Why You Need to Hire a PCB Engineer
At first glance, a CAD designer and PCB engineer do very similar work. They’re both showing the PCB layout and how it works, and are building the PCB in different ways. It may be tempting to skip the PCB engineer and just use a CAD designer to complete your project.
PCB engineers have great value that can save you money in the long run. They often have experience not just in how PCBs work, but also in manufacturing. If your PCB is made in a way that isn’t easily manufacturable, you may have to pay a fortune to the manufacturer for new dyes or other changes to the facility itself to make your project.
Long term, it’s cheaper to design a product that is manufacturable from the get-go. Even assuming the CAD designer can create a PCB board that works for the purpose, they may not be aware of what makes it easily manufactured. A few simple changes to the board could make it much cheaper to manufacture, saving money over time, with a more experienced designer.
Even features that seem relatively benign can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars down the road if it isn’t easy to manufacture. This can be something as simple as a button in an unusual place, or anything that would require you to purchase an injection mold in order to create it.
Why You Need a Prototype
Even a simple PCB board can be deceptively hard to get right. You may think that because your PCB board isn’t very complex, it will be easy for a manufacturer to understand and build. The problem is, it is very common for mistakes to sneak through the process on simple boards.
Imagine paying for a run of 30,000 PCB boards, only to discover that they don’t work quite the way you planned. You now have 30,000 PCB boards you can’t use—or have to fix. A single prototype can avoid this mistake, by letting you iron out any problems before it gets to the production stage.
What’s more, When your engineer is looking at your prototype, they may be able to make suggestions that don’t harm the quality of the product at all but reduce the manufacturing costs by huge amounts. This of course isn’t a guarantee, depending on the prototype, but it is a possibility.