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What checks should I perform before having PCB produced?

DesignSpark PCB contains tools to check your PCB layout with the schematic diagram and the Design Rules.

You are responsible for the correct connections in the schematic diagram and also that the components used are correct both from an operational perspective and that the footprint and schematic symbols of the component match with the manufacturers data.

Having completed and checked the schematic and PCB, they should be checked with the following tools and methods:


Check the schematic and PCB are up to date.
Perform a "Forward Design Changes" and make any changes required.
Forward Design Changes works to achieve netlist synchronisation between related Schematic sheets and PCB designs.

Check that the schematic nets and PCB tracks are in agreement.
Perform an "Optimise nets" to ensure the air wires are up to date.
Optimise Nets available from the menu bar Tools --> Optimise Nets or the short cut CTRL+D
Breaks in tracks will be highlighted which will require to be routed and any air wires that have been completed are removed.

From the "Reports" produce a "Net completion" report, a "Dangling tracks" report as a minimum and your design should be complete from a completed and correct nets/tracks perspective.
These are available from Output --> Reports

Perform a "Design Rules Check" (see detailed link below) this will check your PCB against the rules set. All the "Spacing" and "Nets" checks should be performed as a minimum and any reported issues examined to check they are acceptable by you.
Other checks for "Manufacturing" should also be performed as reported issues may cause a manufacturing cost premium such as "minimum line width" or a reliability issue such as "Vias in pads".
All the reported issues are for you to correct or accept as part of your layout requirements.

Only when you have performed these checks should you consider producing Gerber files for manufacture.
The Gerber files should also be checked in a viewer before submitting to the manufacturer.

Many user also generate and print PDF files at full size to check component orientation, location and PCB board size.

Please post comments for discussion on the community forum.

Please see related articles:

Reviewing design in Gerber viewer (coming soon).

How do I change the silkscreen font size? Essential to allow a successful silk screen.

How can I check my PCB layout? Explains the Design Rules Check and use of the Interaction Bar.

How can I add a Board Outline to my Gerber Plots?




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