Preventing parts headaches at printed circuit board (PCB) layout involves a number of key design considerations and precautions. They include:
- Carefully evaluating PCB CAD design tools because each commercial version has trade-offs. Some allow parts or components to be easily designed on the PCB, while others make it more difficult. One tool in particular creates a component in a one-step process, but provides limited access to component pins. Another tool takes three to four steps to create a component. However, it incurs more time, yet is more flexible. Radial components at the CAD level pose potential issues due to the possibilities of coefficient of thermal expansion mismatch. To avoid problems, it’s best to select the proper CAD tool for a given PCB layout. But regardless of the tool used, PCB layout requires that IPC design guidelines 7351 must be stringently followed when designing through-hole components on a PCB.