PCB Drill Bit

The PCB drill bits are the cutting tools used in the manufacturing of electronic products. PCB stands for printed circuit board which provides the electrical connections and support to the components in electronic products. The printed circuit board is the key to almost every piece of modern electronic product and the PCB drill bits play an important part in the manufacturing process of these components for they are the specialized drill bits that are used particularly to create holes on the PCBs.
 

PCB Drill Holes

PCB drill holes are the holes created by the PCB drill bits on the surface of a printed circuit board. The holes are a vital part for the multilayer PCBs for they serve as the electrical connection between each layer on one hand, and they are used to position or to hold components in place on the other hand. The electrical connection and the positioning and holding of components are the two primary functions of the PCB drill holes. They can only be created by the PCB drill bits. Besides the functions of the PCB drill holes, the PCB holes are divided into three categories based on the construction.

The PCB drill holes can be categorized as the blind vias, the buried vias, and the through holes. The blind via refers to the holes at the top layer and bottom layer of the printed circuit board. It serves as the connection between the surface layers and the inner layers. The buried via is the holes located at the inner layers of the PCB. The through holes are the holes that are drilled through the entire layers of the PCB. They serve as the internal electrical interconnection as well as the positioning holes for component assembly. Since the manufacturing of through holes is easier and the cost lower, it is preferred to the other two types.
 

Parts of the PCB Holes

Regardless of the types of holes, there are two basic components of a PCB drill hole: the drill hole in the center and the pad around the hole. The size of a PCB drill hole is determined by the size of the center hole and the ambient pad. The hole size matters since the smaller the holes are on the PCB, the more space is spared for circuit layout. However, the smaller the holes are, the more difficult it is to create the hole and hence the higher the manufacturing cost is. Also, there is a limit to the minimal size of the holes because of the manufacturing technology and the PCB drill bits.
 

Manufacturing Process of PCBs

The manufacturing of printed circuit boards comes in eight steps, including designing, printing the design, printing copper, removal of copper, inspection, lamination, drilling and PCB plating. The PCB drill bits are used in the steps where the removal of materials is required. Based on the material to remove and the holes to drill, the choice of PCB drill bit is critical.
 

PCB Design & Printing

At these two stages, the designer of the PCB lays out the blueprint based on the computation requirements that the end product is supposed to fulfill. The blueprint of the PCBs is done on the software. Once the design is done, it will be sent to the fabrication house for manufacturing. Before manufacturing, the design has to pass through a series of inspections. After the checks, the design can be printed out.
 

Copper Printing for Interior Layers & Removal of Unneeded Copper

This is where the manufacturing process begins. After the design is printed onto a laminate sheet, copper is bonded to that sheet as the structure for the PCB. A photosensitive film, the resist, will be coated onto the copper. This is the setup and preparation for the manufacturing process. To remove the unwanted parts of copper, a special chemical is used. After the parts are removed, the preparation is basically done.
 

Layer Inspection & Lamination

When the unwanted parts are removed and the laminate sheet is cleaned, the layer alignment should be done. At this stage, an optical inspection is conducted to make sure the inner layers and outer layers are aligned. The inspection is important because after the layers are bonded together, the errors cannot be corrected. The lamination is the process that the inner and the outer layer are placed together.
 

Drilling & Plating

To conduct the drilling process, an X-ray machine is used to locate the drill spots and the PCB drill bits are used to make the cuts. The PCB drill bits are controlled and guided by a computer to make sure the drilling is done with precision and accuracy. During the plating process, a series of chemicals are coated on to the board so that all the layers can be fused.

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