What I believe is that if you know how to connect components, you already know how to build a PCB. In this blog, you'll see how to create your own PCB using EasyEDA, a free online platform by creating a PCB for a simple water level Indicator. Printed Circuit Boards are designed to make circuits compact, portable and you will no longer needs to worry about loose connections once you create a PCB for your project.
It's not that EasyEDA is the simplest platform for designing a PCB, but I prefer it because it's online, which means I don't have to download or install any software on my computer. Everything is updated on a regular basis, and new components are always available.
Second, it becomes much easier for me and everyone else to share our own PCB designs with the rest of the world. In EasyEDA we have two options to save our project, Public and Private.
So it's entirely up to us whether we share or keep our design secret.
These are some of the fundamentals that helped me become more familiar with EasyEDA for PCB design.
Let's Start Designing your first PCB
I am assuming that you have some prior experience of making circuits.
The first step, or step before designing, is to prepare our circuit diagram to ensure the real functionality make a prototype on zero board and test the working. This is how I design a PCB on my own but some individuals jumps to the second step and start with a schematic and then convert it to a PCB file.
The initial step in PCB design is to create a circuit diagram. This is the circuit diagram of water level indicator.
After making a circuit diagram and testing its functionality we can move to the next step.
If you don't want to install any software in your PC then EASYEDA is one of the best online platform to choose as your PCB designing tool.
Now, signup on the EasyEDA website and follow the steps below
Click on File > New > Project
Choose the Title for your project and press save.
Now, you can see a window with design sheet is available on screen. Here, you can create schematic of your circuit.
To Find the components for your schematic, click on Library and search the component by writing component code or name and select the most suitable from the list.
Choose the wire tool from the bottom right side of the window to connect all the components. You can also use Ground and VCC from same tool box.
After completing the schematic, select ‘Convert to PCB’ option from the top right menu in the toolbar. You will see a warning " to check some unfinished nets" Click on yes and if any unfinished net/connection is found connect it.
again click on Convert to PCB and you will be redirected to the PCB Layout screen with your circuit into a rough PCB layout outside a rectangular board outline, here select ‘mm’ in the units menu. Place all the components in the box after selecting the PCB size of your choice.
After placing all the components inside the box, click on Design > Design Rule from top tool bar menu.
Set the parameters for your PCB in this new window.
For traces you can refer to the table below
After setting all the parameters you can see all the changes are visible in the PCB layout on your screen.
To improve your PCB design you can create common GND Copper surface on your PCB. Doing this also improves temperature stability of your circuit and reduces the waste of copper.
Select the option from the tool box shown in image below.
Draw an inner boundary of your layout and name it as GND in net list and you will see it will automatically connect to all Ground points available on PCB.
From the Layer Toolbox you can choose the layer to design on.
Check for DRC Errors in your PCB design, If zero DRC errors then congratulations you have designed the PCB successfully.
You can also check the 3D view of your Designed PCB.