Electronic Prototyping: Best Practices

Electronic Prototyping: Best Practices

Jeff McAlvay, co-founder of Tempo Automation, met with the Hardware Massive members in Uptown Oakland to discuss the best practices for electronic prototyping, and what these practices can mean for your shipping schedule. Discussion topics revolved around getting a working product to consumers as quickly as possible, all by approaching electronics prototyping in the correct manner. 

Currently, Jeff works as the CEO of Tempo Automation to provide instant quoting and three-day delivery of turnkey printed circuit board assemblies; past work includes lead roles at McMaster-Carr, an industrial supply company providing same-day delivery on thousands of items.

Key Takeaways

1) Approach prototyping in a methodical and systematic way

When you’re bringing a product to market, there are a lot of things that can go wrong — maybe it doesn’t fit in the box correctly, interferes with other products or simply doesn’t work with the software. Eliminate those risks in a systematic and methodical way.

2) The introduction of a slot can help in the over constraint of your board

It’s very easy to design your board in such a way that the mounting of it is over constrained. One way you can prevent that over constraint, is through the introduction of a slot.

3) Keep solder mask colors in mind when developing a prototype

Have a different solder mask color for the fake prototypes. It can be handy to have that glaringly obvious option for what is and isn’t real, to prevent any mix ups.

4) Put yourself in the shoes of your mechanical and software engineers

Lastly, think about how you can better help your mechanical and software engineers. How can you design a version of your board that isn’t going to be a mammoth suck on your time, but that will also give the mechanical and software engineers on your team a good idea of what to expect from your work? It’ll make their lives easier, and also prevent instances of having all the parts ready to go, but then the parts not fitting together, integrating and working well together.

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