Printed Circuit Board Design - A History

by:Rocket PCB     2020-04-08
The inventor of printed circuit board design was from Austria. He was an engineer named Paul Eisler. He actually came up with the design in 1936 as part of a radio set design, but it wasn't until 1943 that the use of this became popular in the United States. The United States military made the most extensive use of printed circuit board designs in the making of radio sets for their soldiers to be used in war. 5 years later, the design was then used by commercial businesses. This upsurge in commercial use began only after the United States government approved the printed circuit designs for the public. Before the printed circuit design was used by the army and by commercial companies, the use of point to point construction was very popular. When prototypes were being made, it was common for businesses to make use of the turret boards or wire trap, and use these on lower production runs. Several years ago, before technology had advanced to the level it has today, almost every electronic component has wire leads to it and the circuit design boards would have holes especially made for the wires of these electronics to fit into the circuit board. The wires were put through the holes and were then soldered onto the printed circuit board trace. This method of assembling electrical components onto printed circuit boards is known as through hole construction. It was not until 1949 that the auto assembly process was designed by two army officials. In this process, the leads of the electrical components would be inserted into an interconnection pattern made out of copper foil. Attachment would then take place by dip soldering. The processes of etching and board lamination came out later on, which were then incorporated into the printed circuit board designing process. Today, many modern manufacturers are using this process. Soldering was made possible by automatically passing the board over a wave of melted solder material. The use of a wave soldering machine was required for this process. However, the one drawback of using such a process is the extra cost and effort that goes into drilling holes and the cost of the wires used, which end up unused after this wave soldering process is complete. Surface mounted parts are more commonly being used in the modern era. This is possibly due to the increase in the demand for smaller packaged electronic components and machines. Keeping the design of circuit boards in mind, and the history and evolution of the designing, it can be said that the designs have paved way for new inventions of many electronic items that are made and used in our houses. We often take these items for granted and fail to understand how such a small thing like printed circuit board designing can have such a huge impact on our lives.
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