DipTrace Forum

New to PCB - Help?
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Author:  angelageorge [ 22 Jul 2010, 05:16 ]
Post subject:  New to PCB - Help?

I am new to this forum and it's nice to meet members here sharing information on PCB designing and manufacturing. I need to order some Printed circuit boards for my business and looking out for vendors who have an immediate online quotation on their website. The two major things I was looking for is quality and timely delivery. Can anyone suggest me PCB manufacturer who satisfy my requirements. Thanks in advance for your help.

Author:  mcgyvr [ 22 Jul 2010, 14:00 ]
Post subject:  Re: New to PCB - Help?

Be warned.. you will pay more for a circuit board that you got from a company that has on-line real time quotations versus companies that don't.. The online quote companies are typically for prototypes,etc... If you really want to overpay for a circuit board just because you can get an online quote then I would recommend Sunstone. They do great work and as fast as you want to pay for... But I wouldn't use them for production boards.
I can also recommend some of the companies we use at work.. Just let me know.. Typically you send them the gerber/drill files and can get a quote back in as little as 30 minutes to 2 days depending on which company it is..

Author:  JackBak [ 22 Jul 2010, 15:27 ]
Post subject:  Re: New to PCB - Help?

Interesting Mcgyvr, I didn't think about price versus online quote capability. Yes please suggest vendors that communicate quotes via email, I'm in the US so North American companies would be useful as well.


Author:  mcgyvr [ 22 Jul 2010, 22:33 ]
Post subject:  Re: New to PCB - Help?

I use the following companies at work.
We just started using Amitron and have been very happy with their pricing and so far for us the quote process takes no more than 30 minutes from the time I email them the gerbers to the time they email me a quote. (Quality,etc... of all the companies below is top notch) Delivery is always the typical 3 weeks which is pretty standard in the industry. But can do faster turn-arounds if needed (at a price of course)

Lower volume (100-5000 pcs)

Just placed our first order with this company and were impressed with their pricing. Again top notch quality,etc...

High volume 10k+ (they have partners in china, egypt, etc...)

Author:  JackBak [ 23 Jul 2010, 09:51 ]
Post subject:  Re: New to PCB - Help?

Thanks Mcgyvr, that's very helpful.

Author:  angelageorge [ 26 Jul 2010, 03:16 ]
Post subject:  Re: New to PCB - Help?

Thanks Mcgyvr. That's really helpful. I need one more information and hope you can help me. Recently I heard about DFM( Design for Manufacturability) methodology that helps designers incorporate manufacturing knowledge during the initial design process, preventing design errors early in the design process and reducing the need for costly corrections later. Hence I would like to have DFM check for PCB designs before I send it for manufacturing. Can you suggest any free software's available for DFM check?
Or else do we have any vendors who help us for DFM check?

Author:  mcgyvr [ 26 Jul 2010, 07:24 ]
Post subject:  Re: New to PCB - Help?

You really don't need DFM software. You just do the DFM yourself. It's all about checking your design to make sure you don't have any manufacturing issues. Check to make sure components aren't too close, connectors are orientated so that you can plug/remove them without hitting parts, parts aren't so close to the edge of a board, batteries will go into the holder without having to remove another component, your traces aren't below the recommended min width, your pads are properly sized, etc...
Just take a second look at your design and think about soldering it together and plugging things in,etc.. DFM is just one of those buzz words in the industry that people go ..oh wow I get free DFM check on my board and that gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. If you set up your library/patterns/route setup correctly you typically don't have any DFM problems. Typically DFM was done by a human checking your design and looking for stupid things you forgot about... "look this idiot has 2 boards stacking on top of each other (1/2" apart) but there is a capacitor on the bottom board that is 5/8" tall so the cap will hit the top board before they seat together properly,etc... All that those online DFM tools do is check your design against their board house standards for hole sizes/trace widths,etc.. stuff that is written out in their design guides.

Author:  angelageorge [ 28 Jul 2010, 03:16 ]
Post subject:  Re: New to PCB - Help?

Hey mcgyvr,

Thank you so much for the detailed information. It was really helpful. But I am just curious to know whether we have any PCB manufacturers who has DFM check as complimentary service to their customers. One of my friend wants to go for DFM check. I explained him its not required but still he's much interested in DFM.lol.....

Can you help me with some suppliers name who has free DFM check?

Author:  mcgyvr [ 29 Jul 2010, 19:37 ]
Post subject:  Re: New to PCB - Help?

Try this I guess if you want.. never used it myself..

Author:  mrhox [ 26 Oct 2012, 07:43 ]
Post subject:  Re: New to PCB - Help?

G'day, angelageorge.

How did you end up going with your choice of PCB manufacturer?
I'm new to 'professional' PCB manufacturing, too.

I don't know your home country, but in Australia, the cost for a few (<10) boards is pretty high.
(Setup AU$85 - $200, 150 x 100mm 2-sided board with nothing special AU$20 - $60 each)
Now, these may be exceptionally good quality, but to simply knock up some prototypes, is too $$$.

As a part-time startup (!), I'm in the middle of getting 4 boards made.

I came across http://www.pcbwing.com [hope that link is not in breach of this forum's rules], based in China. (And, of course, promising fast, cheap service.)

This company (for the above specification) is charging me $85 setup, $6 per board (x4) and $46 freight = $137.
(Yep, gotta love international freight charges!)

I will post my thoughts when I receive them...

-- 19 Nov 2012, 21:36 --

Received the PCBs after about 10 days, which for a '10 day service', I thought was pretty good.
They used FedEx.

I received an email 1 hour after I emailed the gerber files to ask if I wanted to merge two gerber layers that DipTrace had created. (They even sent an image explaining what they were asking.)
I said 'yes'. (See my posting: http://www.diptrace.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=7677)

By logging into their site, you can view a 'rough' guide as to the progress of your order.

I received an email stating they had started processing my order and another to say it had been shipped, with the FedEx shipping number. (The latter was not of use, since the Chinese FedEx site is in, yep, 'Chinese'. The Australian FedEx site didn't recognise the number...)

They were very well wrapped, with tissue paper between each of the boards.
All four boards were bundled and taped together.
They were then sealed in bubble wrap.

I'm not an expert on PCB quality but what I received back looks excellent.
I'm currently occupied by other issues, so have not soldered to them, yet.

I will use them for my next batch (which I will order in a decent quantity to help overcome the 'overheads' of each batch!)


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