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TechSoft PCB V3

Printed Circuit Board Design & Manufacture

TechSoft PCB V3

TechSoft PCB V3 is effectively two programs in one package.

Firstly, a very simple to use PCB design package, developed specifically for the needs of education and secondly, a PCB manufacturing system. The system allows the use of a STIKA, CAMM 1, VersaSTUDIO or TrueVIS to cut out the tracks in sticky backed copper foil, or the use of a SRM-20E, RotoCAMM, DE-3E, etc., to engrave around the tracks, drill the holes and cut out the board, for a completely finished PCB.

TechSoft PCB V3 Screenshot
PCB Design

TechSoft PCB V3 provides a convenient and professional method of designing printed circuit boards and drawing schematics. Although a very comprehensive system, the most important design consideration for our software writers, has been to make it easy to use and accessible to students. It is ideal for both simple single-sided PCBs, and complex double-sided boards. A library facility allows standard component libraries (supplied) to be used. Alternatively, user defined components, or even whole circuits, may be saved as library items. Thus it is possible to create small system boards which may easily be loaded and “joined” together to form complete circuits. A large selection of pre-drawn “Alpha” circuit modules is included.

Links with 2D Design mean that design drawings may be used as templates, allowing accurate positioning of components on the board. Alternatively, TechSoft PCB V3 drawings may be transferred to 2D Design to use in designing the enclosure, fascia, packaging and publicity material.

The track and pad data in a PCB drawing is recognised and preserved when transferred into 2D Design V2 – and vice versa. This compatibility
means maximum flexibility for complete electronic product design.

PCB Manufacture
Electronic Dice PCB

Conventional school PCB manufacture has been fraught with problems. Now TechSoft have devised clean, quick and simple solutions using manufacturing machines already widely available and proven in schools.

Look at the advantages:
NO “Bridging” of tracks due to faulty etching.
NO Dangerous chemicals and messy etch tanks.
NO Chemical disposal problems.
NO Multi-stage manufacturing processes.
NO Expensive photo etch board.
NO Guessing exposure times (and getting it wrong!).

The software allows two basic manufacturing strategies, engraving onto conventional PCB board using a SRM-20E, RotoCAMM, DE-3E, etc., or cutting a circuit from sticky backed copper foil using a STIKA, CAMM 1, etc.

Engraving PCBs
PCB on Machine

A piece of PCB board is placed on the machine bed, and the Make PCB option is selected. The machine will then automatically engrave the tracks, drill the holes, and cut out the board. This is a quick, clean and reliable process (eg., a typical simple 555 based circuit should take no more than a couple of minutes to complete on a RotoCAMM). Virtually any circuit design can be manufactured with this process. It is even possible to put tracks between DIL pads!

Copper Foil PCBs
Copper Foil PCBs

This process, developed by TechSoft, uses a self-adhesive copper foil (Cutronics). This fits into any Roland vinyl cutter and cuts just like vinyl. When weeded, the circuit can be applied to any suitable substrate such as plastic sheet, wood or card. (If card is used it is possible to make bendy, even “roll up” circuits).

This process is ideally suited to simple circuits with larger pads and tracks, a marvellous introduction to PCB manufacture.

TechSoft PCB V3 Layers
  • Shares a common user interface with education standard drawing package, 2D Design V2
  • Colour coded double layer boards, silk screen and schematic layers
  • Preset or user definable pads and tracks. Tracks may be drawn at any angle
  • No practical limit to size of board or
    component count
  • Comprehensive transformation commands, move, rotate, mirror image, copy and array
  • Editing mode allows single items, or groups, to be moved while maintaining connectivity
  • Comprehensive zoom facilities
  • User definable library items, allows whole circuits to be used as library items, thus enabling “system” circuit design
  • Opens 2D Design files allowing board profiles to be matched to enclosure design, component profiles to be incorporated into library items, etc.
  • Graphical output via Windows printer drivers
  • Manufacturing output to Roland CNC Machines
  • Multiple Undos / Redos.