How To Build Circuits

If you want to make electronics you need to build circuits. But how to build circuits?

Here are three methods you can use to build any kind of circuit, ranging from super simple to advanced.

Build Circuits With A Breadboard

Breadboard with blinking LED circuit

Building circuits using a breadboard is super easy and quick.

A breadboard is a board for prototyping. It has holes where you can stick component leads or wires into. Some of the holes are connected horizontally and some are connected vertically.

It is not something you would use to build a circuit for permanent use. You use it if you want to test if something works. Or to practice. So it’s a great tool to use in the beginning when you might want to put together lots of different small circuits just to test how they work.

Solder Circuits Onto a Prototyping Board

Stripboard with components

A stripboard (or Veroboard) is a board with pre-printed strips that connect holes vertically and/or horizontally. A perfboard is the same, just without the strips.

To build circuits with these types of boards you need to know how to solder.

Solder your components onto the board and use the pre-printed tracks, wires, or create solder bridges to connect the components according to your schematic diagram.

You can build pretty advanced circuits with a stripboard. But the more complex your circuit is, the harder it is to keep track of all the wires and connections. And that makes it harder to debug if your circuit doesn’t work.

When you have a lot of connections, to make sure all the connections are correct, I recommend making your own Printed Circuit Board (PCB).

Design Your Own Printed Circuit Boards (PCB)

Kicad tutorial PCB example from OSH Park

The third way to build circuits is to design a Printed Circuit Board (PCB).

You do this by drawing your schematic into a PCB design software. Then you draw your tracks and holes according to your schematic.

Then you make your drawing into a circuit board by using an etching process or by sending it off to a prototype manufacturer.

The advantage of this is that you know that the final circuit is the same as your schematic. This makes it easier to debug if your circuit doesn’t work.

Also, soldering a printed circuit board is much quicker because every component has a dedicated position on the board.

More Circuit Building Tutorials