Need advice to build a career with PCB layout design!

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Posts: 31
Joined: 09 Sep 2016, 14:10

Re: Need advice to build a career with PCB layout design!

#1 Post by fi2eewill » 04 Jun 2020, 08:41

Hi Lakesha! Welcome to the forum

I am not a full time PCB designer, but I can share my experience as an electronic engineer (EE)
First, you need to ask yourself WHY? What gravitates you and interest you about PCB design?
Maybe you are artistic, or a person who enjoys the design process and connecting with the end results. It could be a life style choice, and ability to do remote work perhaps. In any case, you need to map out your motivation as it relates to you personally.

Second, not sure if you already set out on the path of becoming EE. However, PCB design is more art than engineering. This is why you do not need to be an engineer to be a professional PCB designer. Though, it does help tremendously and makes you a better PCB designer if you understand electronics. If you strictly want to become a professional PCB designer and nothing else, certification will definitely help set you on that path. Look for accredited program provider, though I recommend you hold off until you got your feet wet with PCB design.

Third, do you plan to work for big company or do you want to build a freelancing career? The choice of CAD tool here is important, Altium and OrCad/Allegro are dominant players in the industry. ... statistics. Personally, I despise Altium, but it is probably most secure path to landing a PCB Design job at a big co. The learning curve is very steep and to me is not something I want to invest in as I do more than just PCB design. As a freelancer PCB designer, clients pay you for end results and *most* do not care what CAD package tool you use.

In my experience, the best way is to learn by doing - start with small projects and build simple boards. if you can't think of project ideas, there are many open hardware projects, and it's a good way to get involved and build your portfolio. Learn and understand the process. As you gain knowledge and confidence, build more complex boards and challenge yourself. Here, focus on the design process not the tool. So pick a tool and learn layout first, later, you can migrate to a different tool that helps you get closer to your end goal.
This is where DipTrace triumph I believe. It's the easiest to learn and is a very capable CAD package. No tool is perfect so choose what works for you.

good luck~


Posts: 2
Joined: 16 Mar 2021, 08:39

Re: Need advice to build a career with PCB layout design!

#2 Post by FitEyes » 16 Mar 2021, 08:42

The following is the PCB concept workflow. You begin by creating a circuit schematic. This already involves selecting the appropriate parts, as well as their package/footprint on the PCB. If you want to use a component that isn't in the libraries, you'll have to build it from scratch using the datasheet. You can import the schematic into the PCB layout section of the programme once you've finished drawing it. You must set up your board with the proper configuration (2,4 or more layers), as well as the design and fabrication guidelines. After that, you'll have to do some part placement and routing. Autorouters should be avoided at all costs.
Following positioning and routing, perform a design rule check to ensure that it follows the schematic and that no rules have been broken.
You can now export the files to a format that your board house recognizes. Almost always, this is in Gerber format. After that, you submit the files to be created.
Kicad, Eagle, and Circuit maker are three free CAD sets for electronics. You should be able to find good tutorials online for all of these to help you get started with your design.

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