Many engineers, especially those just starting out, ask questions like“Where can I find a good PCB fabrication service or“How can I reduce my PCB Prototypes cost?” But when find a PCB fabrication service , they will considerate whether suppliers cut PCB prototypecost with sacrificing quality.
How to judge a good Fast PCB Prototypes service? First and foremost, you should be fully aware of your project’s requirements and budget; then conduct head-to-toe research on PCB Prototypes service through the internet, magazines, or trade shows. A lot of time and effort is required, but it’s worth it in the long run. When researching a good PCB fabrication service , make sure you cover the following aspects:
1.Quality Standards and Certifications Almost all PCB fabrication service providers declare to provide cost-effective service, but not all offer what they claim. A good PCB manufacturers should comply with UL, ISO, quality standards and, if required, be ITAR compliant as well. Even small mistakes can sink a project. Make sure the PCB supplier you choose actively visits PCB manufacturers and verifies compliance with quality standards.
2.Technical Skills If your project requires specialized PCB manufacturing, choose a PCB supplier with access to engineers and technicians with the skills to pull it off. The more customization your project requires, the more imperative it is to have the best-trained experts for the job.
3.PCB Checker The PCB manufacturing company had better offer a free online tool suite, the PCB Visualizer, that clients can use to check their PCB design for manufacturability before ordering it. Not only allow these tools to see how your board’s production files are interpreted by the manufacturer, they can also highlight problems that for some reason went unnoticed so far. It can avoid some obvious mistake on PCB design.
4. Communication and Customer Service Good communication is vital to any project. You should be comfortable with a PCB supplier’s email and phone response time from the beginning. If you feel lost in the shuffle or can’t discuss technical issues before your design reaches the production department, the end result is not likely to be satisfactory.
5.Location and shipping Consider where you want your PCB supplier to be located. Choosing a Convenient transportation can reduce shipping time. If buy from overseas, choose city near airport and waterway ports.
6.Cost An experienced PCB supplier who can meet your need for low volume production, minimum lot charges sometimes can meet your need. Also remember that many overseas suppliers require payment up front, which could wreak havoc on your monthly budget. Prices vary wildly among different Different countries. A cheap PCB manufacture can help you save some budge.
Here I want to recommend 2 good PCB fabrication companies: JLCPCB from China and Eurocircuits from Belgium and they are be up to the above standard.
As we all know, China has a fabulous market for electronics, steel engineering suppliers and manufacturers mainly because of the lower labor costs, but also because of the amount of capable technicians who can supervise the process. In China, dealing with the toxic waste, recycling old PCB's and the disposal of older or obsolete boards has been systematized enough to make the country clearly the leader in all aspects of printed circuit board manufacturing.
JLCPCB is the largest PCB prototype enterprise in China. JLCPCB is very attractive for quick PCB prototype and small-batch PCB production.
About quality and price : JLCPCB has a really amazing price. I guess that most of people had never experience such a price.: $2 can get 10 pieces boards. The quality is satisfied. JLCPCB also provides a free online PCB checking and editing tools. If you have some mistake in Gerber file, you will receive a email from their engineer. What’s more,JLCPCB locates in ShenZhen near the airport and waterway ports, shipping time and costs will be reduced.
We know that we must pay for customs tax on packages shipping from China. Some people give up ordering from China for this reason. Here I want to share with you a method: you can choose a proper delivery. For example, you buy a board from China to Greece, SingPost is a better choice , not DHL. SingPost shipping will cost little costom duties than DHL.
I know someone still refusing to buy board regarding to shipping time or others, here I recommended Eurocircuits. Eurocircuits are a well known specialist manufacturers of prototype and small batch PCBs. They are making high quality boards but the killer feature in my point of view is the PCB Checker. This tool allows to verify your circuit and gives you a high quality view of your PCB before ordering it like JLCPCB . There is no extra tax as it is delivered within Europe.
But it’s very expensive for some hobbyists and learners. Its price depends on the pcb size,5-10 pieces it is generally around 100€ (a little bit less or a little bit more) port included.As soon as you order 20-30 pieces the price of each pieces decrease drastically but you will quickly reach 200€. If you are looking for price you have to order 100+ pieces and look JLCPCB will be your choice.