; you’d struggle to find a piece of software better suited to creating the PCB that you’re looking for. However, that’s not to say alternatives aren’t available if you’re looking for something a little different.

Altium’s offering is clearly one designed for business use too. The software has been designed with collaboration in mind, so you’ll find plenty of opportunity to share your workspace with other users and collaborate on your next big project.

What’s Next?

After you’ve used Altium’s PCB Design Software to create the exact PCB that you need for use with your project, you’re likely wondering where to head next with your design. Depending on its complexity and your resources, you have a couple of key options here.

If you’re looking to complete the PCB design process entirely DIY, then the obvious next step is to print the board yourself. However, doing so requires a number of resources, which might prove a little too costly if you don’t plan on using those resources regularly. On the other hand, those looking for a one-off print of their PCB board would be best suited to one of a number of PCB printing services. These services allow you to send your board design and have it returned as a fully functional PCB.

In conclusion, designing your own printed circuit board can be an incredibly rewarding process, but it’s important to have a clear understanding of what you’re doing.

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