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Emulating Industrial Printed Circuit Board Design Practice By Designating The Course Instructor As The Fabricator: A Cost Effective Design Experience For Electronics Circuits Laboratories At The Junior Level

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Conference

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

The Best of Design in Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

17

Page Numbers

15.457.1 - 15.457.17

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/15808

Download Count

39

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Paper Authors

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Ernest Kim University of San Diego

biography

Thomas Schubert University of San Diego

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Thomas F. Schubert, Jr. received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of California, Irvine, Irvine CA in 1968, 1969, and 1972 respectively.
He is currently a Professor of electrical engineering at the University of San Diego, San Diego, CA, and came there as a founding member of the engineering faculty in 1987. He previously served on the electrical engineering faculty at the University of Portland, Portland OR and Portland State University, Portland OR and on the engineering staff at Hughes Aircraft Company, Los Angeles, CA.
Prof. Schubert is a member of IEEE and the American Society of Engineering Educators (ASEE) and is a registered professional engineer in Oregon. He currently serves as the faculty advisor for the Kappa Eta chapter of Eta Kappa Nu at the University of San Diego.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Emulating Industrial PCB Design Practice By Designating The Course Instructor As The Fabricator: A Cost Effective Design Experience For Electronics Circuits Laboratories At The Junior Level

Abstract

For two years, the University of San Diego has included Printed Circuit Board (PCB) layout design and test in the laboratory portion of the second of two junior level electronic circuits courses that is required of all electrical engineering majors. A replication of PCB design and standard industry Gerber file export experience encountered in industry was developed. A model was developed for the PCB design experience that emulated real-world situations and cost criteria. In this model of the industrial design situation, the instructor served as the fabricator. Students individually used industry standard schematic capture and layout software to develop a PCB for a simplified discrete οA741 operational amplifier. The layout designs were submitted as Gerber files electronically to the instructor/fabricator for evaluation.

Grades were assigned by evaluating the accuracy and cost effectiveness of the design by minimizing traces, reducing PCB geometry, and limiting the number of vias. Feedback was provided by the instructor acting as the fabricator to individual students and a single fabricated printed circuit board, designed by the instructor (and fabricated by a commercial PCB manufacturer), was delivered to students for assembly and test. Although the PCB delivered is different than the one design by students, it is common for PCB fabricators to recommend changes to the original design and deliver a board that is not the same as the original design. By delivering a single PCB design to students, fabrication costs can be minimized and students can inspect the delivered board as an exemplar.

Assessments of the student perceptions of knowledge of and confidence in applying printed circuit board techniques in designing and releasing a printed circuit board were conducted prior to and after the PCB layout design and test. On a 5-point scale, overall student-reported knowledge increased by 2.79 and overall student confidence increased by 1.25 points. Faculty assessment of knowledge, as measured by scoring short answers to knowledge statements, correlated well with student report and showed an average increase of 2.85.

The instructor/fabricator model for PCB layout design experience allowed for a low cost and realistic design experience for students. As such, this model could be implemented economically in many programs as a means for introducing PCB layout design in their curriculum.

Kim, E., & Schubert, T. (2010, June), Emulating Industrial Printed Circuit Board Design Practice By Designating The Course Instructor As The Fabricator: A Cost Effective Design Experience For Electronics Circuits Laboratories At The Junior Level Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/15808

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