Electronic – Cost reduction by eliminating vias from PCB design


I am designing a small (30mmX20mm) and not complicated two layer PCB. It is possible to do the design without using vias.

  • Is it possible to determine how much can I save approximately by eliminating vias from design?
  • Is it worth it?

Best Answer

Basically, the cost breakdown for doing the drilling of vias and other through-holes is:

  • (1) setup time (putting the board on the machine)
  • (2) time on the machine
  • (3) removing the board from the machine
  • (4) (later) plate-through holes

Costs #1, 3, and 4 are the same regardless of the number of vias. Cost #2 does vary, not just with the number of vias, but how long it takes to drill them, and how often the bit needs changing.

So there is some benefit to reducing vias if you have to have them, and also keeping the hole sizes large enough that the bits don't wear out as quickly. But in the big picture, for a very simple board this won't matter much.

Also consider that if your board has a special shape or uses 'mouse bites' or other breakaways for panelization, that takes routing time on the same machine that does the drilling. This in fact will dominate time spent on the drilling table. Using v-scribe singulation avoids this.