Good PCB Fab source for prototyping

Thread Starter

odm4286

Joined Sep 20, 2009
250
Hello,

I'm looking for a good place to have a PCB made. I've used advanced circuits in the past and never had an issue but I was wondering if anyone knew of a better option with regards to pricing. For one barebones board that is 87mm by 130mm, they are charging $80 dollars with a one day turn. I don't need the board that quickly, a 5-day turn would be fine. Any suggestions?
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Berzerker

Joined Jul 29, 2018
621
(Advanced Circuits/4pbc.com) done me right. I have nothing to say about them bad.
Edit: got three boards fior $33.00 each @ 5 days turn around.... Maybe your wanting them to fast.
Brzrkr
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
7,566
I second OshPark.

For fast cheap boards, if you can fit your circuit on their mini board, ExpressPCB is also a good source. You have to use their software, you can’t make the boards anywhere else (without a big add on fee for Gerbers) and they removed the design check. But their mini board with a quantity of three used to be a great value.

But it’s a pain, so go with OshPark.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
11,088
Your list somehow got duplicated. Also, some of the pages no longer exist at those links:

"https://dorkbotpdx.org/wiki/pcb_order" - 404 not found error (is now oshpark.com)

"https://www.elecrow.com/special-offer..." - 404 not found error, redirects to their home page

"http://**********.com/" - Not a valid link

"http://www.seeedstudio.com/service/..." - 404 not found error
Sorry for the errors. I never checked. That would be a waste of time. It is just a list created by all of the many "cheapest" PCB posts. I usually use Oshpark.

PCB manufacturing has become a commodity. Ultimately, it comes down to the "at my door price" and convenience. One must be careful to compare apples to apples, as some of the cheaper vendors don't provide things like silk screen on both sides. And as with any commodity market, different names do not mean different vendors. That is, one vendor may go by a dozen names, which is ancient marketing knowledge on how to survive in a commodity market (i.e., one's market share is proportional to the number of brands one offers).

@jbeng
EDIT: Thanks for checking and pointing out those errors. The list from my files that I copied had only 9 items and no duplicates. It seems to have happened at AAC -- perhaps related to the asterisked entry that has been identified as a spammer. Or, maybe AAC's response was slower than normal, and I hit the ctrl+v twice. I have now deleted the spammer from my list too.

As for Seeed and Elcrow, they are still in business. The links I copied were to special offers. The fix is simple, just delete everything after the .com

This error illustrates the danger of keeping shortcuts and a list of those shortcuts in the vane hope they will remain identical.
 
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jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
11,088
Thanks to jbeng, I was prompted to review my list. Here's my current list. It is based mostly on recommendations I have seen here and elsewhere. I do not have experience with each of these:

http://www.customcircuitboards.com/
http://dirtypcbs.com/
https://easyeda.com/ (links to EasyPCB and jlcpcb)
https://www.elecrow.com/

http://imall.iteadstudio.com/open-pcb/pcb-prototyping.html
https://jlcpcb.com/
http://juvtmall.com/
https://oshpark.com/

http://www.pcbgogo.com/
http://www.pcbway.com/
http://www.seeedstudio.com/ (see: Fusion PCB)
https://www.smart-prototyping.com/PCB-Prototyping.html

As mentioned above, many if not all of the above list do not actually make the PCB's. They seem to panelize submissions and then send complete panels off the a real PCB maker. Some of the entities may be the same vendors with multiple business names. Seeed Studio and EasyEda do a lot more than simply make PCB's, so at the main site, you need to navigate to the PCB making function.

DHL shipping has been mentioned as fast. One tidbit I learned about US Customs is that commercial shippers (e.g., FedEx, DHL, UPS) effectively clear customs based on an honor system for a container. If you go something like China Mail to USPS for an individual shipment, I have found the delay in US Customs to be about 1 week.

Sorry for the previous errors (no guarantee this list is without errors too). I was quite pressed for time yesterday to get out and mow after more than a month of being too wet. It takes 7 hours to do the whole yard -- about 2 hours more to do.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
22,697
I have suspected some kind of Universal supplier as many of the sites have exactly the same order menu and pricing.
I also noticed that some have now have eliminated the Hong Kong/China post option and specify only DHL, most likely because of long mail handling times.
In Canada, I gathered that the CRA/CSA have closed some of the import mail offices in each province and have centralized down to one or two provinces, since then that, and also due to the increase in eastern imports, the delay has grown to months on some shipments.
Max.
 
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KL7AJ

Joined Nov 4, 2008
2,229
Hello,

I'm looking for a good place to have a PCB made. I've used advanced circuits in the past and never had an issue but I was wondering if anyone knew of a better option with regards to pricing. For one barebones board that is 87mm by 130mm, they are charging $80 dollars with a one day turn. I don't need the board that quickly, a 5-day turn would be fine. Any suggestions?
View attachment 180268
PCB WAY is who I use. And after watching this, I'm even more impressed with them.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
11,088
Didn't look at the second video yet. The first seems to be the JLCPcb factory. JLCPcb and EasyEDA are related. Is PCBWay also related? No one is wearing any name tags or logo tags. It could be just one giant factory serves all of the seller storefronts.

For a commodity, it doesn't matter whether they are related or not. Price and service may be different.
 

ebeowulf17

Joined Aug 12, 2014
3,275
I've had great luck with ALLPCB on 5 or 6 orders now. Always small quantities, usually 10 pieces, $20-30 dollars ($2-3/board) for the whole order, including DHL shipping which arrives in less than a week.

Haven't tried anyone else yet, so can't compare, but I'm happy enough with them to not shop around until or unless something changes.
 

ErnieM

Joined Apr 24, 2011
8,126
My last order was thru JCL and I was quite happy with the results. I took the white solder mask option for $zero, my first white boards.

Any short commings were strictly on my side of the job.
 
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