Ever wondered how printed circuits are manufactured? These self-contained modules can be found in everything from radios and pagers to complex computer systems. They may be small, but the manufacturing process to create them is extensive.
Here, you’ll learn more about how printed circuit boards are manufactured and the components typically used within them.
Understanding the different types of printed circuit board construction
First, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the different types of printed circuit board construction. There are three in total, including single, double and multi-layered boards.
With the single-sided printed circuit boards, all of the components are featured on just one side of the substrate. If there are too many components to fit onto one side, a double board is used. With the multi-layered printed circuit boards, multiple boards are separated by insulation layers. These different types of printed circuit boards will have a slightly different construction process.
How they are typically manufactured
The manufacturing process can differ slightly between companies. However, generally speaking, printed circuit boards are first designed using computer software. Once designed, a plotted printer is used to print off the design, using two different colours of ink to highlight non-conductive as well as conductive areas.
The substrate is then created, which tends to be glass fiber and epoxy resin-based. After being semi-cured in an oven, the design of the board is printed onto a laminate. This follows ultraviolet light, eliminating unwanted copper, inspecting the board, laminating and pressing the layers, drilling and plating to name just some of the steps involved. As you can see, there are a lot of different processes used in the creation of the printed circuit board.
What components go into them?
Despite how small printed circuit boards are, they contain a surprising number of components. These include resistors, capacitors, diodes and semiconductors. Each board will contain a handful of components which will depend upon what the board is being used for. The components are mostly used to modify and manage the voltages and currents that run through them. Some are also much easier to find than others.
Creating printed circuit boards, yourself isn’t easy. However, thanks to technology advancements, it is possible. If you are considering manufacturing your own, it’s worth carrying out an extensive range of research to ensure you fully understand the entire process. The above is just a very brief guide of how printed circuit boards are manufactured.