Altium Course

IoT PCB Design Course

Expert One-on-One Guidance on Designing and Prototyping IoT PCBs

Learn advanced IoT PCB design with Altium Designer.
Build and test your own IoT device.
Benefit from PCBWay's professional manufacturing.


Embark on a six-week intensive IoT PCB design course, featuring personalized one-on-one and group sessions. Learn to use Altium Designer and build a complex IoT device using an ESP32S3 microcontroller, battery management, sensors, and interface components. The course ends with you designing, ordering, and testing your own functional PCB, manufactured professionally by PCBWay, our course partner. This program combines theory and practice for a comprehensive real-world experience.


In our intensive six-week course, you will learn to design a state-of-the-art IoT PCB using Altium Designer, a leading tool in the industry. This course caters to both beginners and intermediate learners, offering a blend of live one-on-one and group sessions that adapt to your individual skill level and learning pace.

The centerpiece of the course is the design of a fully functional IoT device, encompassing a wide array of features:

  • ESP32S3 Microcontroller Integration: Dive into the capabilities of this powerful microcontroller, learning how to leverage it as the central processing unit of your IoT device.
  • Audio Integration: Learn to integrate a MEMS microphone for audio streaming in your IoT device. This concise module covers microphone interfacing with the ESP32S3 and audio signal optimization, enhancing your device's audio capabilities.
  • Lithium Battery Management System: Design circuits for powering your device with a lithium battery. This includes creating charging circuits and integrating a fuel gauge for battery monitoring, ensuring efficient and safe power management.
  • Environmental Sensing: Incorporate temperature and humidity sensors into your PCB. This module focuses on sensor selection, integration, and interfacing with the ESP32S3 for environmental data collection.
  • Interactive User Interface Components: Learn to add user interaction elements such as LEDs for status indication, USB-C for connectivity and power, tactile buttons and switches for control inputs, and a MEMS microphone for audio reception.
  • PCB Layout and Design Techniques: Gain hands-on experience in converting schematics into physical PCB layouts. You will learn advanced routing techniques, component placement strategies, and how to manage signal integrity and power distribution.
  • Real-World Prototyping and Manufacturing Process: The course culminates with you transforming your digital design into a physical product. You'll be guided through preparing your design files for manufacturing and will order your PCBs through PCBWay. They offer exclusive discounts and free assembly services to course participants, providing you with a professionally manufactured PCB.
  • Testing and Troubleshooting: Once you receive your assembled PCB, the course guides you through the testing process. You will learn to identify and troubleshoot common issues, ensuring that your IoT device is fully functional.

By the end of this course, you will not only have a deep understanding of PCB design and Altium Designer but will also possess a working IoT device, exemplifying the skills and knowledge you have acquired.


Week 1: Introduction to PCB Design and Altium Designer
  • Session 1 (Group): Introduction to PCB Design, Basics of Altium Designer, Creating a Project and Library, Introduction to the Overall Hardware Design Plan.
  • Session 2 (Group): Selecting Components, Creating Schematic and Footprint Libraries, Initial Schematic of ESP32.
  • Session 3 (One-on-One): Assisting students with tasks and explaining any missing points.
Week 2: Schematic Design of Power and Interface Elements
  • Session 1 (Group): Schematic of Lithium Battery Circuitry.
  • Session 2 (Group): Schematic of User Interface Elements such as LEDs, Buttons.
  • Session 3 (One-on-One): Personalized assistance and guidance on schematic design.

Week 3: Completing the Schematic Design

  • Session 1 (Group): USB Serial Schematic, USB-C Interface.
  • Session 2 (Group): MEMS Microphone, Humidity Sensor.
  • Session 3 (One-on-One): In-depth one-on-one support and design assistance.

Week 4: Introduction to PCB Layout

  • Session 1 (Group): Layer Stackup, Design Rules.
  • Session 2 (Group): Initial Component Placement, PCB Outline.
  • Session 3 (One-on-One): Layout Optimization, Power Planes.

Week 5: Finalizing the PCB Layout

  • Session 1 (Group): Layout Finalization, 3D PDF Export.
  • Session 2 (Group): Gerber Generation, Documentation.
  • Session 3 (One-on-One): PCB Design Layout Finalization and Inspection.

Week 6: Order Submission, Inspection, and Bring-Up

  • Session 1 (Group): Order Submission - Guiding through PCB order submission.
  • Session 2 (Group): PCB Inspection, Initial Bring-Up, Firmware Download using Arduino.
  • Session 3 (One-on-One): Final Consultation, Q&A.

Learning Concepts

Library Management

Learn the essentials of effective library management within Altium Designer. This includes:

  • Symbol Creation: Crafting detailed symbols for electronic components.
  • Footprint Creation: Designing accurate footprints for various components.
  • 3D Model Integration: Incorporating 3D models for a comprehensive view.
  • Datasheet Analysis: Understanding how to interpret and utilize datasheets for component creation.
  • Supplier BOM Integration: Efficiently managing Bill of Materials with supplier data.
Schematic Design

Delve into the art of schematic creation for effective PCB design, covering:

  • Hierarchical Design: Organizing complex designs into manageable sub-sections.
  • Multi-Sheet Design: Effectively handling designs that span multiple sheets.
  • Net List Creation: Understanding the connectivity and relationships between components.
  • Differential Signals: Managing differential pairs for signal integrity.
  • Sheet Symbols and Entries: Utilizing sheet symbols for clearer and more organized schematics.
PCB Layout

Master the nuances of PCB layout, focusing on:

  • PCB Layer Stackup: Strategizing the layer structure for optimal performance.
  • Impedance Calculation: Ensuring signal integrity through accurate impedance calculations.
  • Ground Planes: Designing effective ground planes for electrical stability.
  • Polygon Routing: Advanced techniques for routing copper polygons.
  • Design Rules: Adhering to design rules for functionality and manufacturability.
  • Differential Layout and Length Tuning: Balancing differential signals and tuning trace lengths.
  • Via Stitching and Layout: Optimizing via placement for electrical and mechanical integrity.
  • Polygon Pours: Effectively using polygon pours for power and ground planes.
  • Enclosure Integration: Considering the physical enclosure in PCB design.

Prepare for the real-world manufacturing process, including:

  • BOM Generation: Creating a detailed and accurate Bill of Materials.
  • Gerber Files: Generating standard Gerber files for manufacturing.
  • Drill Files: Preparing drill files necessary for PCB fabrication.
  • Pick and Place Files: Creating files for automated assembly processes.
  • 3D File Generation: Developing 3D files for enclosure fitting and other uses.
  • Documentation: Compiling comprehensive documentation for manufacturing and assembly.
  • Complete Board Ordering and Assembly: Learn the end-to-end process of board ordering and receive a fully assembled, working PCB, providing practical experience from concept to finished product.

Delivery Format

  • Frequency of Sessions: 3 sessions per week.
  • 2 Group Sessions: Collaborative learning environment with other students.
  • 1 One-on-One Session: Personalized instruction tailored to individual progress and understanding.
  • Session Duration: Each session is approximately 1 hour long.
  • Streaming Platform: All sessions will be streamed live using Microsoft Teams.
  • Continuous Support: Participants will have access to continuous support and the opportunity to ask questions through Microsoft Teams, providing an interactive and responsive learning experience.

Deliverables and Certificate of Completion

Upon completing our IoT PCB Design course, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion.

This certificate acknowledges your commitment and learning throughout the course. It serves as a recognition of your efforts and the skills you've developed in IoT PCB Design.

In addition to the certificate, you will gain:

  • Comprehensive Course Materials: Access to all learning resources used during the course.
  • Post-Course Support: Continued guidance and support from our instructors.

This certificate, along with your newfound skills, represents a significant step in your technological education journey.

Important Note: The Certificate of Completion issued by 3DPHOTONiX for this course is intended as a record of participation and achievement in the provided training. It is not an officially recognized educational credential. The course is designed to offer practical guidance and skills development in IoT PCB Design and should be considered as a learning aid rather than a formal qualification.

Course Partners


We are excited to announce that PCBWay, a top-tier PCB manufacturing company, will be supporting our course by providing free PCB fabrication for student projects and a generous 20% discount on assembly services. This support from PCBWay greatly enriches our educational offering, allowing students to transform their innovative designs into professional-grade products. With PCBWay's commitment to our program, learners can immerse themselves in creativity and innovation, gaining hands-on experience that mirrors real-world PCB manufacturing.

Altium Designer

Students will have access to a renewable 2-week Altium Designer license throughout the course, courtesy of Altium.


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