Your Best PCB Prototype Manufacturer in China Since 2008
PCBMay is a professional prototype PCB boards manufacturer in China, which provides many different types of prototype PCBs for your requirement.
- Over 10 years prototype PCB manufacturing experience
- No minimum order quantity for your new order
- Offer 24h fast service for your prototype PCB
- 7/24 sales and tech suppport
PCB Prototype is Your Best Choice for Your Project
PCBMay is a professional printed circuit board prototype(also called PCB prototype) manufacturer in China and has over 12 years of PCB prototype manufacturing experience.
In order to give you the best support and provide a quotation in time, our sales team follow up your local time.
PCBMay has a large PCB prototype manufacturing capability, most equipment is imported from the USA, EU, and Japan.
We could produce over 1000 models of PCB prototypes every day with automatic production lines, so you don’t worry about your delivery time.
Why Choose Us for Your Prototype PCB
As one of the best PCB prototype manufacturers in China, PCBMay has passed a lot of certifications such as ISO9001, 14000, USA & Canada UL, and SGS.
There are over 500 workers in our company and over 13,000 square meters of workshop, and the monthly production capability is over 40,000sq.m2.
When you need any PCB prototype service, PCBMay is always here to support your project.
Our Advantages for Prototype PCBs
|Order Quantity||5pcs- 100pcs|
|Build Time||2-7days(Quick turn time)|
|Material||FR-4 Standard Tg140°C|
|Copper Thickness||1-5 OZ|
|Board Size||Min 10*10mm | Max 500*500mm|
|Min laser drilling size||4mil|
|Solder Mask||Green, Black, Blue, Red, White, Yellow,Purple matte/glossy|
|Surface Treatment||Lead Free HASL – RoHS|
HASL – Hot Air Solder Leveling
ENIG – Electroless Nickle/Immersion Gold – RoHS
|Min. Annular Ring||4mil|
|Aspect ratio||10:1(HASL Lead free、HASL Lead、ENIG、Immersion Tin、Immersion silver、ENEPIG);8:1(OSP)|
|Impedance control||±5ohm(＜50ohm), ±10%(≥50ohm)|
|Other Techniques||Blind/Buried Via|
|Via in Pad|
|Test:10V – 250V, flying probe or testing fixture|
PCBMay is Your Professional PCB Prototype Supplier in China
As a reliable PCB prototype manufacturer, You may have some small orders for example one piece or several pieces, and you worry that we do not help you to produce it.
In fact, we would love to help you, because there is no minimum order quantity limited, you could order even 1pcs.
What’s more, we could also provide you with a free PCB prototype sample to check the quality before your large volume production order.
Normally the package of PCB prototypes is small and we suggest shipping them via UPS, DHL, or FedEx, then it could reach your production schedule.
If you don’t have the account of the forwarder, you will use ours and we could offer the freight cost for your choice if you need it.
In addition, when you have any quality complaints, please tell us or send the picture via email to us, we will find the root cause and provide an 8D report to you accordingly, meanwhile, we will remake this PCB prototype immediately.
PCBMay could help you with all PCB prototypes, just please send an inquiry to us now.
PCB Prototype: the Ultimate FAQ Guide
PCB Prototype is very important before mass production. In this guide, you will know more about the PCB prototype, let’s start.
- What is PCB Prototype?
- What is PCB Prototype Designing?
- What is the Difference between Standard PCB and PCB Prototype?
- Why PrototypePCB Pre-designing is Important?
- What Are the Benefits of PCB Prototype?
- Four Steps for Prototype PCB Design
- What are the Methods for Manufacturing a PCB Prototype?
- The Importance of the PCB Prototype
- How to Process PCB Prototype?
- PCB Prototype Designing Process
- Estimated Timing and Cost of PCB Prototype Design
- Make a PCB Prototype is very important for Each Project.
- PCB Prototyping Advantages
- PCB Layout for PCB Prototype
- PCBMay is One Professional PCB Prototype Manufacturer
What is PCB Prototype?
The trend in the development of technologies for the manufacture of Prototype PCB is currently going in different directions.
One of these directions is the 3D technology of their manufacture, associated with the use of 3D printers.
This technology opens up new opportunities for manufacturing printed circuit boards directly at home, allowing you to quickly make a prototype, translating your ideas into a real product.
Until recently, making a PCB prototype was not possible without a soldering iron, or they could be ordered from a third party.
However, many of us can make a PCB prototype using a conventional iron and laser printer.
A PCB prototype is a technological model of a Printed Circuit Board, created as a result of design and construction, but has not yet been put into mass production.
With the advancing technology, the electronics industry is developing rapidly.
Today, printed circuit boards are in almost all electronic devices.
What is PCB Prototype Designing?
The PCB design process determines whether the proposed PCB design will perform as expected.
Thereby revealing any possible defects, allowing the designer to make any necessary changes.
Any other improvements or alternatives that the designer might think of are also introduced at this stage.
The mass production of any new product is inseparable from the prototype PCB service and cannot simply be started without the prototype design stage.
PCB Prototype Design
Further testing and examination of the PCB prototype allows developers to identify and eliminate
- Design errors
- Defects in the created printed circuit board.
Having tested the prototype, the customer can check how functional and efficient the newly designed printed circuit board is.
How it meets certain technological requirements?
The direct manufacturer of the future series of printed circuit boards, in turn, having studied the prototype, can correlate with it the actual production capabilities, adjust something, improve, rationalize.
It is almost impossible to avoid mistakes and inaccuracies in the Prototype PCB design process.
This is why starting mass production without testing a prototype is likely to result in a large number of defective items.
As a result, the project as a whole will receive a significant but senseless rise in price. Its implementation will stretch over time.
What is the Difference between Standard PCB and PCB Prototype?
Why do we recommend the PCB before selecting design Prototype PCB?
Under what circumstances is PCB prototyping recommended?
What are the advantages of PCB prototyping? You will find the answer here.
There are many differences between the PCB prototype and standard PCB, which can be easily distinguished. It is mainly reflected in the following aspects:
The number of Prototype PCB designs is far less than standard design products. Basically less than 100, or between 100 and 500.
The number of PCB standard designs will definitely be greater than 500pcs, usually thousands of them, and it continues to grow.
- Production Cycle
Unless the delivery time of a single component is long, the production cycle of the PCB prototype design will not exceed 10 days.
PCB standard design PCB order usually takes 20-25 days.
- Unit Cost and Total Cost
The unit price of Prototype PCB design is higher than the unit price of standard design.
But the total value is much lower.PCB prototype design has many advantages over standard design.
Why PrototypePCB Pre-designing is Important?
Conduct PCB prototype design before PCB design to ensure that standard design can proceed smoothly.
Therefore, we usually recommend customers do PCB prototype design first. The main reasons are as follows.
- Fast Cycle
The standard design cycle is usually 20-25 days, and the Prototype PCB design cycle is 10 days.
This means that you can test quickly and have enough time to make changes and updates so you can move forward with the entire project.
- Quick Test
Each product undergoes multiple revisions and updates before it is released.
The design of the PCB board is the same and requires multiple tests.
In order to meet the design cycle in time, new designs need to be quickly tested.
Prototype PCB design can speed up inspection, shorten project inspection time, and achieve rapid testing.
If there is no prototype design, it will take more time to find the causes of defects and insufficient performance, and will increase the design time, resulting in increased costs and even customer complaints.
- Easy to Update
Prototype PCB design can find problems in the design in time and quickly adjust the problem areas.
Because the quantity is small, whether it is to replace the PCB board or replace the components,
it will be done in a timely and rapid manner. This is also a guarantee for the smooth progress of the batch.
What Are the Benefits of PCB Prototype?
- New Products
The PCB prototype design and production of new products must be carried out before the PCB standard design.
Without prototype design verification, it may cause problems during the standard design period, leading to economic losses.
Even if the prototyping only detects some problems, we still recommend prototyping again to make sure nothing goes wrong.
Reduce the possibility of problems in the standard design process.
- Quality and Design Testing
How to check product quality and design feasibility? Prototype design can solve such problems.
After the design is completed, there is no prototype design to prove it is not convincing.
Prototyping can make the designer’s ideas put into practice, but the cost is very small.
- Complex Components
If it is a complex project and contains many components, you need to generate a Prototype PCB design first.
Too many components mean more features and more potential problems.
For these complex projects, prototyping is especially necessary.
Through prototyping, problems can be quickly found and modified in time. This saves money and time.
- Demand Model
If you only need to display the model, you must perform a PCB prototype design.
If you need some exhibits while participating in the exhibition, these products have not yet been mass-produced, so please make the PCB prototype design first.
Four Steps for Prototype PCB Design
The circuits we draw may not always work the way we want. Therefore, prototype circuits must be tested first.
So what do you need to do to complete these tests in the fastest way?
In this article, we discussed the issue of prototype PCB design.
PCB Prototype Design
1) Choose Your Printed Circuit and Circuit Elements Larger
You are usually asked to draw and use your print circuit in the smallest possible dimensions.
But if you leave extra gaps at the edges of your print circuit during the prototype stage, these will be useful.
If you want to add or remove a possible circuit element or jump with cables, the extra area you draw on the printed circuit will be helpful for you.
At the same time, you will have a more comfortable working environment for performing tests such as temperature measurement of the elements on the circuit, durability tests, or measurement of the amount of voltage falling on them.
2) Use Programmable Circuit Elements for Prototype PCB
In the prototype stage, the more you use the post-programmable structures, the more flexibility you will have on your circuit.
If possible, you can get output from the pins you use to program your microprocessor on your Prototype PCB.
Instead of soldering your processor directly, you can solder an auxiliary board system to your circuit that will allow you to quickly disassemble and reassemble it.
If you do not want to use a board system, you can use a header.
3) Disconnect Power Circuit and Control Circuit
If you are designing a control card that must operate under a certain voltage, you must add a power circuit to this design to provide the desired voltage and current level.
Using a power circuit and control circuit together may adversely affect the operation of some circuit elements due to the magnetic field and frequency difference.
After drawing and testing your Prototype PCB power and control circuits on two separate circuits, drawing them as a single circuit will be useful in detecting possible errors.
4) Increase Gaps Between Elements
Increasing the gaps between the elements will provide you with ease of operation.
Just like sizing your circuit larger than its normal dimensions. When using tools such as:
- Soldering machines
It is very important that the elements get the least damage they can get.
If the gaps between the elements are not enough, it is not easy to solve the problem in one place in the circuit and create a problem from another place.
Prototyping machines are machines that produce printed circuit boards (PCBs), ranging from engraving the circuit to drilling the plate and soldering components.
What are the Methods for Manufacturing a PCB Prototype?
There is the traditional method by chemical stencil attack on a metal plate – that is, a removal process – and there is the additive method with direct printing of conductive ink.
The prototyping printed circuit is made from the collection over the time interval in which consumers send their projects to the company.
The support system for electronic material boards and the development of prototypes are grouped with the other orders and passed on to the company responsible for the development of high-performance PCIs.
The Importance of the PCB Prototype
The company that handles the printed circuit prototyping produces all items in one step, with the aim of making the step cheaper.
Subsequently, the company sends the finished plates.
The PCB prototype is also carried out by sorting, analyzing, packaging, and distributing orders to the respective customers.
The PCB prototype requires the use of mechanisms used by design, engineering, and science professionals to develop specific prototypes that create the plates by using cutters that cut the surface area of the plate, maintaining the design of the tracks.
How to Process PCB Prototype?
The PCB prototype can be done mechanically, laser, and also in a hybrid way, mixing the two methodologies.
Mechanically, double layer prototypes are made, which are monitored by a camera integrated into the system to increase the order accuracy, responsible for the milling and drilling of the plate.
The prototyping printed circuit is simple to operate and does not use chemical substances.
In laser mode, the activity is faster and more precise due to its automation, whereas the hybrid model has the performance and time of operation between the two prototyping methods.
A prototype of a printed circuit board is its technological model, created as a result of design and construction, but has not yet been put into mass production.
Further testing and examination of the prototype allow developers to identify and eliminate inaccuracies, design errors, defects in the created printed circuit board.
Having tested the prototype, the customer can check how functional and efficient the newly designed printed circuit board is, how it meets certain technological requirements.
The direct manufacturer of the future series of printed circuit boards, in turn, having studied the prototype, can correlate the actual production capabilities with it, adjust something, improve, rationalize.
It is almost impossible to avoid mistakes and inaccuracies in the PCB design process.
That is why starting mass production without testing a prototype is likely to result in a large number of defective items.
As a result, the project as a whole will receive a significant but senseless rise in cost. Its implementation will stretch over time.
Once you know what you need from your prototypes and have gathered the necessary information, you can begin the prototyping process.
Working with an experienced PCB company can provide you full turnkey solutions that can help simplify the process.
The schematic is part of the initial design phase. Once the designer finishes the first schematic, they’ll run a preliminary check for potential defects and correct any that show up.
It’s helpful to run design rule checks regularly throughout the design process rather than just at the end.
This approach enables you to fix problems as you go, which enables a more efficient design process.
You then have to design the layout and routing. Using traces you need to connect each element of the PCB.
Various factors play a role in planning routing, including power levels, signal noise generation, and noise sensitivity.
Most PCB design software programs use the netlist you’ve already developed to plan the routing.
Many of these programs can automatically calculate the optimal routes based on the number of available layers and other factors.
This process can take a while — especially for larger circuit boards or boards with a lot of components.
Bill of Materials
You will also need to create a bill of materials or BOM.
This is a list of all the components and materials you need for production and details about them.
If you are relying on a manufacturer to source your parts, this is the document they will use to ensure they obtain the right ones.
The BOM includes vital information for each component, including:
- Quantity: The number of components required.
- Reference Designators: Codes used to identify individual parts.
- Value: The specifications for each component are described in the appropriate units.
- Footprint: The location of each component on the board.
- Manufacturer Part Number: The part number used by the manufacturer of the component.
Design Rule Checks
You should check your design regularly throughout the process for any functionality issues, but before you move into the fabrication phase, do one last comprehensive examination To evaluate every aspect of your design for potential problems.
Common problems to look out for include thermal issues such as heat spots. Your design should keep the board at one consistent temperature.
Some design features such as the presence of thermal paths, varying copper thicknesses, a large PCB size, and the number of PCB layers can contribute to heat spots and inconsistent temperatures.
After completing your checks, you can send in your designs for the next several steps, which together comprise the fabrication process.
After the PCB is fabricated to prepare for the PCB assembly prototype stage, you will need to source all of the components.
You can do this yourself or let the PCBA company source the components for you.
At this step of the process, your BOM will come into play.
This is what they will use to ensure that they can source the right parts that you need.
Inspection and Quality Control
Accidental movement during reflow can cause poor connection quality, complete lack of a connection, and electrical shorts.
Because of these risks, after assembly, automatic machines check the PCB thoroughly for errors after the reflow phase is complete by conducting evaluations such as manual checks, automatic optical inspections, and x-ray inspection.
They also test for functionality and connection quality.
PCB Prototype Designing Process
As a rule, PCB prototype design is a laborious and demanding process, so it is advisable to entrust it to an engineer.
Our company does not allow the use of automatic PCB routers.
In general, the work is carried out in stages in a certain sequence.
- First of all, the analysis of the drawings, as well as all the documentation that was provided by the customer, is carried out, after which, if necessary, the project is prepared. Or analysis of a prototype product;
- Next, a schematic diagram is created (if this has not been done earlier), a component library is created;
- Development of PCB layout;
- Verification, including network analysis, etc.
- Prototyping, debugging if needed.
Estimated Timing and Cost of PCB Prototype Design
The implementation of the project can take from one to several working weeks, depending on the complexity of the project.
The quality of the initial data provided and the promptness of the developer’s answers to clarifying questions on the technical specification.
- Obtaining from the customer complete information on mechanics, holes and inscriptions, components.
- The input of mechanical drawing, verification by the customer, corrections.
- Description of components (preparation of the library).
- Loading and verification of the netlist.
- Placement of components, verification by the customer, adjustments.
- Description of the project, setting the tracing rules.
- Verification of placement, netlist, and rules (net properties).
- Fan-out (preparation for tracing).
- Distribution of differential pairs, clocks, high-speed buses, control signals, verification by the customer.
- The layout of the rest of the circuit and power plans.
- Checking the trace, adjustments at the request of the customer.
- Filling empty spaces (copper balance).
- Alignment of the inscriptions of the silk-screen layer and the assembly drawing.
- Panelization for group editing.
- Filling the text block in the drawing.
- Successful delivery of the project, signing of Acceptance certificates.
Make a PCB Prototype is very important for Each Project.
- The advantage of this approach is that it saves money, time, and effort for staff and the customer.
- The prototype will show all inconsistencies and errors in the future device and its production before the manufacturing process.
- Even if the prototype has already been approved and agreed upon, we highly do not recommend going straight to the manufacture of a large batch of products. A small batch of samples can show new flaws in production, which will help to refine the device to near perfect. In addition, it will be possible to check earlier decisions at a low cost.
PCB Prototyping Advantages
Even the brightest designers make mistakes when designing a PCB.
This rule is especially evident in complex new designs.
Either way, as the project progresses, small assumptions, incorrect but well-meaning decisions accumulate, and the result is many days of work that turn into a negative PCB user experience.
Smart designers eliminate all bugs before the board gets into the hands of manufacturing using a technique called prototyping.
The most compelling reason for prototyping is to save time and resources.
The value of the prototype lies in the fact that it is a well-thought-out project of a new product, a model of decisions made as a result of agreeing on technological requirements, the manufacture of which has already revealed design features that do not correspond to the requirements of real production, causing large labor and cost costs without any particular reason …
Even if the customer is satisfied with the technical characteristics tested on single prototypes and is ready, as it seems to him, to move to the production of a large series.
The next step was and remains the production of an experimental batch.
At this stage, with a minimum investment of funds, you can find minor errors, check the decisions that were made after the first prototype, and complete the optimization of the PCB design, taking into account the peculiarities of the production technology of a particular plant, the nuances of placing one type of circuit board on a technological blank.
PCB Layout for PCB Prototype
Depending on the purpose of your project, you can make completely different layout options for the components used.
For a prototype or proof-of-concept, you can choose parts with mounting holes (intermediate elements that will allow you to quickly and easily assemble a working prototype) for as many of them as possible.
They are relatively inexpensive and easy to solder to your PCB.
After the simulation runs to solve the performance problem, the next step is to design the circuit for the physical prototype.
The layout ensures that the circuit executes according to the design specifications.
It can also verify whether the circuit board outline matches the design size.
Here, you can design together with mechanical engineers.
The layout stage is the physical manifestation of the interconnection between the components defined by the schematic.
This task is performed by placement and routing tools provided by many EDA vendors.
All these tools bring varying degrees of automation to the workbench, but this is a double-edged sword.
Designers need to determine when to use manual layout and when to use automatic layout.
If you want to place critical components, or you must place the connector near the edge of the circuit board, you can’t make the automatic placement feature beyond your decision.
Hope that some signal integrity issues can be considered during layout.
This is a stage that must be dealt with seriously.
The general rule of thumb is that if your signal takes more than one-third of the rise time to reach its destination, then there is a potential signal integrity problem along that path.
The final stage before putting the PCB into production is the final verification.
The signal integrity and timing must be checked to ensure that the signal arrives on time and has sufficient quality.
This is the moment when conflicts between design constraints will be revealed and weighed.
One of the biggest challenges is trying to move these final verification steps to the early stages of the design process. The key to this is to have better constraints.
If the analysis is performed while specifying the constraints during the design creation process, the constraints will be improved.
At this stage, the final comparison between the design specification and its actual behavior.
The performance of the physical prototype was carefully evaluated so that the impact of the operating environment of the system can be well understood and necessary modifications can be made.
PCBMay is One Professional PCB Prototype Manufacturer
PCBMay has been producing Prototype PCBs for over 10 years.
Over the years, we have seen all types of prototype constructions from various industries, answered all types of prototype questions, and solved all types of problems with prototype PCBs.
PCBMay offers rapid PCB prototyping services for quick-turn PCB at high quality and low cost.
We’re fully compliant with ISO9001:2015 quality management systems, and we have an in-house quality control department to verify that all work meets each regulation depicted by the high standards.
Although it may seem more efficient to skip right to a full production run, starting with a prototype will make your production process more cost-effective and efficient in the long run and lead to improved quality and more predictable performance.
At the high operating speeds of today’s circuits, careful PCB design is necessary, and it is becoming, in all respects, an art. A poorly designed printed circuit board can degrade the electrical performance of the signal transmission, power delivery, producibility, and long-term reliability of the finished product.
The sending of Gerber files to companies determines the production costs, which, as for any other goods, are lowered according to the required quantities.
The global growth of the PCBs market is driven by the increased use of multilayer, flexible PCBs.
The board density and design complexity keep increasing as electronic companies try to add more features to the devices.
Price, quality, delivery time, and service are the most common criteria for choosing a PCB manufacturer, and most people should be concerned about the price first.