The Printed Circuit Designer's Guide to... ™
Design for Manufacturing (DFM)

by: David Marrakchi, Altium

Welcome to The Printed Circuit Designer's Guide to... DFM
This micro eBook provides an in-depth look at DFM: what DFM entails, why it’s so critical today, and how to implement the DFM techniques necessary to produce a manufacturable and functional board.

This eBook has something to offer for the seasoned designer and the newbie. After reading this eBook, PCB designers will have all the DFM knowledge they need to eliminate costly design re-spins and get a good board back, every time.

ISBN: 978-0-9796189-2-5

David currently serves as a Sr. Technical Marketing Engineer at Altium and is responsible for managing the development of technical marketing materials for all Altium products. He also works closely with our marketing, sales, and customer support teams to define product strategies including branding, positioning, and messaging. David brings over 15 years of experience in the EDA industry to our team, and he holds an MBA from Colorado State University and a B.S. in Electronics Engineering from DeVry Technical Institute.

About Altium

For over 30 years, Altium has been enabling innovators to design the future of electronics by providing solutions to help them leverage new technologies, efficiently manage projects and deliver successful products. With the continuous development of innovative design technology, Altium empowers engineers to design revolutionary products that move the human experience forward.

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For over 30 years, Altium has served the electronic design community as a provider of innovative solutions to modern problems. With a wide range of design tools, Altium supplies engineers with the technologies they need to successfully build the future.

Chapter Summaries

  • Chapter 1

    Overview of the PCB Manufacturing Process


    Chapter 1 provides an overview of the PCB manufacturing process. This chapter covers each step along the way, from design data transfer through final inspection.
  • Chapter 2

    Selecting Your Materials


    Chapter 2 focuses on selecting the proper materials for your PCB, based on the design requirements outlined in the specifications. Material properties are examined, including electrical and copper characteristics.
  • Chapter 3

    Strategizing Your PCB Layout


    Chapter 3 explains how to optimize each PCB layout and create a board that is 100% ready for manufacturing—without being expensively over-constrained.
  • Chapter 4

    Placing and Orienting Your Components


    Chapter 4 offers information on the proper placement and orientation of components on the board. This includes tips on proper land termination and areas to avoid.
  • Chapter 5

    Configuring Your Test Point Requirements


    Chapter 5 explains how to define test points during the PCB layout process, including basic testing requirements and proper test pad placement for easy inspection.
  • Chapter 6

    Documenting Your PCB for Fabrication


    Chapter 6 discusses proper documentation of a PCB for fabrication. This section explains which information must be included in the documentation package in order to convey design intent to the fabricator.
  • Chapter 7

    Documenting Your Master Drawing


    Chapter 7 provides details on documentation of the master drawing, arguably the most critical element of the documentation package. This includes information on documenting dimensioning, callouts, board stackup, vias, test points, and much more
  • Chapter 8

    Documenting Your PCB for Assembly


    Chapter 8 details the final step in DFM—documenting the instructions for component placement and final assembly. This covers the bill of materials, schematic prints, assembly notes, and IPC guidelines for final assembly.

What Our Readers Are Saying



The guide was written in a logical way which pointed me to important sites and described the critical events which occurred there. While walking the path and reading this helpful guide, I was inspired to engage, reach out, touch things and talk to people.

-Kelly Dack
Full Review

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Book Recommendation -- By Kelly Dack

When I walked the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail through historic downtown Boston, I appreciated having my hands on a guidebook to lead me along a path I’d never been. The guide was written in a logical way which pointed me to important sites and described the critical events which occurred there. While walking the path and reading this helpful guide, I was inspired to engage, reach out, touch things and talk to people. Following the guide’s suggestions, I gained an enriched understanding of the monuments, buildings and unique hardware that I would have surely bypassed, racing to the end of the trail on my own. Similarly, the trail to success in PCB design, especially design for manufacturing (DFM), requires an enriched understanding of all the materials, machinery, processes and people involved. It’s not a path that a designer should race to finish alone...

So, I was delighted to get the chance to review The Printed Circuit Designer’s Guide to... DFM, written by David Marrakchi of Altium and published by I-Connect007. This micro eBook is a guidebook for today’s PCB designers. Marrakchi takes the reader through a solid DFM process, from material selection to manufacturing data hand-off, and much more. Marrakchi, senior technical marketing engineer with Altium, has assembled some practical and theoretical “design science” in this handy eight-chapter guide. Like stops on a tour, the design and manufacturing process overviews described in these chapters encourage--and should even inspire--any designer of printed circuits to reach out and engage with the manufacturing community. This book is filled with plenty of design and manufacturing process information, and it utilizes as many robust pictorial examples as any classy tourist guide.

The timing of this book release couldn’t be better. You see, as a liaison in the areas of PCB design and manufacturing, I’ve witnessed a recent explosion of people entering the path of the PCB designer. Many are laying out their first designs as part of a final project in school. Many are young engineers tasked with quick-turning their ideas into a production reality. This requires them to engage not only the schematic portion of a project, but the PCB layout portion, too.

Unfortunately, along with an explosion of new designers has come an explosion of new fabrication challenges for electronic manufacturing suppliers. You see, PCB layout tools are so advanced now that they are capable of allowing the designer to add drilling, routing and dimensioning & tolerancing data that cannot be easily manufactured nor inspected or tested! Yes, there’s even a section on dimensioning and tolerancing in this eBook.

Whether you are new to PCB design or a seasoned professional, you’ll find valuable, thought-provoking DFM information in this book. Download this eBook today, before you start your next design, and you’ll be on your way to getting “a good board back from manufacturing, every time.”

Kelly Dack, CID+, is a PCB designer, educator, as well as a manufacturing liaison with an EMS company in the Pacific Northwest. He is also a technical editor and on-camera talent with I-Connect007.