PCB Design & Layout For DIY Etching
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PCB Design & Layout For DIY Etching

A Project-based Tutorial for Printed Circuit Board Designs Using Ultiboard & DIY Etching

About the Book

In this tutorial you will learn step by step how to use Ultiboard to route and make a single-layer Printed Circuit Board layout that you can print out on paper. Finally, you will learn with demo videos a very inexpensive DIY method for transferring your layout to a Copper Clad board that you can etch and solder manually. No heat transfer is involved.

After reading and completing the simple demo projects in this book, you will learn many features of Ultiboard very fast and very effectively without getting overwhelmed. You will not need to export any files or send gerbers to a PCB manufacturer/fabricator.

We will be using the National InstrumentsUltiboard and Multism PCB Design suite, which I found to be the best among several others I have used. Any of the versions 12, 13 and 14 of this suite works perfectly well. There is a link in Chapter 11 of this book for you to download a hassle-free trial version of the suite that you can use for many days to learn and practice many projects of your own.

Merely having the Ultiboard user manual, or referring to its help contents, is far from sufficient in becoming a skillful PCB designer. Therefore, this book is extremely useful for building PCB design skills very fast.

First, it will give you a big head start if you have never designed a PCB layout before. Then it will teach you more advanced techniques you need to learn, design and build anything from simple to complex PCB layouts using mostly Ultiboard.

Finally, if you have questions or need further help, I urge you to use the support link I provided in the last Chapter of this book. I will get back to you very quickly.

About the Author

A. B. Lawal
A. B. Lawal

I am multi-talented. As a computer engineer and a computer scientist, I have over 15 years of teaching experience in software development and computer hardware architecture. I am the CEO of Ojula Technology Innovations, a book publishing company. I co-publish my books with Charles H. Johnson who also offers technical assistance to my company. In the last few years I have helped the IT industry develop various useful programs on Windows, MacOS and PLCs (programmable logic controllers).

I always build solutions from scratch and go as far as modifying open source software to meet my client’s needs. As an embedded systems expert, I design embedded Systems that optimize performance and cost against complex requirements. I leverage Stratify OS (a POSIX like RTOS for micro-controllers) to quickly and cost-effectively develop complex firmware applications in Python and C/C++ languages. I work with a dedicated team of Python programmers who look into specific automation problems and proffer solutions to them.

For any inquiry, you can contact us with any of the email addresses below any time. If you want to contribute your knowledge to this website, or if you have a request, just send us your message. We promise to do our best to help.

Bolakale Aremu (CEO), Founder info@ojulaweb.com, OjulaTech@gmail.com.

Charles H. Johnson (Co-publisher and Technical Assistant) amandamorin3000@gmail.com.

Table of Contents

  • About the Author
  • How this Book can Help You
  • How to Use the Project Files and DIY Demo Videos for Etching PCBs
  • 1. Getting Started
  • 1.1. Installation Prerequisites
  • 1.2. How to Install the Full Version of Multism & Ultiboard Design Suite
  • 2. Ultiboard Interface at a Glance
  • 2.1 Brief Introduction to Ultiboard 14 User Interface
  • 2.2 Quick and Helpful Ultiboard Shortcuts
  • 3. How to Open a Design
  • 3.1. How to Transfer Existing Designs from Multism to Ultiboard
  • 3.2. How to Open a Sample Design in Ultiboard
  • 3.2.1. What are EWPRJ and EWNET Extensions?
  • 4. How to Place Parts in the Workspace
  • 4.1. How to Use the Design Toolbox
  • 4.2 How to Use the Select Toolbar to Enable/Disable Parts
  • 4.3 How to Change the Orientation of Parts & Labels (Rotation)
  • 4.4. What is PCB Silkscreen?
  • 4.5. How to Move & Increase Diameters of THT pads
  • 4.6 How to View our Board in 3D
  • 5. How to Trace/Route Our Board
  • 5.1 How to Trace Manually (Routing)
  • 5.2 How to Use Autoroute (Start/Resume Autorouter)
  • 5.3 How to Resize the Workspace and Spreadsheet View Window
  • 5.4. How to Check & Adjust the Width of Our Traces
  • 5.5. DRC Errors & How to Correct Them
  • 5.6. How to Move a Trace Segment
  • 6. How to Place PCB Mounting Holes
  • 7. How to Place a Power Plane on PCB design
  • 7.1. Uses of Power Planes
  • 8. How to Place Graphics on PCB design
  • 8.1. How to Change the Color of Graphics on PCB design
  • 8.2. How to Use “Copper Delete » Copper Island” to Remove Copper from PCB
  • 8.3. How to Use “Keep-in/Keep-out area” to Remove Copper from PCB
  • 9. How to Place Text on PCB Design
  • 10. How to Print out Your PCB Layout
  • 11. How to Manually Etch Your Printed Circuit Board
  • 11.1. A Special Note About the DIY Etching Process
  • 11.2. Materials You Need
  • 11.3 Another DIY Etching Technique
  • 12. How to Get Further Help
  • 13. More Helpful Resources
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