Hi readers! I hope you are doing great. Printed Circuit Boards are the basic topic in fields like electrical, electronic and computer engineering. Today, we are talking about a very crucial part of PCB manufacturing and having a grip on all the concepts is necessary to understand the workings of PCBs. This article will highlight the introduction, concepts, and methods for the fabrication of PCB and some important factors related to the fabrication will be discussed in detail.

What is PCB Fabrication?

PCB Fabrication is the process of its manufacturing that results in a panel placing or mounting the electronic circuit devices together. Ranging from simple and small mobile phone circuits to complex automotive system, PCBs serves as the base of circuits. The Fabrication process is carried out in different steps and each of which depends upon multiple factors that can affect its working.

The fabrication process is not the same for all types of PCBs. It is the fabrication process that changes the working, cost, reliability, usage, and complexity of a particular PCB. We are discussing here some common and advanced factors that every user and manufacturer must know. So carefully read the article because we will list the facts about each point.

Size of PCB

The first factor affecting the PCB fabrication cost is undoubtedly its size. The larger the size, the greater the amount of material required. And as a result the cost increases. The physical dimensions are the main parameter to which the manufacturers have to pay attention while calculating the cost of PCB.

More time and heavy machinery are required for a larger PCB. Moreover, additional machinery is required for the different and larger sizes. The techniques to handle such PCBs require more effort, labour, time, and fuel to run the types of equipment.

Complexity of PCB

The complex designs of PCB require a piece of complex machinery. The further you stray from basic and standard machinery, the more expertise and tools are required to handle the PCB. The PCB assembly process also affects the cost and a more skilful unit is required to get the perfect results.

An example of a complex PCB design is one that requires laser drilling for the work. If someone is getting the order of such PCB then not only the additional equipment is required, but extra energy and labour are also responsible for the best working.

Type of Material in PCB

PCB is a versatile field and it has multiple types that serve as the base of multiple circuits. From less expensive materials, CEM-3 to the expensive polyamide, there is a wide range of materials and choosing the most suitable but less expensive material must be the goal of every user and manufacturer.

The point is not only about the material but the machinery and methods to deal with a particular type of PCB also vary. So the material type is a major factor in this regard.

Copper Weight

The copper weight is a measure of copper trace thickness in the PCB. It is an important parameter to measure the amount of current flowing through the PCB. Moreover, the thermal characteristics are also measured by keeping the copper weight in mind. It has an effect on the cost of PCB.

The wider and larger copper traces required more amount of copper and as a result, the cost and efficiency of the PCB enhance. The together traces of copper require more equipment and expertise. The efficiency of the PCB is enhanced in this case but at the cost of more material and copper weight.

Hole Size and Quantity

The size of the hole must be kept in mind while designing the budget. The smaller holes in the PCB require a great expert and delicate and small tools. The training and experience matters in this case. All of these make PCB fabrication more costly.

By the same token, the number of holes in the PCB is another parameter that has to be kept in mind. It is not only the number of holes but overall, usually, the PCB with more holes mean more devices can be mounted in it and as a result, the strength of the PCB must be high.

Layer Count of PCB

The number of layers, mounted together, to get the required PCB is termed the layer count. For the cost of PCB, layer count must be kept in mind. The PCB with more layers is complex to handle and manufacture. As a result, the cost and time are enhanced.

The creative and heavy-duty PCBs are made with multiple layers and as you can guess, the greater the layer count, the more material and expertise are required to manufacture it. As a result, the cost increases.

Surface Finish of PCB

The surface finish is one of the final steps in the fabrication process of PCB. It results in the features like solderability, corrosion resistance, etc. The overall appearance is decided while working on the surface finish. The boards with the matte finish, less resistivity, and low conductivity traces have a low expense as compared to the glossy finish and high resistivity.


Hence, we can say that multiple features are to be studied while guessing the cost of fabrication in Printed circuit boards. It is true that better and more efficient PCBs are made at a high cost but if the parameters like expertise and equipment are managed well, you can fabricate efficient PCBs at relatively lower cost. In this way, you can charge more at relatively less cost but this is not cheating. The fabrication process requires a lot of steps and each of them has its own parameters that affect the cost of printed circuit board. Now, it's up to you how you manage the resources. This requires a lot of experience and strategies. The knowledge and updated rates of PCB equipment are necessary all the time to deal with the process of fabrication. I hope this was an interesting and informative piece of essay for you.

Author's Bio: 

Aatif Shahzad