Guided Project Introduction

Welcome to the Altium Education guided project! In this project, you’ll have a chance to see the entire process for designing a PCB, including some basic engineering tasks used to help prepare the design and start the PCB layout. In this project, you’ll be designing a power regulator board that powers a bank of LEDs. The fun twist to this project is that the board will also provide power to an Arduino Uno, which will bypass some of the main power controller functions on the Arduino in favor of the regulator you’ll design.

The board you’ll design is sometimes called a shield board, meaning it sits on top of the standard Arduino Uno board and makes connections through standard pin headers. This arrangement is shown below. The connections through the pin headers will be used to give power to the main Arduino Uno board and to hold the shield board.

An Arduino Uno (bottom board) and an attached shield board.

Gathering Requirements

Before starting any PCB design and layout project, the first thing to do is to gather the basic requirements that will govern how the design and layout are created. If you’re working as a professional designer at an engineering services company or at an OEM, it’s possible that someone will give you a list of requirements in the project. Other times, when you have to do all the front-end engineering work, you’ll have to develop the requirements yourself.

The term “requirements” in a PCB design project can refer to functional requirements, as well as the component or circuit requirements. The best approach is to look at the functional requirements first as these can limit your component and circuit choices.

Complete and Continue