If you are using an electronic device, it has a board to control most of its functions. But since there are different types of boards, the designer must know which board is suitable for an electronic project.
The two main boards to consider are Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) and Breadboard. Both boards have their own advantages and drawbacks. Below is valuable information that will help you determine which board to consider.
What is a Prototyping board?
Prototype pcb is a board developed to test a design before going to full production. They are vital because they help you see the changes you need to make without remanufacturing a whole printed circuit board again. After having a successful prototype, you can now build the PCB.
A printed circuit board or PCB is a circuit board (mostly green) covered in connections and grooves, and it is found in most electronic devices. The PCB manufacturer takes a design and turns it into a functioning board.
PCB has two vital functions. First, it attaches electronic elements in the designated locations on the external layers through soldering. The other function of PCB is to offer reliable electronic connections between components’ terminals suitably, generally known as PCB design.
Why do you need a PCB prototyping board?
There are various reasons why you need a PCB prototyping board instead of going straight to standard production. The benefits of a PCB prototyping board include:
*Ability to detect faults early – A PCB prototyping board enables you to detect design faults early in the development process. This is vital because you will not have invested much money and time into the challenging design.
Making changes early during the development process will help you avoid a wide range of potential problems. This is because fixing an issue later will be complicated and might be very expensive.
*Fast turnaround time – a PCB prototyping board is produced faster than standard PCBs. It is possible to turn around an order in a few days. However, the average time for normal production is three to eighteen days, but the prototype is two to five days.
Hence, with a fast turnaround time, it is possible to start testing new designs quickly and ensure your project moves at a good pace.
*Reduced overall costs – liking rapid prototyping parts, it is possible to cut the overall cost of your project. First, you will detect errors in the design faster and manage to fix them before investing in a big production.
*Enhanced final product – with PCB prototyping, it is possible to focus on achieving an enhanced PCB. Prototyping ensures you avoid undetected malfunctions that may show up in final products causing more problems down the line.
What is Breadboard?
A breadboard is a kind of prototyping that does not need soldering connections. Hence, it is less permanent compared to a printed circuit board. With a breadboard, there are sockets where you push the elements into.
This allows you to add, remove, or change them when required. A breadboard is more for designing, testing, and experimenting with circuit connections before turning them permanent.
How does the breadboard work?
Since it is possible to remove and change the element’s breadboard, you can decide to construct a breadboard before making the permanent PCB. You only need to draw schematics and then connect the wires as required.
Breadboards are planned for integrated circuits. It is possible to place an integrated circuit chip over the channel to give you access to the pins on both of the existing chips. After that, it is possible to connect a resistor.
Prototyping Board vs. Breadboard: What is the difference?
A Prototyping board and breadboard are two types of boards with various functions. A breadboard is an initial step when developing a printed circuit board. When you have a breadboard, it is possible to change and move circuits that are typically permanent on a PCB.
Characteristics of Breadboard
*Breadboards are easier and quicker to assemble. This is because there are no permanent solder networks.
*With breadboards, it is possible to change and move the connections to test different situations.
*It is possible to change various elements such as resistor and capacitor value.
*Breadboards are limited by their current carrying capacity because of the connections.
*You can reuse the boards to design different circuits.
Characteristics of Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs)
*Printed circuit boards are permanent to run an electronic gadget.
*Compared to a breadboard, a PCB is a board with better carrying capacity. In addition, traces can be more comprehensive for more current to run.
*It is possible to make a PCB rigid.
*You can add your PCB for external connections.
*When it comes to looks, a PCB looks better than a breadboard. However, it needs to be manufactured correctly.
*You will find PCBs in most modern electronic devices.
Should you use a breadboard or PCB?
There are times you can use a PCB, and there are times you can use a breadboard. However, it all depends on what you want from the manufacturer. Moreover, the stage you are in will help you decide whether to use a PCB or breadboard.
When is the best time to use a breadboard?
The best time to use a breadboard is when experimenting with circuits and connections. It is excellent for experimenting because it is not permanent. In addition, you can quickly move circuits and connections around without damaging the board.
But because the board is not permanent, the current capacity is very minimal. The best option is to use it as a pre-step before you develop the printed circuit board.
When is the best time to use a PCB?
A PCB can be used for actual gadgets. Once you test out a breadboard and search for the design suited for the project, you can develop it into a printed circuit board. Nevertheless, a PCB is permanent because of soldering. Happily, you can use a PCB to run your electronic project.
With the above information, you can now tell the difference between a prototyping board and a breadboard. A breadboard is easy to assemble because it is not permanent. But since it is not permanent, the current capacity is less.
On the other hand, prototyping is developed for testing a design. This is done before creating a permanent circuit board. Creating a prototype is vital because it allows you to make changes without reproducing the entire board repeatedly.