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32 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2021 Feature Article by Tamara Jovanovic HAPPIEST BABY We have all been there: updating our PCB design last minute before releasing manufac- turing files to a fabrication house. is can be a particularly daunting task on its own and even more so if you are limited by time. While you are working on the design and making sure that you did not make any mistakes in the schematic or layout, you must also be aware of all the parts and information that you are working with. It is probably best to create your own parts and footprints and that way keep track of the information you are putting in your system and what your outputs will be. However, that is not always the easiest task, especially if you are using complicated parts or if you simply do not have enough time to create every part from scratch. Sometimes, it is easier and faster to find a part online that already has all the infor- mation you need. If you had a system of where you store your part details, you must make sure to go back and verify that the specs for this new part from an external library do not have important details stored in different loca- tions. Additionally, you need to make sure that the part itself is indeed the one you are look- ing for, as mistakes happen and sometimes the part you need is linked to wrong design files. In this part of the design cycle, it is so easy to unintentionally introduce "garbage" into your system. Unless you have time to extensively check everything you bring in from an external source, it is very likely that something will not match up with your design data. In the end, this means you'll have to put more work into your design and basically reverse-engineer a part that was supposed to save you time and effort. Introducing bad data is never intentional. No designer or engineer purposely puts files into their system that they know will haunt them somewhere down the road. We all assume that if the basics are covered, we can fix a couple of errors manually, or go back later and fix any remaining issues while the boards are being fabricated. But life gets in the way, and other tasks and issues may arise in your job; you might not have the time to go back and thoroughly check everything right away, or you simply forget. Turning 'Garbage In, Garbage Out' into 'Good In, Good Out'

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