How to Judge the Acceptance of PCB Quality
Which Color Circuit Board Sells the Most Expensive
Method to Solve the Noise Interference of Power Supply on High-frequency PCB Board
Disassembly Skills of Chip Components on PCB
What Factors Should Be Considered in the Selection of High-frequency PCB CCL
How to Place Special Components during PCB Layout
What Are the Functions of Capacitors in Circuits?
Testing Techniques for Common Electronics Components
What to do if There is a Short Circuit on the PCB
Desoldering Principles and knowhow during PCBA Processing
Black Oxidation of the Inner Layer of the Multilayer PCB
How to Ensure the High-performance Design of PCB
What Is the Printing Process of SMT Solder Paste?
PCB without fiducial mark, Is There Any Way to do SMT for It
What Are the Benefits of Reserving Break-up Tab for PCB Production
How Does SMT Affect PCB Production Time and Speed It Up
Classification of PCBs from three aspects
Common Problems and Solutions for Dry Film pasting during PCB Manufacturing process
Several Elements to Inspect after PCB Design
What is a halogen-free circuit board?
What Do Capacitive Coupling and Decoupling Mean?
What Are the Differences Between PCB Paste Mask and Solder Mask?
How PCBA Is Packaged and Shipped
How long can PCBA finished products be stored?
What Are the Differences and Relations Between PCB, PCBA, and SMT?
PCB Baking Specifications
PCB "Solder Mask Tenting" and "Solder Mask Opening"
Five reasons for PCB deformation and six solutions
Importance of first article inspection of PCBA board
Temperature zone standard for SMT reflow soldering
Small and medium volume PCB manufacturers in China
The main reason for PCBA cleaning
For power filter, the more capacitors, the better?
What does PCBA programming mean?
Content of PCB incoming testing
What conditions must be met for PCB circuit board soldering?
What is Blind via and Buried via
PCBA Manufacturers Temperature and Humidity Sensitive Components Management
Why choose Shenzhen SMT processing factory?
How long does it take to calculate the quotation for PCBA manufacturing?
Introduction of PCB design clearance requirements
Explanation of BOM, DIP, SMT, SMD
Introduction of the process of PCBA prototype
How to prevent pseudo soldering or cold soldering defects in PCBA manufacturing?
Factors that affect the Price of FPCB
What information is required for SMT processing at PCBA factory?
Skills of using 0ohm resistor in PCB design
How to select a PCBA manufacturer
SMT processing solder joint quality inspection
Characteristics difference between immersion gold PCB and gold plating PCB
Common malfunctions of Circuit Board Caused by Moisture
A Few Rules about PCB Panelization
Compare of multi-layer PCB with single/double layer PCB
Why do we need to introduce so many subdivided GND
Difference between immersion gold boards and gold plating boards
Aluminum PCB structure
Classification of different GND in circuit
Why PCB baking is necessary during manufacturing process
The handle and precautions of OSP board in SMT process
How to choose capacitors for filter decoupling
How to choose filter capacitor for switching power supply
5 database need for SMT process
Function of three-terminal capacitor
Introduction of PCB OSP surface treatment
Method of inspecting the quality of SMT by step
How to find the short point between VCC and GND
Difference between 850nm and 940nm infrared LED
Component layout of PCB SMT DFM
Pad shape influence on the strength and reliability of the soldering joints
The difference between high temperature solder paste and low temperature solder paste
Introduction to manual welding processing
Manual visual inspection in PCBA processing
Characteristics of the conformal coating process
Difference between hardware engineers and software engineers
PCBA processing operation rules
China PCB upstream materials has continued to soar
Difference between serial buses and parallel buses
The key points of quality control in PCBA processing
Common causes of solder beading during SMT process
Analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of HASL PCB surface
Requirements for layout of components during SMT assembly
Selection of electronic components and CCL for PCBA
Performance and appearance quality inspection of components.
Quality and Reliability of SMT Chip Processing and Production
Coupling and decoupling function of capacitor
Two methods to connect digital ground and analog ground
Common sense in SMT process

How to get an irregular shape PCB design

The complete PCB we envision is usually a regular rectangular shape. Although most designs are indeed rectangular, but many designs require irregularly shaped circuit boards, and such shapes are often not easy to design. In this article, Chinese PCBA manufacturer - SysPCB will introduce how to design irregular-shaped PCBs.

Nowadays, the size of PCB is constantly shrinking, and the functions in the circuit board are also increasing. Coupled with the increase of clock speed, the design becomes more and more complicated. So, let's take a look at how to deal with circuit boards with more complex shapes.

Simple PCI circuit board outlines can be easily created in most EDA Layout tools. However, when the circuit board shape needs to be adapted to a complex shell with height restrictions, it is not so easy for PCB designers, because the functions in these tools are not the same as those of mechanical CAD systems. Complex circuit boards are mainly used in explosion-proof shells, so they are subject to many mechanical restrictions. Rebuilding this information in the EDA tool may take a long time and is not effective. Because, mechanical engineers are likely to have created the shell, circuit board shape, mounting hole location, and height restrictions required by the PCB designer. Due to the arc and radius in the circuit board, the reconstruction time may be longer than expected even if the circuit board shape is not complicated.

Then, the question is "how to import the defined mechanical engineering specifications into PCB design tools?"

We can use DXF, IDF or ProSTEP format to import all the information into the PCB Layout software to solve this problem. This can save a lot of time and eliminate possible human error. Next, we will learn about these formats one by one.


DXF is the oldest and most widely used format, which mainly exchanges data between mechanical and PCB design domains electronically. AutoCAD developed it in the early 1980s. This format is mainly used for two-dimensional data exchange. Most PCB tool vendors support this format, and it does simplify data exchange. DXF import/export requires additional functions to control the layers, different entities and units that will be used in the exchange process.

A few years ago, 3D functions began to appear in PCB tools, so a format that can transfer 3D data between machinery and PCB tools is needed. As a result, Mentor Graphics developed the IDF format, which was then widely used to transmit circuit board and component information between PCBs and mechanical tools.


Although the DXF format includes the board size and thickness, the IDF format uses the X and Y position of the component, the component number, and the Z- axis height of the component. This format greatly improves the ability to visualize the PCB in a three-dimensional view. The IDF file may also include other information about restricted areas, such as height restrictions on the top and bottom of the circuit board.

The system needs to be able to control the content contained in the IDF file in a similar way to the DXF parameter setting. If some components do not have height information, IDF export can add the missing information during the creation process.

Another advantage of the IDF interface is that any party can move the components to a new location or change the shape of the circuit board, and then create a different IDF file. The disadvantage of this method is that the entire file representing the board and component changes needs to be re-imported, and in some cases, it may take a long time due to the file size. In addition, it is difficult to determine which changes have been made with the new IDF file, especially on larger circuit boards. IDF users can eventually create custom scripts to determine these changes.


In order to better transmit 3D data, designers are looking for an improved way, and STEP format came into being. The STEP format can convey the board size and component layout, but more importantly, the component is no longer a simple shape with only a height value. The STEP component model provides detailed and complex representation of components in three-dimensional form. Both circuit board and component information can be transferred between PCB and machinery. However, there is still no mechanism to track changes.

In order to improve the exchange of STEP files, we introduced the ProSTEP format. This format can move the same data as IDF and STEP, and has great improvements-it can track changes, and it can also provide the ability to work in the original system of the subject and review any changes after establishing a baseline. In addition to viewing changes, PCB and mechanical engineers can also approve all or individual component changes in layout and board shape modifications. They can also suggest different board sizes or component locations. This improved communication establishes an ECO (Engineering Change Order) that has never existed before between ECAD and the mechanical team.

Today, most ECAD and mechanical CAD systems support the use of the ProSTEP format to improve communication, thereby saving a lot of time and reducing the costly errors that can be caused by complex electromechanical designs. More importantly, engineers can create a complex circuit board shape with additional restrictions, and then transmit this information electronically to avoid someone wrongly reinterpreting the board size, thereby saving time.

Sum up:

If you have not used these DXF, IDF, STEP or ProSTEP data formats to exchange information, you should check their usage. Consider using this electronic data exchange to stop wasting time to recreate complex circuit board shapes.