Any online PCB prototyping services you use for hobby projects?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Sarke, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. Sarke

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 18, 2012
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    I was just wondering if anyone out there uses (or have used) any online PCB services, such as expresspcb.com? Any thoughts or recommendations?
     
  2. R!f@@

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
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    Some members do.

    Try Eagle
     
  3. Sarke

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 18, 2012
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    Sorry, I was looking for companies that actually make the boards, not the software.
     
  4. R!f@@

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
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    No companies, but u will find plenty of individuals who can make the PCB for you.
    Hang around for a while ?
     
  5. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    ExpressPCB is one of the good ones, I use them for the MiniBoard service and some production runs, you can usually do 3 MiniBoard PCB's (no solder mask, or silkscreen) 3.8"x2.5" for 51.00
     
  6. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    Have not seen you much around lately, How have you been R!f@@? I still pop in once in a while, a lot more often lately since I have been doing a lot of my "work" on the PC...:D
     
  7. R!f@@

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
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    U have no idea how I am doing during these lawless times here..!

    Then again as a friend and tech, I am same as u buddy.
     
  8. colinb

    Active Member

    Jun 15, 2011
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    I use OSH Park (formerly known as Laen's DorkbotPDX PCB Order). Top quality, no minimums, very cheap for small boards. It's a batching service, but it is run very efficiently and decent turnaround (about 2 weeks). Double-sided PCBs are $1.66/sq in (you order in multiples of three copies, at $5.00/sq in for each 3 copies), with U.S. shipping included, int'l shipping extra.
     
    Sarke likes this.
  9. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    :eek:..... those prices do not seem hobbyist friendly...
     
  10. jwilk13

    Member

    Jun 15, 2011
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    I use Silver Circuits for most of my prototype needs. It's a little pricey at $70 for 4 (they usually send 5), but the price isn't based on board size, which can be nice because you always know what you're paying.

    Quality is good, and turn time is quick (usually 5 days to build, then 2 to ship).
     
  11. Robin Mitchell

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2009
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    I do a cheap PCB service that does not inlcude silk screen, solder mask or through hole plating. The cost difference however is huge, £40 for a professional PCB and mine are £15 at the very most, excluding P&P
     
  12. BSomer

    Member

    Dec 28, 2011
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    Depending on how fast you want your board(s) done, you could go through SparkFun. They use or are in business with BatchPCB, not too sure how it works. I have never used it though I have a few designs that I eventually want to try with them to see how well they come out. BatchPCB also has some designs on the site that you can purchase. These designs are from previous buyers who have released the PCBs as open source or something like that.
     
  13. djsfantasi

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 11, 2010
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    I used ExpressPCB. Their software was used to draw my layout (I didn't use any design software) and I got three boards, including solder mask and silk screen for about $70. They were only their small board size, however.

    Their software was very helpful in laying out the traces and prevented me from shooting myself in the foot. That is, noted some errors I had made in laying out my traces. Also, their web site provided some useful references as well.
     
  14. elec_mech

    Senior Member

    Nov 12, 2008
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    I just sent my first order to Futurelec.com. They accept ExpressPCB files as well as many others and charge less. You have the option to make the board whatever size you want and get or leave off soldermask and silkscreen. I have no idea on the quality. I sent my order about 24 hours ago and haven't heard back yet (worries me a little), so if you're not in a hurry, I'll report my experience if you remind me in a couple of weeks.
     
  15. nerdegutta

    Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
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    I've made a blog entry of different boards houses. Never tried any of them. I make my own PCB. Check pictures in my album.
     
  16. W4GNS

    Member

    Dec 1, 2008
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    Sarke likes this.
  17. colinb

    Active Member

    Jun 15, 2011
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    Depends on your needs. It's great for most of the stuff I do. Several times I've ordered three PCBs with 6/6 rules for less than $10 total, and this is top quality stuff. If you're making larger boards, then another service is likely going to be more cost effective.
     
  18. colinb

    Active Member

    Jun 15, 2011
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    Yeah, the SeeedStudio Fusion PCB service is reportedly pretty good. The various options available are a bit confusing, but you do have quite a few choices, and the price is very good. Their quality is supposed to be good, too. FYI - probably you want the 100% e-test rather than 50% e-test unless you're really trying to pinch pennies.
     
  19. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
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    I've used Express PCB many times and they are a very good service. You are limited to using their (free) software but the boards are good, inexpensive and do come fast (within a week).

    If you have your own layout software (and why not when Kicad is free?) then you can generate gerbers and go anywhere.

    I did try a very low cost PCB house in china I found on EBay. After messaging them for their email I send my gerber files, they gave me a price (something like $60 including DHL shipping for 50 2x2" boards). They came in just 8 days. They will make small quantities. I will use them again!
     
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