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PCB design guidelines and process

It’s not so difficult to make a cheap PCB. In this article we will discuss the steps required to prepare and make a cheap PCB, PCB design guidelines and I will suggest you a cheap and reliable PCB manufacturer to get your PCB manufactured.

Tag: Project 199a PCB design guidelines and process.

Project resources

  • Sketch: None;
  • Libraries: None;
  • Other attachments: None.

What is PCB Design Process?

So, what do we need to create a PCB? We just need to follow these steps:

  • An electronic circuit. It’s your project idea;
  • schematic diagram;
  • PCB design;
  • Gerber files from PCB design;
  • Select your PCB manufacturer, follow instructions on how to send to PCB manufacturer your design files and wait for your PCB to arrive in the mail.

PCB Design Guidelines

Let’s discuss some simple PCB design guidelines that can help you create proper PCB layouts.

Proper board size, drill size and trace width

Each PCB manufacturer has limits on how big PCB board can be, how thin PCB board traces can be and the smallest drill size can be used. The PCB manufacturer usually provides this information on his web page, for example PCBWay provides this information here. Sometimes they supply a Design Rule Check file that can be loaded right into your PCB design software, for example EUROCIRCUITS provides them here.

Make sure that your PCB does not exceed the capabilities of the PCB manufacturer you have chosen, resize it if required.

Check for a proper trace width. It should be at least the size of the smallest allowed trace width, but should generally be thicker because thin traces are more vulnerable to damage when soldering. The more current that is going to flow through the trace, the thicker it should be. This is to make sure the trace does not heat up. If you have a space on your PCB, first start with 20 mil trace width for signals and then 30-40 mil for power traces.

Place components properly

I suggest to place the components in the same way as in your schematic. It will be easy to troubleshoot the circuit if needed. Connectors must be placed on the side for easy connection. If you are going to place the completed PCB in a box, pay attention to any large components and think how they will fit in the box when you are going to assemble everything. If you are using any decoupling capacitors for your electronic circuit, make sure you place them close to the pins they are meant for.

Mark your components using labels

Your components should have labels with the name and part value printed on the PCB. It will be easy for you to solder the PCB components and to troubleshoot it if required. Always label connectors that are going to be connected to the outside with proper and descriptive names. Add names for each pin on a pin header.


If you are using a two-layer PCB, a rule-of-thumb is to route one layer horizontally and the other vertically. For other, more complex, PCBs, the addition of a ground plane can simplify your routing effort.

45 degrees trace angles

If you are making an RF PCB, a rule-of-thumb is to avoid trace angles with 90 degrees on your PCB. Otherwise, weird effects might occur. The trace angles with 45 degrees are more professional. Please note that the PCB industry considers an RF circuit board to be any high frequency PCB that operates above 100MHz, within the radio frequency class, anything above 2GHz is a Microwave PCB.

Do visual check

When you PCB completed always print it on paper first and check for any problems with connectors and other components. It’s very easy to do mistakes, for example putting a pin header the opposite way, did not leave enough space to accommodate a component so it’s difficult to place the PCB in case. All of these mistakes can be avoided if you take the time to print your circuit on paper and check it for mistakes.

Which cheap and reliable PCB Manufacturer do you recommend?

I would recommend you the PCBWay. It’s that can offer really good prices. If you wish to go through a hustle free process and make sure your PCBs are of a good quality, then PCBWay is the great choice! PCBWay offers reliable solutions for all your PCB needs and the best part is that each specification is mentioned clearly beforehand and you know exactly what your PCB is made up of.

You can also compare prices of various PCB manufacturers in order to find cheap deal on Just enter your board size, your location and you will get price and estimated delivery time for various PCB manufacturers.

Wrapping up

We have discussed the steps required to prepare and make a cheap PCB, PCB design guidelines and you know a cheap and reliable PCB manufacturer to get your PCB manufactured now.

If you need more information on PCB and design, check out Printed circuit board and terms used in connection with PCB design and manufacturing

Thank you for reading and supporting us.

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If you are looking for high quality PCBs PCBWay is the best choice: