PCB Prototype &Prototyping

A PCB Prototype is an early sample, model, or release of a printed circuit board built to test the concept or process of your PCB design and check whether it works, or not. In electronics, PCB Prototyping indicates manufacturing an actual board of a theoretical design to verify that it works. So, printed circuit board prototype is the most critical time during electronic hardware development stage to verify the design works before high-volume production. As a full PCB service provider, MADPCB offers PCB prototype service to terminate the prototyping nightmares of many electronic hardware engineers may meet before. With our PCB prototype service, what you need to do is simply send us your Gerber files and specifications or fab notes, we will fabricate quick-turn, high-quality and affordable PCB boards as per your design, and deliver the boards to your hand no matter where you are.

MADPCB is a rapid prototype PCB manufacturer, the prototyping service is available to our global customers. We are capable of providing any kinds of prototype PCBs when in demand, ranging from conventional-to-HDI FR4 PCB, polyimide-based flexible circuit and rigid-flex PCB to Rogers and metal core PCB, and these boards may with special requirements, including heavy copper, controlled impedance, hatch impedance, conductive carbon ink printing, hard gold, edge plating, copper-plated half-holes, resin filled, buried &blind vias or micorvias, via-in-pad and etc.

  • Rigid PCB: 1-30 layers

  • HDI boards: laser drilling microvias, blind and buried vias, till any layer interconnect

  • Flex Circuit: 1-6 layers

  • Rigid-Flex PCB: 2-12 layers

  • IMS PCB: 1-2 layers, Aluminum and Copper metal clad

  • Embedded Resistors and Capacitors

  • Advanced Substrates: Rogers, Isola FR408HR, Dupont, etc.

Types of PCB Prototypes

Different types of PCB prototypes are applied to test different aspects of the PCB design. Over the course of a project, a design team may use multiple PCBs at various stages of the design process. Engineers will usually work through this list from top to bottom throughout the design and testing process, starting with a visual model and ending with a functional prototype. Some of these PCB prototype types include:

  • Visual Models: Visual models are used to illustrate the physical aspects of the PCB design and show the overall shape and component structure. These are usually the first prototypes in the design process, and they are used to communicate and review the design in a way that is easy and affordable.

  • Proof-of Concept Prototype: Proof-of-concept prototypes are simple prototypes that focus on replicating the primary function of the board without carrying all of the manufacturing capabilities of the final product. This kind of prototype PCB is primarily meant to show that design concept is viable.

  • Working Prototype: Working prototypes are functional boards that contain all of the planned features and functions of the final product. These are usually tested to identify weakness or problems in the design and rarely represent what the finished product is going to look like.

  • Functional Prototype: Functional prototypes are meant to be as close to the final product as possible, providing the most accurate idea of what the design will look like and how it will work, with some basic material difference to keep prototyping costs low.

Quick-turn Protoype

10+ years PCB prototyping service experience, MADPCB is a trustable supplier of prototype PCB and low-volume production. The PCB market always has quick demand of PCB prototypes, MADPCB offers quick turnaround PCB prototyping service. For meeting the quick turnaround requirements, we support quick PCB prototyping fabrication with 3-7 days, compared to 5-18 days of standard PCB service and 15-25 days of HDI PCB service.

Quality Control

Every PCB has its own unique film, manufacturing instructions (MI) & flying probe or fixture electrical test (E-test). By doing so, we ensure best result for every batch of your PCB prototypes and repeat orders, regardless of the volume.

Each process of the PCB manufacturing will strictly conduct according to IPC standards, and our professional in-house control team will verify all manufacturing processes meet customer’s requirements and related regulations to ensure all PCB boards manufactured by us and shipped to you are high quality and low cost.

Accurate and Reliable Prototype

Having an accurate, reliable PCB prototype makes it much easier to solve design issues throughout the development process. Quality PCB prototypes accurately represent the functionality of your final product, allowing designers to see and test the following aspects:

l  PCB design: Prototyping enables designers to catch flaws early in the development process, and the more accurate the design, the more accurate the identification of the flaw. This helps minimize design costs down the line, while also reducing the project timeline.

l  Functional testing: What works in theory doesn’t always work in practice. Accurate PCB boards will help assess the theoretical values of the board to see if they show up in the practical values. This allows any differences in value to be checked, updated and potentially reevaluated.

l  Conditional testing: The real world is a brutal environment for products, so it is essential that PCB products go through appropriate testing to ensure that they will survive environmental conditions. For example, prototypes typically undergo temperature variation testing, power variation testing, shock resistance testing and more.

l  Final product design: PCBs are usually incorporated into a final product, and prototypes help determine if the planned product or packaging need to be adjusted for the final PCB design.

For these purposes, having an accurate PCB prototype will help make other processes significantly easier, and will better prepare design teams for what to expect when they begin production runs.


Gerber Files

For prototype PCB manufacturing, our CAM engineering team prefer Gerber files in RS-274-X or RS-274-D formats, and other 5 main PCB file formats, including .pcb, .pcbdoc, ODB++ in .zip/tgz, .cam, and .brd.

PCB prototyping is a powerful tool for designers, offering time and cost-saving benefits while also ensuring that your final product is top-quality. Specialized in PCB production, our company is focused on manufacturing quality PCB prototypes to low-to-medium volumes. Relied on advanced manufacturing capacities, MADPCB can be your ideal low-cost prototype PCB manufacturer and supplier in China. If you are interested in using PCB prototype services for your next project, contact us. If you’re ready to work with a company that can help you benefit from high-quality PCB prototype services, MADPCB is ready to help.