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PCB Copying Required Information and Production Precautions

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PCB copying, also known as circuit board copying, circuit board cloning, circuit board replication, PCB cloning, PCB reverse design or PCB reverse R&D, is a process of reverse analysis based on existing electronic products and circuit boards using reverse R&D technology. It involves 1:1 restoration of the original product's PCB files, bill of materials (BOM) files, schematic files and other technical files and PCB silk screen production files, and then using these technical files and production files to perform PCB board making, component welding, flying probe testing, circuit board debugging, and complete the complete replication of the original circuit board sample.

The information and tools required for PCB copying mainly include:

Physical Circuit Board: 

The original circuit board to be copied.


Used to scan the circuit board and obtain image data.

Computer Software: 

Such as PROTEL, CAD, PHOTOSHOP, etc., used to edit and process circuit diagrams.

Copy Board Software: 

Such as Quickpcb2005, etc., used to convert scanned images into PCB layouts.

Bill of Materials (BOM): 

Records the models, parameters and positions of all components on the circuit board.

Schematic Diagram: 

The logical connection diagram of the circuit, which sometimes needs to be reversed from the PCB layout.

The Basic Steps of PCB Copying Include:

Record Component Information: 

Record the model, parameters and position of all components on the circuit board.

Circuit Board Scanning: 

Put the circuit board into the scanner and adjust the scanning parameters to obtain a clear image.

Image Processing: 

Use image processing software to adjust the contrast and brightness, convert the image to black and white, and save it in BMP format.

PCB Layout Conversion: 

Use copying software to convert the processed image into a PCB layout diagram.

Component Placement: 

Place components in the PCB layout and check according to the BOM.

Trace Drawing: 

Draw the traces on the circuit board according to the scanned image.

Silk Screen Placement: 

Place the silk screen logo on the circuit board.

Check and Correct: 

Check the accuracy of the PCB layout and make corrections if necessary.

Export PCB File: 

Export the completed PCB layout as a PCB file for board making or further modification.

For multi-layer boards, inter-layer scanning and image synthesis are also required to ensure that the lines of all layers are accurate. After completion, circuit board testing and debugging are required to ensure that the copied circuit board is consistent with the original board in electronic technical performance.

PCB copying is a highly technical process that requires patience and meticulous work to ensure that the copied circuit board is the same as the original board in function and performance. At the same time, PCB copying also involves the issue of intellectual property rights, so when copying, it should be ensured that it is legal and compliant, and respect the rights and interests of the original designer.


PCB copying is a complex process that requires delicate operation. Here are some key points to pay attention to when copying PCBs:

Legal Confirmation: 

Before starting to copy the board, make sure you have legal rights or have obtained authorization from the original designer to avoid infringement of intellectual property rights.

Detailed Records: 

Before disassembling the circuit board, record the model, parameters, direction and position of all components in detail, and it is best to use a digital camera to take pictures for preservation.

Cleaning and Preparation: 

Make sure the circuit board is clean and free of dirt so that high-quality images can be obtained when scanning.

Accurate Scanning: 

When using a scanner, make sure the circuit board is placed flat, and adjust the brightness, contrast and resolution to obtain the clearest image.

Image Processing: 

Adjust the contrast in the image processing software to make the copper film and non-copper film parts contrast strongly, and convert to black and white for subsequent operations.

Accurate Conversion: 

When converting the image to the PCB layout, ensure that the ratio of the image to the actual circuit board is 1:1, and pay attention to correcting the rotation and position of the image.

Component Package: 

Accurately place the component package in PROTEL or other PCB design software, and ensure that it matches the package on the actual circuit board.

Careful Drawing: 

When drawing the trace, pay attention to the width and layer of the line to ensure that it is consistent with the original circuit board.

Accurate Silk Screen: 

The silk screen text and graphics should be accurate, including position, size and direction.

Multilayer Board Processing: 

For multilayer boards, special attention should be paid to the alignment and connection between layers to ensure that the lines of all layers are accurate.

Repeated Inspection: 

Check the accuracy of each step several times during the copying process, especially the pads, vias, traces and silk screen.

Software Operation: 

Familiar with all the functions of the copying software and PCB design software used to improve efficiency and accuracy.

Testing and Debugging: 

After the copying is completed, conduct comprehensive circuit board testing and debugging to ensure that the performance of the circuit board is consistent with the original board.

Data Backup: 

During the copying process, save and back up all files regularly to prevent data loss.

Safe Operation: 

When disassembling and handling circuit boards, pay attention to safety and avoid electric shock or damage to the circuit board.

Technology Update: 

Track the latest copying technology and tools, and constantly update knowledge and skills.

Environmental Awareness: 

During the disassembly and handling of circuit boards, pay attention to environmental protection and dispose of waste reasonably.

Professional Consultation: 

For complex or high-value circuit boards, consider consulting a professional copying service provider.

Subsequent Improvement: 

Copying is not only a copying process, but also an opportunity to learn and improve, and optimize the design as needed.

Respect Originality: 

When conducting secondary development or product improvement, respect the original designer's creativity and labor results.

Following these precautions will help ensure the smooth progress of the PCB copying process and improve the quality of the final product.

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