pcb manufacturing

Thread Starter

dirkthedaring

Joined Apr 20, 2015
3
Hi

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.
 

nerdegutta

Joined Dec 15, 2009
2,660
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?
 

pwdixon

Joined Oct 11, 2012
488
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.
 

josip

Joined Mar 6, 2014
63
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.
 

Dr.killjoy

Joined Apr 28, 2013
1,200
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..
 

Thread Starter

dirkthedaring

Joined Apr 20, 2015
3
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.

Tricky.
 

pwdixon

Joined Oct 11, 2012
488
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.

Tricky.
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.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
18,872
I am giving these guy a try, ebay 230864219277.
$45 for qty5 5x7 boards.
Gerber file needed.
Max.
 

ErnieM

Joined Apr 24, 2011
7,991
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.
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.
 
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