View Full Version : Getting PCB made

01-25-2010, 04:36 PM
Who is the best online service for getting PCBs made?

01-25-2010, 10:57 PM
Download Eagle Cad.

This will give you gerber files that you can use at several places.

Sparkfun forum has a section on pcb. And they use batch PCB cheap but takes time. Best deal for a sigle board.

If you need a few boards use Golden Phoneix. Havnt used them but am making a design/order in a day or two. I have heard its a good service as well. If you need them sooner advanced circuits but your going to pay. The other two come from china and charge something like 2 bucks per square inch.

ExpressPCB is quick 3 boards 50 bucks but you cant take your files to antoher house. They use there own software and getting gerbers is not easy as I think youll have to pay.


01-26-2010, 06:58 AM
I downloaded the files from a web site there in a zip folder.

But im not sure which ones to use.

Since this is my first board i dont know what files they need.

Who has the best Customer service that can walk me throught what to do?


01-26-2010, 07:15 AM
If you're shipping to a University address, Advanced Circuits has a student discount, by which you can get a single board using their $33 each promo (without student discount you have to order at least 3 boards). Probably would be about the same cost as BatchPCB, but turnaround in 2wks rather than a month. I haven't used Advanced in quite some time though, as I now send everything through Gold Phoenix.

Who has the best Customer service that can walk me throught what to do?

Sparkfun has a series of tutorials on their site about using Eagle, and exporting gerbers. They also have a sample CAM job for Eagle that will generate correct gerbers for BatchPCB (and Gold Phoenix, since Batch just puts a pile together and sends it out to GP). I believe Batch also has the little bot-program that will check for massive errors in what you uploaded.

Other than that, most places don't have "customer service that walks you through it". The sheer fact they are willing to deal with sub-$500 PCB orders is a huge favor already.


01-26-2010, 08:45 AM
I was thinking of trying these guys..


Looks like you can make it under $20 shipped for a small single-sided, no stencil board.

01-26-2010, 10:45 AM
I can vouch for Gold Phoenix. We use them for complete circuit manufacturing as well as just PCB manufacturing, insanely competitive pricing and the people I have dealt with are very professional and friendly. Their main sales contact is a guy named Shane out of Canada, speaks solid english.

Their 'special' for $99 per 1000 CM sq shipped via priority fedex is an insanely good deal.


01-29-2010, 09:38 AM
I used Advanced circuits very recently and I was very happy with the service. Shipped two days earlier than what they had promised, the board was very nice. I did ship to a University and got the great deal.

And to know what you are supposed to do, just do what lnxfergy said. Read the tutorials on Sparkfun. They have one on how to export gerber files for PCB makers.


03-07-2010, 06:39 PM

05-29-2012, 12:51 AM
The problem with PCB Express is that you HAVE to use their software. Their software cannot import from common formats, like netlists or Gerbers. Similarly, their software also cannot export to other formats.

I've used iteadstudio.com before. It's $25 for 8 copies of a 10x10 cm board, and another $25 if you want it shipped DHL (or a lot less if you can wait two weeks for shipping.) $50 for 8 copies with a week turn-around is pretty good :-) You can also get a 5x5 cm board, 10 copies, for $10 -- again, plus shipping.

05-29-2012, 12:54 PM
I've been pleased with BatchPCB and AdvancedCircuit's BareBones PCB, but for the last while I've been using DorkbotPDX's PCB service. Nice RoHS boards with purple soldermask and white silkscreen on both sides. Three 2-layer boards in about 2 weeks (been filling panels 2-3 times a week) at $5 per in^2, or three 4-layer boards with slightly larger lead times (takes longer to fill a panel) at $10 per in^2. They are also testing out a large-order service (min. 100 in^2) and recently added a website interface if you don't want to just send the board files in an email.

05-29-2012, 02:37 PM
I've also used DorkBot, and the boards are super nice! However, the waiting time for my two-layer was more like 3 weeks. Given that I can get the same board made (but not as nice) and mailed in little over a week for about the same cost from iteadstudio.com, that's where I go now. Nothing bad about DorkBot -- if you can wait, or your board is very small (1-2 sqin,) it's an excellent resource!

05-29-2012, 04:04 PM
I have had some boards fabricated at http://www.pcbfabexpress.com/. They are a bit pricy in that I normally order 5 2 layer boards to be made in 5 days and that costs $75, plus about $15+ shipping. I may try having another batch of my last boards made at SeeedStudio, (http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/fusion-pcb-service-p-835.html?cPath=185) where I think the cost is something like: $10 for 10 boards. Not sure about how fast I would get them back, but I have heard good reports from someone who has used them.


05-29-2012, 05:12 PM
I've also used DorkBot, and the boards are super nice! However, the waiting time for my two-layer was more like 3 weeks.
It might have taken ~3 weeks for the boards I ordered last year (can't remember), but the foot sensor boards I ordered last month came in two weeks to the day from when I sent the board files.

Another service that I've not used, but have not heard any major complaints about is makepcb. Two to three weeks shipped with a wide array of options for board thicknesses, number of layers, colors of soldermask and silkscreen, pad coatings, etc. They do have a warning about needing to order more boards than you need in case of possible production issues.

There is also olimex for boards in 3-5 working days, but the shipping charges are a bit high and I like being able to make non-rectangular boards.

06-04-2012, 05:37 PM
You can try with bittele- their prices were reasonable as I ordered 2 layer 2 in x 2.5 in 7pc. boards for $200. And i got them within 2 weeks. There are many PCB companies nowadays, you can find them like mushrooms in jungle....

06-18-2012, 07:38 PM
OSH Park (formerly DorkBot/LaenPCB) took three weeks to the day this time around, but still really nice 2-layer boards for the price.

06-19-2012, 12:51 AM
I've been extremely pleased with the very affordable price, reasonable speed, and excellent quality of the DorkbotPDX service, now http://oshpark.com/