Printed Circuit Board Design Resources & Tips

PCB Design Software

Designing your PCB is a critical stage in your PCB manufacturing and assembly process, so making sure you are comfortable with the PCB design software you select is vital. With RayPCB, you have three choices on the file format which you can upload, and the PCB design files which you can upload are: either in Gerber RS-274X format (most preferred), .PCB/DDB (Protel, so you will have to inform RayPCB about your program version) format, or .BRD (Eagle software) format. You will also want to select a software which is capable of producing a design suitable for your project needs as some softwares do not have specific features which you are looking for. Some softwares also limit the size of your PCB design, the components which are compatible with your project or the number of layers on your PCB, so I advise you to look at the software specifications of each chosen software being continuing with your design.

PCB Design Software

PCB Design File Generation

After designing your PCB on your desired software, you will need to generate a file to upload to RayPCB’s website. You can check out their PCB quote page here, where you can upload your file and get an estimated price of your order before purchasing. As you can see and as I mentioned above, there are three available PCB design file formats which you can use while uploading to RayPCB’s site, which include: the Gerber RS-274X format (most preferred format), .PCB/DDB format (Protel, so you will have to inform RayPCB about your program version) or the .BRD (Eagle software) format. Depending on the PCB Design which you choose, you can upload the file using either of the three file formats mentioned. Furthermore, if you require drilling on your PCB or component placement for the PCB assembly service, you will need a drilling and a BOM file to submit to RayPCB as well. On the link above, you can see a BOM Template on the bottom of the form, which you must follow in order for your design to be processed correctly. Lastly, to avoid any confusion or missing files, please include all files needed into one folder and please compress the folder in a .zip or .rar format, as this will make RayPCB’s staff have a much easier time when viewing your design. Often times and from my experience, this is an easy stage in the PCB manufacturing process due to most PCB design programs having a singular button to generate your PCB design file in a single click, so play around with your PCB software and make sure you know what you are generating.

PCB Design Software

Make sure you check your PCB design carefully before ordering online!

Ensuring that your PCB is designed well to make sure that any routing issues or schematic issues are not present in your generated PCB design file is vital for the staff at RayPCB! This is because, any complications with your PCB design will cause a delay when fabricating your PCB, as engineers will have to take the time to stop the production to go ahead and contact you to rectify the issue. If you are fabricating PCBs commercially or for a business, this time-wasting process can cost you some money which is unnecessary and will slow down your business in all. Thus, manually going over your PCB design before submitting it to RayPCB is the correct and most efficient way to go! Besides manual verification, some PCB design softwares may have a checking feature integrated into them, which means that it will automatically scan your design and verify it to make sure that there are no manufacturing mistakes at all.

To start off with, RayPCB is a professional PCB Manufacturing and Assembly company established in 2005. Based in China, RayPCB has a background in providing and manufacturing high-quality, reliable PCB services to clients worldwide. Not only does RayPCB do standard PCB manufacturing and assembly, but they have the capability to manufacture high-end boards, which includes the likes of Rogers PCB, Teflon PCB, high-frequency circuit boards and other types of boards as well. They have a basic goal to provide a high-quality product that will meet their customers’ requirements in the most cost-effective manner, whether that is to manufacture a complex multi-layer board used for RF or to design a simple PCB used in a weather station. Additionally, with their 24/7 customer support team ready-to-go at anytime of the week, customers can easily enquire with staff about any questions which they may have. RayPCB also offers an online live chat service, which you can access from any of their website pages and I really enjoy using this feature as an agent will respond to your requests instantly with a minimal waiting time. Moreover, you can also contact RayPCB via email, skype, phone or fax, so you have a wide variety of options to contact them with.