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PCB Manufacturing Process — A Step-by-Step Guide

Process flow of PCB Manufacturing

Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) form the backbone of all major electronics. These miraculous inventions pop up in nearly all computational electronics, including simpler devices like digital clocks, calculators etc. For the uninitiated, a PCB routes electrical signals through electronics, which satisfies the device's electrical and mechanical circuit requirements. In short, PCBs tell the electricity where to go, bringing your electronics to life.

Step 1

Design and Output

Step 2

From File to Film

Step 3

Printing the Inner layers

Step 4

Removing the Unwanted Copper

Step 5

Layer Alignment and Optical Inspection

Step 6

Layer-up and Bond

Step 7

PCB Drill

Step 8

Plating and Copper Deposition

Step 9

Outer Layer Imaging

Step 10


Step 11

Final Etching

Step 12

Solder Mask Application

Step 13

Surface Finish

Step 14


Step 15

Electrical Test

Step 16

Profiling and V-Scoring

Step 1:

Design and Output

  • Circuit boards should be rigorously compatible with, a PCB layout created by the designer using PCB design software. Commonly-used PCB design software includes Altium Designer, OrCAD, Pads, KiCad, Eagle etc. NOTE: Before PCB fabrication, designers should inform their contract manufacturer about the PCB design software version used to design the circuit since it helps avoid issues caused by discrepancies.
  • Once the PCB design is approved for production, designers export the design into format their manufacturers support. The PCB industry birthed extended Gerber as the perfect output format. Different PCB design software possibly calls for different Gerber file generation steps, they all encode comprehensive vital information including copper tracking layers, drill drawing, apertures, component notations and other options.

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