PC Board Fab Houses

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AnalogKid

Joined Aug 1, 2013
9,296
I'm asking this again because I think the market changes so quickly in 6 months or a year that I need a refresh. This is for a home project done to pro standards.

Please recommend your favorite low cost / low volume pc board fab house(s). The current project is coming in at around 2.0" x 2.5 ", single-sided copper, top side legend, no special hole requirements, slots, etc. The next one will be around 4 x 5, double sided / PTH. I would prefer not to have to wait a month to get them in, so any information on the board cost / shipping cost / lead time tradeoffs is appreciated. I'm in the eastern US.

Thanks.

ak
 
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Ian0

Joined Aug 7, 2020
2,710
I've had success with allpcb.com
Quick turnaround (almost as quick as they claim). The pcbs appear to be good quality. They examine the board before making it and raise any queries, and their English is good. MOQ=5. Instant quote on line.
 

Irving

Joined Jan 30, 2016
1,879
jlcpcb.com are still my goto choice at the moment, for your 4 x 5 its under $15 for 5 pcb inc shipping 2-3day manufacture, 8-15 shipping. Or under $20 for faster shipping in 4-7 days from manufacture... Quality is 1st class.
 

robotDR

Joined Mar 17, 2020
21
OSHpark..

are you needing components assembled on?

IF not, DEFINITELY OSHpark.com They are amazing. I design for a living at a robotics company and for production we use very expensive top notch FAB Houses. But for tests, some development, data aquisition we use OSHpark. and I use OSHpark at home too. Crazy good company and fast.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
23,383
I still use JLCPCB, I think they are still offering 10 100mm x 100mm boards for $2.00, quick turn around.
I recently posted the Youtube video of the factory in action,
 

robotDR

Joined Mar 17, 2020
21
jlcpcb.com are still my goto choice at the moment, for your 4 x 5 its under $15 for 5 pcb inc shipping 2-3day manufacture, 8-15 shipping. Or under $20 for faster shipping in 4-7 days from manufacture... Quality is 1st class.
$15 for a 4"x5" board, shipping included, for 5x boards? That seems cheaper than when I last priced them out last time. Oshpark would be $5 a sqin for 3x boards shipped (from USA).
JLC capabilities are still pretty good.

Yeah so JLC is cheaper but oshpark is made in USA! Might have to take another look at JLC but we/I like the quality and customer service with OSH so far.
 

Irving

Joined Jan 30, 2016
1,879
$15 for a 4"x5" board, shipping included, for 5x boards? That seems cheaper than when I last priced them out last time. Oshpark would be $5 a sqin for 3x boards shipped (from USA).
JLC capabilities are still pretty good.

Yeah so JLC is cheaper but oshpark is made in USA! Might have to take another look at JLC but we/I like the quality and customer service with OSH so far.
As I'm in the UK jlcpcb are much faster/quicker than going to US or even Europe (I've used Aisler in Germany before, excellent PCB but 4+ x the price, though free worldwide shipping.)
 
My favourite general low cost PCB supplier is pcbway/pcbgogo, JLC only for the simplest PCBs because they have fewer options available and I find their quality lower.
 

metermannd

Joined Oct 25, 2020
203
JLCpcb here too...

the price is pretty decent, but the only caveats I have are: they are quick to stage boards into the queue so MAKE SURE your Gerbers are all toot sweet before you click 'order'. (only happened once where I caught a fatal board error within an hour of upload and payment. Had to forfeit that order and send in a replacement one) That and I've had the occasional board with solder mask issues... but when the board in question is a one-off, one can afford to lay aside the less desirable examples.
 

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
2,015
I've had several batches of 500-750 fully populated boards made at AllPCB and they get the job done, though the last batch they did not wash the flux off of the back of the boards which really pushed my buttons. Previous orders have all been OK. Maybe have them send you a picture of both sides of a sample before shipping. They're slower than they claim to be, but the assembly quality is OK and prices are good. The web site is clunky but the human support is not bad. Do be careful though because they will do what you ask, not necessarily what you want. I forgot to click 2-sided on one order, and though the gerbers were clearly for a double sided board, they sent me 100 boards with traces and solder mask only on one side. At least it was bare boards and not populated!

If I need a small batch of bare boards fast, Silver Circuits has given me great results. I haven't tried them for fully populated boards yet.
 

Ian0

Joined Aug 7, 2020
2,710
I've had several batches of 500-750 fully populated boards made at AllPCB and they get the job done, though the last batch they did not wash the flux off of the back of the boards which really pushed my buttons. Previous orders have all been OK. Maybe have them send you a picture of both sides of a sample before shipping. They're slower than they claim to be, but the assembly quality is OK and prices are good. The web site is clunky but the human support is not bad. Do be careful though because they will do what you ask, not necessarily what you want. I forgot to click 2-sided on one order, and though the gerbers were clearly for a double sided board, they sent me 100 boards with traces and solder mask only on one side. At least it was bare boards and not populated!

If I need a small batch of bare boards fast, Silver Circuits has given me great results. I haven't tried them for fully populated boards yet.
I've just got my first delivery of populated boards from Allpcb - and I was quite impressed. I know exactly what you mean about doing what you ask not what you want! One thing I liked is that they checked that polarised components matched the legend, not just the assembly file.
 

meowsoft

Joined Feb 27, 2021
380
jlcpcb.com are still my goto choice at the moment, for your 4 x 5 its under $15 for 5 pcb inc shipping 2-3day manufacture, 8-15 shipping. Or under $20 for faster shipping in 4-7 days from manufacture... Quality is 1st class.
Can they ship it to Hongkong ?, 65pcs, 4" x 4", need for industrial grade PCB, include 110v AC relay
 

Irving

Joined Jan 30, 2016
1,879
Go online, get a quote. I'm sure they can.

If you're putting AC on the PCB its going to increase cost slightly because of the routing needed.
 

meowsoft

Joined Feb 27, 2021
380
Go online, get a quote. I'm sure they can.

If you're putting AC on the PCB its going to increase cost slightly because of the routing needed.
Ok... it's they have good PCB quality for industrial ?, my PCB is want to be used inside factory (with dusty and may vibrsted and moisty environment, inside printing factory wall and also inside printing machine)
 

Irving

Joined Jan 30, 2016
1,879
Their PCB will be fine as long as specified correctly and designed correctly. If you don't know how to design & spec PCB for difficult environments then you need to get someone on board who does. If it fails, it almost certainly won't be the fault of the PCB supplier...
 
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