The days of hand-drawn PCB layouts are practically a thing of the past. In many respects, that’s a good thing. Whenever a mistake was made (and don’t you dare think it never happened) that meant starting over with a new sheet of acetate to draw the corrected design. Today, we follow the industry standard by using CAD software that is far more advanced than older versions.

For those who do not know or who need a refresher, CAD stands for Computer-Aided Drafting. This is the same technology that allows drawings to be produced for architectural and engineering projects exponentially faster than the old days of drawing by hand. Instead of using tools like T-squares, triangles, and compasses to draw shapes, a few mouse clicks or keyboard strokes transfer sketches and ideas to the screen in a fraction of the time. What’s even better is that any changes that need to be made can happen in nearly the blink of an eye.


Since it doesn’t really make sense to keep drawing certain shapes many times over manually with CAD software, there are libraries of components to drastically reduce drawing time. For example, many circuits will utilize a 16-pin surface mount IC package that is industry standard, so that is included in a component library. Being more specific, this same CAD software specifies what type of IC that is part of the circuit so that the transfer of information between the schematic drawn in one window in the software and the PCB layout in the other window is virtually seamless.

The innovations in PCB CAD software also allow for other time-saving and headache-reducing features. Those include aiding with finding the most logical trace paths and checking the layout against design rules. These are convenient extra measures taken by the software to ensure that your circuit will perform as designed and that there should be no nasty surprises waiting for you.


Though today’s CAD software allows for turning out designs faster, there is still no substitute for years of knowledge and experience. When you need Phoenix PCBs for your product or project, contact the experts at MJS Designs. We know how to transform your circuit design into reality. Our combination of experience and knowhow along with keeping up on the latest of CAD software means that you will get your printed circuit boards professionally designed and prepared for production faster than you might think. We’re waiting to hear from you, so go ahead and contact us now!