The digital alarm you shut off.
The hair straightener you plug-in.
The electric toothbrush you use.
The phone you check for messages.
The blender you use to make your breakfast smoothie.
The keyless remote you use to open and start your car.
Every single one of these items that you touch even before you get in your car to go to work involved a printed circuit board prototype. prototype printed circuit boards, in fact, were likely the first stage of development of many of the products that we use on a day to day basis. Because of their versatility, prototype circuit boards are designed for their own use. Each one must be the right size to fit the unique space of the many products. Printed circuit board prototype designers, because they are working with such small pieces, use computer-aided design software to determine the circuit designs on the board. Because the spaces between electrical paths are often as small as 0.04 inches, the exact location of the holes for component leads or contact points are also well planned and laid out. Obviously, the prototype is developed first before extended cost and production are invested in the final product.
Once the prototype has been designed and tested, the next step is to use one of two methods for assembling the actual printed circuit board. One assembly method is known as Surface Mount Assembly, the second method is known as Through Hole Construction.
In addition to deciding on the assembly method, each unique product designer must also chose between the kind of printed circuit board construction that will work best: single-sided, double-sided, and multi-layered.
The earliest printed circuit boards were used in the late 1920s for gramophones and radios. Although these first boards were made from cardboard and even thin planks of wood, the basic concept of the initial circuit board is still in use today. The circuit board, since its development, has always served to contain all of the wires on a single surface. The printed prototype and the final product creates consistency. Once tested and proven, the printed circuit board helps to eliminate human error guarantee a faster and more accurate production process.