This page is about manufacturing circuits.

Why automated?

Before GenBoard/Verthree many circuits were assembled by diy-ers, some even etched their own PCB. GenBoard/Verthree was optimized for efficient usage of space and resources, so complex processes can be controlled with it. As a side-effect, most components cannot be purchased in small quantities.

The 2 sided hole-plated PCB requires relatively high quality. The minimal application does not require too many components, but still not very useful to spend assembly time on one PCB, but a pipeline production. The whole design is optimized for a professional type production.

Automated picknplace manufacturing

v3.1 was assembled on a small machine (only top side) and v3.2 (SMD parts on top and bottom) was assembled on a highend (siemens HS180,SP120 S15-F3) machine.

Some parts are manually assembled, because

Eagle in, board out

We basically reached our circuit manufacturing dream:

send in the

push the acknowledge button and get

This could work for a small test-series too (with the digital interfacing of assemble-data, buying the simple components from them, and sharing large part of the BOM between boards).

What was done to achieve this?

Because there are a lot of options that are better not populated, we have a little software assist. It might sound like miniscule issue, but the broken xls method (for BOM or PNP) really robbed more than a week earlier, and was unmaintainable.

see bin/ and bin/categories.txt in CVS. makes a set of output files that helps automated or manual assembly, (parts ordered by component value and package!) and buying of components.

# this script helps grouping the components
# 1) We have very detailed categorisation in a
# manually maintained categories.txt file CVS firmware/bin.
# 2) Also got some component info generated from the SCH+PCB editor (megasquirtavr.pnp)
# 3) We consider some rules, and make 5 groups.
# 4) We print the data for each group, and some more....

The following problems can show up:

whatever left is intended onboard, SMD automatically, throughole manually)

what do we need ?

Why? if the past is on a unused pad it will just tin the pad when heated.

I see no need to do any of this 'solderpaste-mask' editing.

This is very good news for developers. We don't want forking hell for other reasons, but this will open some new horizons.

Automated manufacturing will be higher quality, still needs GenBoard/VerThree/Testing

The rest is MISC links about possible manufacturing related resources

There are several companies in Hungary for manufacturing circuits.

Circuit design

PCB manufacturing

[European addresses]

[a site with plenty addresses]

[anywhere in the world, cheap for small series]

Board manufacturing manually

To put short, manual assembly is not supported. It's impossible to reach the precision of the assembly-machine, not to talk about labor. Developers assembled a few boards manually for testing - but this practice seems to be dying as even the testing series will be assembled to a large level in the future.

We have a very high level of board assembly documentation: so that even machines without intelligence can assemble (!!!) not just humans (for whom the schematic and layout is enough).

Besides part values (that has the BOM too) this also requires part positions (layout).

The instructions for testing (like except it has testing to much beyond the point that is at all possible with the motorola megasquirt) started on GenBoard/VerThree/Testing. This procedure should be extended to more functions, also aiming for fully automated testing.

Board manufacturing in bigger series with machines


Prolan (for design rules, eg. min drill sizes)

See also: DocsPage/ElectronicDesign?