What Is A #PCB/PCB Board Exactly?

PCB is short for Printed Circuit Board; even though it is likely a poor use of English to say PCB Board since you are effectively saying, “Printed Circuit Board Board”, you will generally see it written this way as there are many aspects of PCB’s and their manufacture and that term tends to be easily specified. A Circuit Board is simply a board/flat surface with pathways “drawn” into it with a Conductive  material, usually Copper; Circuit Boards allows an electronic device to communicate with its various components as well as with other electronics. A general comparison is how streets are laid out in a city connecting various neighborhoods; the streets would be the Conductive material, the way they are laid out the pattern, and the neighborhoods the various components. Circuit Boards are almost always referred to as Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) due to the process by which they are made.


Printed Circuit Board

A Printed Circuit Board involves the Surface (usually a flat material), the Conductive material (usually a pure metal such as Silver or Copper), and a Soldering machine (in our case a 3D Printer) or other device that is used to etch the pathways/required pattern on to the Surface. While PCB construction in general most often uses a Semi-additive method most personally affordable 3D Printers use either a purely Subtractive or Additive method. Some 3D Printers, such as the Fabtotum, make PCB’s using a Subtractive Manufacturing process; the most common being PCB Milling. Some others, such as the EX, use an Additive Manufacturing Process. One popular Additive PCB process is Chemical Etching.


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