pcb manufacturing

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by dirkthedaring, Apr 20, 2015.

  1. dirkthedaring

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 20, 2015

    I am interested in having an open source PCB design manufactured. I was originally looking into home etching and found some great examples; but after eventually getting the open source Gerber files to open in some software and looking more closely at all the dimensions I realise that the design is quite small and uses SMT components.

    As I have zero experience I was wondering how I would proceed with getting a design manufactured.

    Should I simply find a PCB manufacturer and send them the designs with all the components?

    Can anyone offer any experience on this?

    Thanks a lot.
  2. nerdegutta


    Dec 15, 2009
    I solder my SMD's self. With a little trial and error I'm guessing you can to.

    I made a list over PCB manufacturers and I think some of them also solder components.

    PCB Houses

    What region in the world are you, Dirk the Daring?
  3. dirkthedaring

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 20, 2015
  4. pwdixon

    Active Member

    Oct 11, 2012
    If you are making a number of pcbs then it's pretty cheap to get them produced in China, would need to see what components you are trying to attach to say if you will be able to solder them yourself, some smd parts are pretty unfriendly when it comes to soldering by hand.
  5. josip


    Mar 6, 2014
    There is no need for some special tools, maybe just magnifier to precisely see what you are doing. You can order cheap two side PCB from China with you design (for example 5 x 5 cm for 1$ / board). Just use (custom) small pads in design for surface mount elements, and it will be able to solder them on lower temperature in second. Or you can find some local service that have also option for automatically mounting all parts on PCB, but I guess it will not be cheap.
  6. NorthGuy

    Active Member

    Jun 28, 2014
    It all depends on how many boards you need. http://oshpark.com will make you 3 boards at a price of $1.33 for square inch with free shipping worldwide.
    DerStrom8 likes this.
  7. Dr.killjoy

    Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
    I can't talk for everyone but unless you have a place to store and use the chemicals and equipment that are extremely hazardous then I find a china pcb company or stick with oshpark ... I plan on trying out a oshpark myself but have to find time to design a pcb..
  8. dirkthedaring

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 20, 2015
    It seems quite difficult to get the designs in a format that's useable by manufacturers using free PCB design software. I have tried Eagle, Diptrace, Designspark.

    I am only using free versions of said software.

    Diptrace seems like the only software that will allow me to open the PCB designs that I am using (a gerber file of a lvds- hdmi converter from chalk-elec: http://www.chalk-elec.com/?page_id=1284 ).

    I can then get printouts of the designs, if I was to proceed with creating PCBs manually.

    But PCB manufacturers want different formats, usually Eagle.

  9. pwdixon

    Active Member

    Oct 11, 2012
    It used to be that pcb manufacturers didn't like Eagle and would only take things like gerbers but that time has gone now and many do take Eagle files directly. Generating Eagle outputs even as gerbers in pretty easy you just use the built-in cam processor, look up on google I'm sure you'll find a guide on how to do it. You may of course not like Eagle on the basis that it takes some getting used to but that's a different thing all systems need some effort especially at the beginning.
  10. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
  11. MaxHeadRoom


    Jul 18, 2013
    I am giving these guy a try, ebay 230864219277.
    $45 for qty5 5x7 boards.
    Gerber file needed.
  12. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    My experience is near all take Gerber files. I have no trouble making these right out of Kicad.

    Other free Programs may also work but this one I have many good experiences with.