Choosing Between Resin and Copper Filled Via Holes in PCB Design

 In the realm of PCB (Printed Circuit Board) design, one crucial consideration is the choice between filling via holes with resin or copper. The decision depends on the specific objectives and requirements of the design. This article explores the factors to consider when deciding between resin or copper filled via holes in PCB design.

What is a Via in PCB Design?

A via is a conductive hole that connects different layers of a PCB, enabling the flow of electrical signals and power. PCB Vias can be classified into two types based on their purpose: through-hole vias and buried vias. Through-hole vias extend through the entire PCB, connecting both the top and bottom layers. On the other hand, buried vias only connect inner layers of the PCB and are not visible from the outer layers.

plated via hole in pcb

The Dilemma: Resin or Copper Filled Via Holes?

When it comes to filling via holes, two common options are resin and copper. The choice between the two depends on the objectives and constraints of the PCB design. Let's explore the considerations for each option:

1. Resin-Filled Via Holes:

Resin filling involves filling the via holes with an insulating material, typically epoxy resin. This method offers several benefits:

  • Cost-effective: Resin filling is generally more cost-effective compared to copper filling.
  • Prevention of solder thieving: By filling the via holes with resin, the risk of solder being sucked away during the soldering process is minimized.

2. Copper-Filled Via Holes:

Copper filling entails depositing a conductive material, usually copper, inside the via holes. Here are the advantages of using copper-filled via holes:

  • Heat dissipation: If the component being mounted on the PCB generates substantial heat, such as a power device, copper-filled via holes can assist in carrying away heat from the component.
  • Enhanced electrical conductivity: Copper is an excellent conductor of electricity, ensuring reliable signal transmission and power distribution throughout the PCB.

Choosing the Right Option:

To determine whether resin or copper filling is more suitable for a specific design, consider the following factors: 

  • Objective: Understand the primary goal of filling the via holes. If it's solely to prevent solder thieving, either option would suffice. However, if the intention is to dissipate heat from a power device, copper filling is preferable.
  • Cost: Copper filling is generally more expensive than resin filling. Therefore, cost considerations can play a significant role in the decision-making process. Consult with the PCB fabricator to understand the cost implications of both options.
  • PCB Fabricator's Options: Different PCB fabricators may have varying capabilities and preferences regarding via filling. Check with the fabricator to understand their options and any associated surcharges.

The Importance of Minimizing Vias in Pads:

It is generally recommended to avoid placing vias directly in component pads unless it is specifically necessary for heat transfer. Placing vias in pads can complicate the soldering process and affect the electrical connection. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate the specific thermal requirements and consider alternative design techniques, such as thermal vias located near the pad but not directly in it.


Choosing between resin or copper filled via holes in PCB design requires careful consideration of the design objectives, cost implications, and the capabilities of the PCB fabricator. While resin filling offers cost-effectiveness and protection against solder thieving, copper filling is preferable for enhanced heat dissipation and improved electrical conductivity. By understanding the requirements of the design and consulting with experts, designers can make an informed decision that aligns with their specific needs, ultimately resulting in an optimized PCB design.

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