How to Streamline Your PCB Prototype Projects in 11 Simple Steps

When it comes to bringing PCB prototype(s) from conception to production, there are many things you can do along the way to ensure that all of the variables are taken care of beforehand and are not consuming your time once rolled-out for production. One of the most crucial aspects is a robust prototyping process.

This is why so many engineers have turned to LPKF’s solutions for in-house PCB prototyping, because of the enhanced technological capabilities, coupled with other clear advantages over outsourcing during the prototyping process, are just too much value to pass up.

If you order a prototype from an outside source, it might take you up to two full weeks just to get an initial PCB prototype. If the prototype isn’t to your liking, then it will take another two weeks just to get another one that has been tweaked according to your instructions. That means that you could end up waiting a full month, or longer, from the moment you decide you want a prototype to the moment you receive a fully working one. In today’s fast-paced world, that just isn’t going to cut it.

Another downside to outsourcing a PCB prototyping job is that it’s very hard for outside manufacturers to meet the demands of multiple development cycles. Also, if there is too much downtime in between projects, the momentum and focus behind your project could start to wane, causing your projects to suffer heavily and be less likely to succeed.

It is also very expensive to fabricate either one or multiple prototypes. Especially if you are designing multilayer boards, it’s very likely that you could see your prototyping project costs run up into the thousands of dollars for just one prototype.

Eventually, you will need to send your final board out to be replicated on a larger scale, but if you want to avoid this unnecessary wait time and wasted money during the prototyping process, you should consider working with LPKF. For over 40 years, it has been a leader when it comes to the in-house prototyping products and equipment. Customers around the globe can attest to the exceptional product quality of the LPKF systems. Engineers are able to quickly produce high performance and high-quality boards that match, if not surpass, the quality of outsourced boards with very high signal integrity as well as SMT component capability.

Many of the clients who currently work with LPKF are former outsourcers themselves, and they chose to make the switch to in-house prototyping because of the massive amount of time and money saved, as well as the increased control, performance, and productivity that is possible when an in-house prototyping method is available within your company.

With LPKF’s mechanical PCB milling machines and laser PCB prototyping systems, there is never a minimum quantity for production, and the design engineers can fabricate many different boards simultaneously, with all of them being ready for testing and reconfiguration the same exact day.

This near-instant turnaround gives customers the ability to make immediate corrections one at a time, rather than being forced to make them all at once. Because the wait time is so reduced, this encourages both fewer mistakes during production and better designs as well. With LPKF you don’t have to worry about safeguarding your intellectual property because all of your development efforts will remain in-house.

Another huge benefit of in-house prototyping is that its systems are incredibly easy to operate, while at the same time possessing the precision required in order to fabricate PCBs with multiple layers. The advances that have been made in both PCB milling and PCB laser etching technology remain a primary factor that contributes to the ever-increasing use of LPKF’s equipment.

Unlike other more basic milling equipment that you will find on the market, the systems that LPKF offers are incredibly simple and easy to operate, and they also possess the precision required to
fabricate PCBs with multiple layers that make use of advanced SMT components and are endowed with through-holes that have been professionally plated.

Indeed, when it comes to in-house prototyping equipment, no better machines are offered than the systems by LPKF. If you want to save money and get your prototypes to production in far less time than you would with an outsourced project, as well as give yourself more freedom and creativity during this process, contact LPKF.