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12 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2021 Feature Interview by the I-Connect007 Editorial Team When we started planning this issue on the art of PCB design, we knew we'd have to speak with artists who are also PCB designers. Fortunately, we know several such designers. For this issue, we spoke with Mentor Graph- ics (now Siemens) and Altium alum Charles Pfeil, a great photographer; iCD founder Barry Olney, a wonderful painter; and Nordson Asymtek's Bill Brooks, whose sculptures rival those of Remington. In this lively, wide-ranging conversation, we asked this trio to discuss the artistic side of PCB design, how art intersects with science, and whether a young designer can learn to be artistic. If you already had an idea on this topic, we venture this interview might change your mind. Andy Shaughnessy: Many designers say PCB design is as much an art as it is a science; some- PCB Design: Where Art and Science Intersect times maybe more, or maybe not. We decided to gather some artists in our industry—in this case a painter, a sculptor, and a photogra- pher—to talk about it. Is PCB design more art than science? Charles Pfeil: Sure, there are artistic aspects to it, but I think there are some others too. For example, a PCB designer has the knowledge, experience, and ability to use the tools they have, and their intent is to create a printed circuit design that functions as desired. ey don't start out wanting to create a work of art. A photographer also has the knowledge and ability to use tools that create a picture to fulfill the photographer's imagination. So, in a sense, they both have similar talents. I would call it a creative talent, but their goals are slightly dif- ferent. To be a printed circuit board designer with artistic talent does indeed help solve the problems with placement routing. ey can use imagination when they make decisions on which approach is the best. e photog- Image by Charles Pfeil

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