How to Elegantly Arrange PCB Silkscreen
There are a few things to consider when using PCB silkscreen. First, you have to decide how to arrange your silkscreen characters. This is very important because you will want to make sure they are not placed beneath a component or over a via pad. It is also important to make sure that the characters are not too big.
Using copper pads
PCB layout is a challenging process that requires careful planning. To achieve the desired result, it’s important to use the right tools and techniques. One way to do this is to use PROTEL AUTOTRAX under DOS, which enables you to edit strings and layouts. However, it is important to be aware that you may need to manually adjust pad sizes for two-legged chip components and four-row patch ICs.
Before you start creating a silkscreen, be sure to check with your CM for the recommended layout. Often, the CM will tell you to keep the silkscreen to only one side of the PCB.
Using reference designators
When designing a printed circuit board, using reference designators is a useful way to clearly identify components on the board. They usually start with a letter followed by a numeric value. Each reference designator will represent a particular class of component. Reference designators should be placed above the component so that they are clearly visible once it has been mounted on the PCB. Reference designators are usually painted with yellow or white epoxy ink or silkscreen.
The placement of reference designators is crucial. When placing a component on a PCB, ensure that it is placed as close as possible to its associated component. Similarly, if a component is placed vertically, it should have its reference designator on the bottom-left edge of the board. The placement of reference designators can reduce assembly errors. However, placing them beneath component symbols can make them difficult to read once mounted. Moreover, it is advisable not to place them on high-speed signal traces.
Using automatic alignment
PCBAs contain a variety of silkscreen markings and information. These include regulatory markings such as RoHS, FCC, and CE, as well as E-waste disposal markings. Additionally, there are PCBs with UL markings, which means the board has been fabricated by a UL-certified manufacturer.
These layers are then fused together using a process known as layer-up and bonding. The outer layer material consists of fiber glass or other material that has been pre-impregnated with epoxy resin, or prepreg. It also covers the original substrate and copper trace etchings. The layers are then assembled on a heavy steel table. The pins fit tightly into each other to prevent the layers from shifting.
The positioning of reference designators is very important. The designators should be close to the part they are meant to identify, and rotated appropriately to make them readable. It is also important that the part or component you are placing is not obscured by the silkscreen. This can make it difficult to read.
Manually specifying line widths
There are several reasons to manually specify line widths when arranging PCB silkscreened components. The first reason is that the line widths will have an impact on how your PCB silkscreen looks. If the line widths are too large or small, you may have trouble reading them. Additionally, too few lines may result in skips or blurry text. For this reason, it’s important to set a minimum line width of 0.15 mm (six mils). It is generally better to specify line widths of 0.18 mm to 20 mm.
There are other considerations as well, such as the size of the silkscreen fonts. If you are creating a silkscreen for a PCB, you should choose a font size of at least 0.05 inches for optimum readability. When placing reference designators, you should leave about 5 mils of space between each line. You should also ensure that they are oriented from left to right and bottom to top to avoid uneven silkscreening.
Using drafting features
PCB silkscreen is an important part of the finished circuit board and should be carefully crafted. To make sure your silkscreen looks its best, use the appropriate font sizes and line widths. Otherwise, you may end up with ink splots and a poor silkscreen layout.
One of the most common silkscreen errors is failing to mark polarized components clearly. For example, when drawing a PCB with electrolytic capacitors, always ensure that you mark the positive pin. For diodes, you should always use an “A” or “C” symbol to distinguish the anode from the cathode.