As a PCB designer, you should always be thinking about how you can better your designs. With as creative a process as PCB design, there are always new tips and techniques to learn. Here are some of the ways you can make sure you are always working to improve your PCB design.
Know the Current Process Inside and Out
The PCB manufacturing process can be long and full of twists and turns. If you know everything there is currently to know about how your software currently works, you are going to find it a lot easier to make things. Don’t be afraid to ask your manufacturer any number of technical questions if the answer would bring you clarity on a matter.
Seeking out tutorials and other learning materials can also serve to constantly refresh your skills and knowledge. If you can master the basics, you are always going to manage to improve your designs.
Stay in the Loop
As a PCB designer, you should always want to be looking for new ways to improve your designers. One of the easiest ways to do so is to participate in a community of like-minded individuals. This could be through a subscription to an electronics magazine or through chatting with fellow enthusiasts on online forums.
Other PCB designers are a great way for you to pick up new ideas. Everyone looks at problems differently so it only makes sense that if you are struggling with something then you should seek out another point of view. You should never be afraid of posting a work in progress on a forum (unless you have been contracted to keep the design hidden, of course) as someone may be able to work out the problem you are having in a much easier solution than anything you have been working on thus far.
Practice, Practice, Practice
PCB design is an art as much as it is technically based and so you should try to refine that art as much as possible. Experiment as much as you can in your free time. These circuit boards do not have to even function correctly; all you are doing is experimenting with layout and different shapes to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.
If you consider that people make actual legitimate art pieces from their circuit boards; whether that is painting on obsolete boards or simply drawing a design which would never actually work but appears in an interesting shape. There are many ways to push yourself creatively and, by doing so, you might just land on the one technique which improves your design.
When it comes down to it, the best way to improve your PCB design is to simply ensure that you are always working at it. Through a near-constant education and a drive to make sure that you are always on the hunt for something new, you will see signs of improvement. Track your design and your growth, and it won’t be long before you are well aware that your PCBs are much better than they used to be!