Why most PCB shape is square or rectangle?

There is a hidden question deep inside some people's heart--especially the fresh guys: why most of the PCBs in the world is square or rectangle? Can the PCB factories make PCB in other shapes such as circle, multi-sides shapes or with edge curves? And some electronics shape is like a rectangle (cell phone, remote controller, computer, monitor, etc), is it restricted by PCB shape?

To answer this question, we should at first know, whether PCB manufacturer can make PCBs in pentagon, hexagon, curves and other irrugular shapes?

The answer is YES!

PCB manufacturers do use a routing machine to realize the shape of the circuit board, it can import the programme with PCB shape and cut the board with a set route, whatever it is as long as it is not too tiny space to go.

Picture from Zippy Robotics

So the question here remains, why people still use rectangle and square? There are several factors.

  1. the material component on PCB are mostly square or rectangle, so to make the PCB the same shape can increase material usage and avoid waste

  2. as the substrate used for PCB production is in rectangle, so to make PCB the same shape can make maximum usage of the raw material

  3. to save time in routing machine while to save production cost

  4. it is easier for storage and transportation

PCB stock on Chee mau factory

At modern world, an electronic appearance has very less connection with the shape of PCB, it is mainly subject to their own industrial design. In other words, a PCB with irregular shape is likely due to its electronics has special design.