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prototyping without PCBs

In order to prototype without using printed circuit boards (PCBs), follow the steps below:

Supplies

You will need a soldering iron, perfboard, kynar wire, wire stripper, needle nose pliers, wire cutter, solder paste, 0.8 mm rosin core solder, helping hands tool, tweezers, and reading glasses.

Place the Components on the Board

You can reduce the length of wire needed by placing the components. Bend the pins outward on the backside to hold the components in place. Also, try and use IC sockets whenever you can, and ensure that they are empty during the assembly process. Furthermore, integrated circuits should not be soldered onto the board.

Wiring Plan

Use a pencil to fill the holes for component wires and socket pins. The components should be checked several times. If you are using IC sockets, then number the pins and name the IC. You should also refer to the circuit schematic. Lines should be drawn to connect the ground rails and to the components. Wiring should be drawn for all the other connections. Moreover, because there is a very limited amount of space for wiring connections on a pin, you should avoid having more than two wires connected to a component or a pin.

Connect Using the Kynar

The end of the wire should be stripped around two millimeters. You will then need to measure the amount of wire required. The other end should then be stripped and the bare wire ends should be looped. Next, you will need to place the loops around the component wires or the pins. You can create a temporary hold by crimping them. In order to make them permanent, you will need to solder the connections. Clear your workbench and activate your soldering iron. The circuit board will also need to be affixed to the helping hands tool we mentioned earlier, back side up.

Measure and Cutting

In order to determine which connections need to be made, you will need to use the planning sheet. You will need to strip two millimeters of insulation from the end before you actually cut the wire. In order to ascertain approximately how much wire you will actually need, you should line up the wire on the perfboard in order for it to extend from one connection contact to the other connection contact. Then, add five millimeters of extra length, carefully cut the wire, and then strip off two millimeters of insulation. If everything is performed according to plan, then you should be left with a wire that has two millimeters stripped off both its ends.

Create Loops

Create even loops over the bare ends of the wire using your tweezers. You will then need to fit the loops over the component wires of the pins in question. In addition, if you have some other wires that have already been soldered in place, then you can opt to feed the wires below your existing wires. By doing so, you will be able to hold them in place before you actually solder the new wires.

Crimp the Loops

You will need to crimp the loops very tightly around the pins using tweezers. Also, please note that the connection will only need to last as long as the time it takes to actually apply the solder. In some cases, you may wish to connect more than one wire to the pin. If this is the case, then you have a choice to make.

That is, crimp a second loop to the same pin and then proceed to solder both wires. Or, you can opt to solder only the first wire to the pin. As for the second wire, you will need to keep it straight. In other words, do not loop the second wire. If you want to connect it to the pin that has already been soldered, you will need to dip the wire end in some rosin paste. By doing so, the solder will be far more likely to bind to it while also cleaning it.

Next, reheat the solder on the pin and then carefully push the wire onto the molten hot solder. In some instances, you may decide to use solder paste. If you decide to use soldering paste, then remember to avoid using large amounts. This is because the paste may carry current, and failure to remove any paste residue will lead to havoc being wrecked on your circuits. Any excess paste can be easily removed using some isopropyl alcohol and a toothbrush.

The Final Test

You will need to continually repeat steps five through seven until all of the connections have been made. As you continue to make progress, you may find it relevant to complete an integrated circuit, or some other such component, and then commence on another component. By doing so, you will be able to routinely test each circuit as you construct it.
In some cases, having the right tools, instructions, as well as the necessary patience and manual dexterity, will make it possible to prototype without a PCB.

The Circuits Central Difference

If you would like to learn more about prototype production or need help with your prototype project, then we can help. Circuits Central provides electronic manufacturing solutions for prototype production and other such projects. We specialize in manufacturing, pre-manufacturing, and post-manufacturing as well. From commercial, industrial, and medical, to communication, defence, aerospace, and consumer products, we are an all-inclusive company that is dedicated to going above and beyond the call of duty to breed excellence.

To discuss your prototype production needs, give Circuits Central a call at 1-888-602-7264.

Young designer engineer using a 3D printer in the laboratory and studying a product prototype, technology and innovation concept

Rapid prototyping is an early release or a sample of a product in development. It is a technique used to quickly build a physical model of a three-dimensional computer-aided design otherwise known as CAD. It is normally constructed using 3D printing or “additive layer manufacturing” technology. Prototyping plays a large role in product development as it is the initial step before production and manufacturing. It is the process where designers can implement their design, make changes, and test it before it is finalized and moved into production. Prototyping has a lot of importance among engineering designers and manufacturers because it offers an immediate and accurate way to determine the potential of any given product. It’s important to note that rapid prototyping is different from 3D printing/additive manufacturing. Rapid prototyping is the process by which a prototype is fabricated from a CAD file.

With prototyping, designers and engineers can find better ways in overcoming potential project hurdles, higher costs, and most importantly, avoid large-scale production disasters. Here are some other key benefits of rapid prototyping in product development:

Understanding the Look and Feel of the Design

There is no better way to visualize your design than to have the physical product itself. Designers can see how their ideas are translated into a physical product, which provides them better insight into whether or not their design will work. This leads to the proof of concept. Knowing whether or not a product will actually work is not possible when visualized only through a CAD model. One must be able to look, feel, and utilize the product to approve of its design and capabilities.

Make Instant Changes While Saving Time and Costs

It is rare to develop a perfect product merely through a CAD model. It is usually during the prototyping phase that potential issues can be identified. At this point, changes and tweaks to the product can be made instantly at virtually no cost. The prototype is there exactly for that purpose: to be tested and constantly changed until it reaches a perfect state before being produced in mass quantities.

Identifying Design Flaws

A physical prototype will allow designers to test the physical properties of a product, particularly its strength. This will minimize design flaws and make immediate improvements as needed. It also allows us to experience how a customer would connect with the product before it reaches the hands of consumers. At this stage of prototyping, it is beneficial to partner with an electronic manufacturing service that can provide a fresh perspective. Often, it is possible that working so closely with something over long periods of time can hinder one’s ability to see or recognize design flaws. A new perspective can help to accelerate this step and gain new insight into developing a better product.

Creating Custom Designs and Upgrades

Prototyping is also used to take original designs and create new custom designs or upgrades to existing products. If a designer is looking to launch a new feature or design to an existing product, they could do so by tinkering with the original prototype. Again, this can save a lot on time and costs for developing a new product as a prototype is intended to be learned from, tested, and replicated.

There are four crucial steps in successful prototyping:

  1. Determine the need of the users: In order to develop a successful product, the needs of the users must be understood. Whether you conduct research of a specific group of consumers or are trying to provide a solution for an existing problem, understanding how the product will fit the needs of its intended users will help the design process go over smoothly.
  2. Designing and building the prototype: Design and implementation could be the most challenging parts. An experienced electronic manufacturing contractor can provide the tools and expertise necessary to design the perfect prototype.
  3. Putting the prototype through vigorous testing: The main aspect of this stage is to determine whether or not the product in its physical state meets the needs of the consumer. The strength, ability, and safety standards of the product will be tested.
  4. Finalizing the product: This stage ensures that all requirements are met before the prototype moves into mass production.

The use of rapid prototyping in product design and development has costs of its own; however, it is a highly profitable decision. In any manufacturing organization, it is greatly encouraged in order to avoid production disasters. In an oversaturated and competitive landscape, prototyping is a tool that can provide a competitive edge by saving on costs and rapidly increasing production times.

If you’re looking for innovative electronics manufacturing solutions for your business, contact Circuit Central in Markham by calling 1 (888) 602-7264 or, if you have any comments or questions, feel free to fill out a contact form.

Our engineering and design services span many industries, from commercial to industrial, medical, communication, and consumer, as well as aerospace and defence. We are your one-stop shop when it comes to product design. However, our services do not end with design. We also offer first-rate electronic prototyping and small-batch manufacturing.

Electronic prototyping allows you to test your design with less capital and risk. Our combination of modelling capabilities and reliable prototype suppliers allows us to create electronic prototypes that will help you to demonstrate your product prior to proceeding to the manufacturing stage.

Electronics Manufacturing Services, Manual Assembly Of Circuit Board Soldering, close-up of the hand women hold tool.

There comes a time for business owners to reassess the overall efficiency and cost of the entire business operation. This normally happens annually and it is especially important for businesses that rely on electronics for daily functionalities. Electronics manufacturing services (EMS) is a term used for companies that design, manufacture, test, distribute, and provide return/repair services for a wide range of electronic equipment. You may have heard these types of services being referred to as electronics contract manufacturing (ECM). In simpler terms, it’s the service you would turn to if you were experiencing any issues or needed an upgrade for your current electronic system.

Often, businesses do have their own internal designers or engineers who can test the efficiency of a business’ existing PC boards. So why consider bringing in an electronic manufacturing service which works outside of the business? The idea is simple: you do so for a fresh new perspective on things. It is possible that, over time, repetitive work can actually hinder someone’s ability to see certain issues or inefficiencies that may be in the way of a more productive worksite. If a business is seeking new ways to improve their overall efficiency and perhaps look for new ways technology can help automate or streamline their processes, then an external service company might be what is needed. Electronic manufacturing service individuals are highly knowledgeable, qualified, and experienced. They also undergo ongoing training to stay current with new developments in technology.
Here are some things to consider before consulting with an electronic manufacturing service company:

Are there areas of production that can be streamlined?

Technology is constantly evolving and as that happens, so should your business. A highly efficient production process is key to a fast-growing business. The best investment a growing business can make is on advanced machinery and working with an electronics manufacturing service which can help improve electronic systems that are specifically designed to streamline processes, reduce costs, and increase productivity.

Ability to expand and grow your customer base

A business thrives off its customer base. As a business, the goal is to always keep that customer base growing. Your ability to keep up with demand and continue to produce a quality product your customers are highly satisfied with is the challenge as your business continues to grow. Taking on an electronic manufacturing service can help to alleviate the entire manufacturing workload, and ensure high-quality products are being developed within expected timeframes.

Establishing connections with the industry’s leading suppliers

Working with an electronic manufacturing service can open doors to establishing connections with the industry’s leading suppliers. As a new business in the industry, you may have come to realize through various experiences that finding a notable and trustworthy supplier is extremely difficult. If you work with an established electronic manufacturing service, they come with years of experience and can connect you directly to the most reliable suppliers available. Many businesses who work with electronic manufacturing services save time and money on trial and error, as well as by getting reduced pricing on parts.

Getting driven solutions

An electronic manufacturing service can provide driven solutions for the pre-manufacturing process, during manufacturing, and post-manufacturing. Here are some manufacturing solutions you may be seeking for your business:

Pre-Manufacturing

  • Rapid prototyping
  • Circuit board schematics and layout design
  • Proof of concept
  • Design for manufacturability (DFM)
  • Design for assembly (DFA)
  • Design for interconnection and packaging
  • Design for test (DFT)
  • Prototype manufacturing

Manufacturing

  • Materials management and component purchasing
  • Rigid and flexible electronic assembly
  • Complete range of component assembly
  • Lead-free processing
  • Conformal coating
  • Test development
  • Environmental stress test (EST)
  • Functional, ICT, and boundary scan testing
  • System integration
  • Packaging and customized documentation

Post-Manufacturing

  • Upgrade
  • Repair services
  • BGA rework and re-balling

The most common service businesses need, whether they are a new or an existing business, is upgrading or repairing their current operations. In technology, there is always the opportunity to continue to improve and develop new processes that create a more efficient and reliable system. Most businesses aren’t even aware that their equipment has become outdated and maybe actually costing them more in supplies and warranties. Fortunately, there’s no better time to partner with electronic contract manufacturers who are experts in the industry and who can bring your business up to speed. One of the main benefits of partnering is the limitless connections it can bring to your business. You’ll have the peace of mind of knowing the connections you build are reliable and the best in the business.

If you’re looking for innovative electronics manufacturing solutions for your business, contact Circuit Central in Markham by calling 1 (888) 602-7264 or, if you have any comments or questions, feel free to fill out a contact form.

Our engineering and design services span many industries, from commercial to industrial, medical, communication, and consumer, as well as aerospace and defence. We are your one-stop shop when it comes to product design. However, our services do not end with design. We also offer first-rate electronic prototyping and small-batch manufacturing. Our certified engineers have skills and expertise in the area of circuit board design, electronic circuit design, and other custom solutions, all at cost-effective rates. Our clients choose us because they trust us to deliver a final product that others can’t: cutting-edge and reliable design. Find out more today!


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