The art of using symmetry and asymmetry in printed circuit board design

The art of using symmetry and asymmetry in printed circuit board design

An empty board outline is the empty canvas of a PCB designer. The components are the designer’s paint palette and the traces are the brush strokes used to mix and mesh the components on the canvas. The subject is defined by the schematic entry and the tone is often set depending on the purpose of the design. The subject’s shape emerges during placement and takes shape during routing. The aesthetic nature of a PCB or PCBA is generally judged by the designer’s use of symmetry, focal points and points of interest.

The pleasure experienced by watching a bee (an insect with bilateral symmetry) interact symbiotically with a flower (a plant with radial symmetry) is derived from the realization of two well-proportioned beings leading a mutually equitable existence, a classic win-win scenario. . I guess our use of symmetry in our own creations is our most sincere form of flattery for these well-balanced relationships. As a result, we’ve incorporated symmetry into almost every aspect of our life, from our homes, roads, and bridges, to the circuit board designs found in our modern electronic devices.

We’re wired to identify symmetry, we tend to find it attractive, and the subject of PCB design is no exception. The symmetry in the design of PCBs is aesthetically pleasing to the eye, and the physical balance of components, traces, and layers conveys deeper meanings to the beholder.

Further observation will reveal that this board design is the physical representation of two identical circuits operating vertically, and each circuit is made up of two distinctly spaced horizontally spaced subsections.

Those PCBs and circuit boards that exhibit symmetry are generally easier to troubleshoot and repair because faults that disturb the symmetrical nature of the design are easy to identify.

To read the full article, which appeared in the December 2021 issue of Design007 magazine, Click here.

Christopher S. Washington