Prototyping is a vital part of research and development for electronic devices. It is at this stage that the design takes a physical form for real-world testing. This stage gives engineers a chance to see their work in action and find opportunities for optimization. Problems are identified and fixed as soon as possible. Of course, solutions can bring about new problems so it’s not a straightforward process. New prototypes will have to be made each time there is a redesign. Here’s why many are using PCB manufacturing services for prototype circuit board:
Higher Build Quality
Old proto boards may still be used for simple circuits although these are quite crude and cumbersome. The build quality quite low since everything is manually assembled. One would have to be careful about handling these or else connections can come loose. For complex circuits, the crisscrossing wires could be a problem. It would be difficult to make it small enough to fit the chassis design. Advanced testing might not be possible. If the designed could be turned into a high quality PCB assembly, then designers will be able to see their work as they intended. Tests would be far more revealing.
Complex Layering Possible
The trend for circuits is to pack everything as densely as possible to reduce footprint and overall product dimensions. This requires advanced chips and smaller components. It also includes complex layering in many designs. Instead of just one or two layers, some will have four or even six layers. Such is difficult to replicate with manual prototype circuit board tools. It is best to outsource the project to a PCB manufacturer that can handle it.
Small Orders Accepted
It is easier and cheaper for manufacturers to create PCBs in small batches. In the past, they would set a high lower limit for what they would accept. Now it is common for online PCB companies to emphasize that they have no minimum quantities. You can order just one item and they will accept it. Many will also have online calculators so you can check the quotes for your order before pushing through with it. Consider whether this is worth the cost.
Fast Build Times
Although getting a PCB made through online channels mean having to wait a while, it is still much faster and more reliable than old prototyping processes. Most are willing to accommodate this wait time. They simply do other relevant work for the project while their orders are being processed.