You can also see that I’ve made it very easy for heat to move away from the regulator (U1) and into the ambient environment or into other portions of the PCB. U1’s thermal tab is connected to a large copper pour, and this copper pour is shot through with vias that conduct heat down to the internal ground plane. If I were really worried about thermal issues I could also connect these vias to a copper pour on the bottom side of the board, but in this case, it would have been total overkill.
Fixtures are more suited for the flexible circuit boards as well as the fragile and thin PCBs. However, each new board design requires its custom fixture which can take between three and four days for a manufacturer to produce and deliver. As such, using fixtures can add up the costs and time to produce the PCBs.
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