This article should give you a brief introduction about a cheap PCB manufacture service from JLCPCB，I will introduce you JLCPCB from following aspects: Cheap PCB Fabrication、Compatible with PCB CAD support、production capabilities and PCB Panelization Service.
1.Cheapest PCB Prototype Here are two reasons why i called JLCPCB as cheap PCB manufacture, PCB cost and delivery cost are lower then other PCB manufactures. First PCB cost, Can you imagine 10 pcbs 100mm*100mm PCBs with 2 bucks? JLCPCB help you do that.
JLCPCB offers service for customers all over the world, they can ship PCBs from China to most countries in the world. There are two option you can choose, one is the cheapest one, Air Mail, cost depends on country you live, normally ranges from $4 to $10 within smaller then 2kg, shipping time: 8-24 days. The another one method is DHL, more expensive than Air Mail, but fast delivery time: 3-4 days, if you want to get your PCBs as soon as possible, DHL is your best choice, i usually used DHL, as it is more reliable and insurable. In some ways delivery cost is the another factor that contributes JLCPCB to cheap PCB manufacturer.
2.Compatible with PCB CAD Support We all know that, many PCB manufactures accept Gerber file generated by some PCB design software. So does JLCPCB. There are 6 options for you: Free PCB Editor、Online gerber review、Altium PCB to gerber files、Eagle PCB to gerber files、Kicad PCB to gerber files、Diptrace PCB to gerber files, they are the most commonly files we used now and they all can be transformed to gerber file.
You may noted that after you click the first two(Free PCB Editor and Online gerber review), you will find you are stay on EasyEDA page, Yes, they are EasyEDA tools,they are family site with JLCPCB. They are free online software to help you design and check your design works. Note: for Online gerber review, files should be zip or rar format within 10M.Actually, 10M totally enough for us. The rest of four options,JLCPCB provide guide and videos tutorial to help users export their file to gerber file, from my using experience, i think JLCPCB is not only a cheap PCB manufacture, but also a convenient tool. Altium PCB to gerber files：https://jlcpcb.com/capabilities/Altium-PCB-to-gerber-files Eagle PCB to gerber files：https://jlcpcb.com/capabilities/Eagle-PCB-to-gerber-files Kicad PCB to gerber files：https://jlcpcb.com/capabilities/Kicad-PCB-to-gerber-files Diptrace PCB to gerber files：https://jlcpcb.com/capabilities/Diptrace-PCB-to-gerber-files
3.Production Capabilities Here i want to show you a picture of a cheap PCB manufacture’s production capabilities, screenshot from JLCPCB site. When you go glance over this page, there are some items we need to pay more attention when you design, like Thickness Tolerance (T≥1.0mm or T＜1.0mm) and Hole Size Tolerance, they make a details description for these three situations. And, the last one option, Soldermask Bridge, It is not available now.
4.PCB Panelization Service: Panelization means cheap PCB manufactures will duplicate many copies onto one panel if your boards are same design. It will make full use of sheet metal and improving production efficiency, and benefit for PCB manufactures clients and courier. There are some points we need to noticed when you decide to use panelization service. a. Make sure the one single PCB's size bigger than 2cm*2cm, or you need pay more $20 for the V-cut, because small PCB is hard to cut. b. Make sure every one PCB panelization size within 15cm, it is bend easily if it too large. c. Make sure the board outline is simply, for complex board outline, you need to panelized by your self. Or you can pay them $15 to do that, they will send the panelized gerber to you to confirm. d. Make sure there are 5mm break-up tab, it is for protect PCB boards, at last, it will be cut out. f. When you placed an order on JLCPCB, Please remember mark clearly what kind of PCB panelization you want, V-Cut、Stamp Hole、with panelization gap or not.
For V-Cut Panelization, you should make sure the distance from top line to the V-Cut centre line must not be less then 0.4mm and V-Cut line can only be a straight line, can’t be a curve;
Stamp Hole Panelization, Normally, size for no copper hole is 0.5-0.8mm and the interval between two hole should be 0.4-0.6mm;
Panelization without gap means there is no interval between single board; Panelization without gap
Another one is Panelization with gap, the interval between two single board should more then 1.6mm, or it will be hard to cut. Panelization with gap
JLCPCB provides high quality but cheap PCB manufacture service, you can finished your PCB works by their service, from free online design tool, gerber viewer to PCB prototyping, which is really convenient and fast.