17 December 2013

Understanding Design-for-Manufacturing (DFM)

And Its Roll in PCB Layout


DFM, DRC, DFF, DFA, DFwhat? All terms we hear used daily in the PCB design world regarding manufacturing analysis and often used interchangeably. But what exactly is DFM and why is it an important -but often ignored- aspect of the PCB design process?


There are always questions when it comes to Design for Fabrication (DFM). Who is responsible for it? Why do I have to do it? Doesn't my PCB Layout software check for issues and discrepancies? Honestly, no, not on its own. When using a DFM specific analysis tool you become aware of rules and specifications that the Fabricator requires. This makes the transition of your PCB design files to fabrication smooth, easy, and successful.


"Understanding DFM" - First appeared at Productronica 2013


DFM analysis will save you valuable time and reduce new product introduction costs and bottlenecks.


Quickly, here is what DFM can do for you and your PCB designs:

  • Netlist Compare, Layer Compare, Rule Checking
  • DFF and DFM analysis with Streams (DownStream exclusive technology)
  • Crossprobing with CAD Layout
  • Design Analyzer (DownStream exclusive technology) for seeking out the right fabricator while simplifying the quoting process