Please suggest PWB PC Board etching company for small & medium quantity boards?

Thread Starter

Fran3

Joined Mar 28, 2019
19
I've not done this in a few years so consider me a newbie.

Initial Order: ~20 boards or less
Subsequent Orders: 100+ boards

I'm looking for suggestions on where to have PC boards etched from my layout.
I say "etched" as Googling for PC board "manufacturer" floods me with assembly houses... but I just want the boards made.

Also, don't some of the PC Board houses offer their own PC Board software?

Thanks for any help.
 

BobTPH

Joined Jun 5, 2013
2,601
I use the Chinese Seeed studio, but my case is special, it is always a small quantity of small boards. They have an outrageous deal for these: U.S. $4.90 for 10 boards 2 layers of 100mm x 100mm or less! Of course shipping is about 3 or 4 times that, but still very cheap. There are others that have similar offers.

The boards I have received have been very high quality, no problems at all. And you can view your uploaded gerbers to make make sure they got what you thought you sent.

It does take about 2-3 weeks to get the boards. If you want them much faster, you will pay a lot more.

Edited to add: This includes silk screen and solder mask.
Bob
 

schmitt trigger

Joined Jul 12, 2010
332
I use EasyEda.
In addition to the advantages of the many other Chinese vendors, it offers free schematic and layout software, it has literally thousands of component footprints in its library, many of which are linked to LCSC’s catalog, which is China’s DigiKey.
It also has simulation capabilities, although I have not used this feature.

Regardless of who you choose, you will find that all the best options are in China.
For many years I used to work with ExpressPCB, but their tools haven’t been updated in years.
Worse, their cost has increased significantly.
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
6,972
Oshpark replaced ExpressPCB, once I changed my design app to DipTrace. I recently ordered from JCLPCB, a Chinese supplier. It was a complex board layout so I was testing them. However, for some reason, I’m having a payment issue...
 

TechWise

Joined Aug 24, 2018
137
We've used JLCPCB a great deal. Really easy ordering process and good prices. We've had no quality complaints at all and we've done 2 and 4 layer boards with 1 and 2oz copper and some very small SMD stuff.

KiCAD I think is becoming the defacto standard for open-source PCB design. I was always pretty happy with it when I used it. I now use Altium Designer through work which is in a totally different league but very expensive.
 

Thread Starter

Fran3

Joined Mar 28, 2019
19
All these comments are very helpful and thanks.
That said, and maybe I missed it in the thread but, are there any US based companies that do quick turn-around short-run PC Board manufacturing and shipping? China sounds most affordable but a quick look at a couple gave me the impression that the shipping cost was high for any reasonably quick shipping & delivery tie.
Thanks for the help folks
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
10,525
That said, and maybe I missed it in the thread but, are there any US based companies that do quick turn-around short-run PC Board manufacturing and shipping?
See post #3. Oshpark is USA based. It offers a quick service with its fastest shipping in 4 to 5 days. Sunstone claims fast service and "USA made." Also "Rush PCB," but I didn't see any statement as to where they are made. There are probably others. My experience for USA made is limited to Oshpark and Oshstencils. Stencils from Oshstencils are made in the USA and ship very fast.
 

Wolframore

Joined Jan 21, 2019
1,987
another vote for JLCPCB... I recently saw a video of their operation, it’s pretty nice. They have a quick and easy online quote so it’s painless to check.

 
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