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38 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2021 Methods may have changed, but the goal for PCB designers remains the same: create bet- ter PCB designs, always seeking to improve everything from manufacturability to dura- bility. We must keep up with the latest CAD tool features, choosing the right design tool for your design. As the design and manufacturing process evolves, we must grow in our under- standing. e tools we use for PCB design have changed a lot since the USS Enterprise went on its first mission in 1966. We all remember the cardboard sets and ridiculously tight shirts from the original show, but how oen do we think about what the crew could make that ship do from a bridge with fewer instruments than a toddler's first cash register? Sulu did a lot with not much. He was flying that baby at warp speed, then stopping on a dime and orbiting planets with unknown grav- itational pull using just a few bright lights to provide him with information and a lever that moved in only two directions. At that same point in history, PCB designers were creating the boards that helped to actually put people on the moon. And they did it using draing tables, X-Acto knives, mechanical pencils, and stickers. The Original Series In the olden days, creating a PCB design was a two-person job—much like piloting the Enter- prise. Without Chekhov to provide directions, Sulu would've been going in circles at warp speed. Without a trained electronics draftsman to create the schematic, PCB designers of that era would find themselves adri on impulse power with shields at seven percent. e process for draing a board schematic in the pre-CAD era was like mak- ing schematics in construc- tion. Schematics were built using pencils, a T-square, a triangle, a tilted table, and an eraser. Specialized elec- tronics stencils were used to draw the schematic, ensur- There is No 'Final' Frontier for PCB Design Connect the Dots Feature Column by Matt Stevenson, SUNSTONE CIRCUITS

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