how to calculate price of manufacturing a PCB

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by kekked, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. kekked

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 7, 2017
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  2. Reloadron

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 15, 2015
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    You generally submit your Gerber Files to several PCB manufacturers be they any location on the globe seeking quotes. With the Gerber Files you spell out your work scope as to exactly what you want. Just boards, assembled boards with parts, exactly what you want. Review your quotes and choose a board manufacturer. The more boards the lower the cost.

    Ron
     
  3. kekked

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 7, 2017
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    Can the .pcb files supplied by Texas Instruments be converted to the Gerber format?

    And the first 10 results I got from google ask you to input the number of layers, holes, hole diameters, etc all by hand instead of allowing to upload a file. Please post here or pm a service which accepts a file instead.
     
  4. dl324

    AAC Fanatic!

    Mar 30, 2015
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    Go to the PCB manufacturer websites and use their calculators.

    Assembly prices will depend on quantity. For low quantity, setup costs can be significant.
     
  5. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
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    Pick the board house(s) you want to use and ask them for a quote based on your files.

    One bonus is if they can't read your files they may advise you what to do.
     
  6. kekked

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 7, 2017
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  7. Reloadron

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 15, 2015
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    Using Advanced Circuits as an example please note the quote options. They mention, Fastest Quote, Most Detailed Quote and an Email RFQ (Request For Quote). Take note where they mention: "When you upload your Gerber files to our FreeDFM online tool, you get a report of any manufacturability issues found in your design along with a detailed quote and a discount code".

    The Gerber files I mentioned are the standard in the pcb industry. That is not to say that manufacturers will not accept other formats but most will want or work from a Gerber File when they give the final quote. There are literally hundreds of companies making boards and that is likely just US so when we toss in Europe and China likely thousands. Whatever software you used to design the board should output a Gerber file as an option unless the software is exclusive to a specific board manufacturer.

    Ron
     
  8. kekked

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 7, 2017
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    Okay, perfect, thank you.

    However, I did not design this PCB, it is a reference design by Texas Instruments only available in .pcb format. Can that format be converted to gerber or is it a lossy format containing far less info such as the physical structure and positions of layers?
     
  9. JohnInTX

    Moderator

    Jun 26, 2012
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    Reloadron likes this.
  10. Reloadron

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 15, 2015
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    OK, I think I know what you are getting at. You have Texas Instrument files similar to what they show here for a product. You have downloaded the Design Files. If that is the case I think Express PCB can open the files but I am not sure. TI does provide a viewer but that is just an online viewer. I originally assumed your design and figured whatever you designed the board using should be able to export a GBR file. I am not even sure you can open the files in Express PCB and then export as .GBR. You can always contact TI and ask who can make the boards for whatever you have.

    Ron
     
  11. kekked

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 7, 2017
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    PADS Logic Viewer is what I used to view the .pcb file. It opens the pcb files with its layers and all just fine, but has no export functionality.
    ExpressPCB doesn't recognize the ,pcb files as valid files, but even if it did it only exports the shape of the drawings as bitmap or vector file, not good.

    I can borrow a friends notebook which has Altium Designer. Can that open .pcb and export gerber?

    As you have guessed by now, yes I am not a PCB engineer myself.
     
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