Our printed circuit boards (PCBs) are manufactured by sandwiching layers of conductive material, such as copper between non-conductive substrates such as FR-4 glass epoxy or phenolic resin saturated cotton paper, and the desired pathways are made by etching, soldering, and the connection of the layers of the board in a desired configuration to create the circuits. These circuits can be soldered or even glued to components such as resistors, processors, wiring harnesses, and other mounted components.
Circuits can also be created by electroplating the substrate, allowing for very thin and exceptionally functional printed circuit boards to be manufactured. The advantage of PCBs is being able to mass produce reliable circuitry quickly and through an automated process. The expense saved on materials, as well as time and labor make them extremely cost effective. The process itself allows for some very detailed and specialized circuits to be made, which are also extremely durable, compared to the wiring of yesteryear.