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124 PCB007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2020 Article by Pete Starkey I-CONNECT007 DFM guidelines may offer some qualitative rules about aiming for uniformity of copper distribution within a layer and maintaining symmetry in a stackup, but generally, these re- fer to inner-layer copper and relate to avoiding pressure differentials in the laminating press and bow-and-twist in the reflow oven. What about the outer layers if the design is to be manufactured by pattern plating, particularly if conductor cross-sections and plated-through- hole finished diameters are critical? Does the PCB designer understand the principles of pat- tern electroplating? Circuit features in sparsely populated areas will take more than their nomi- nal share of the deposited copper (Figure 1). And what about panelisation? Is the design required to be delivered as a multiple on an as- Improving Copper Distribution in Pattern Plating Using Simulation Software Figure 1: Panelisation planning starts as early as the PCB design phase.

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