1. OCAU Merchandise is available! Check out our 20th Anniversary Mugs, Classic Logo Shirts and much more! Discussion in this thread.
    Dismiss Notice

Typical PCB Prototype manufacture costs

Discussion in 'Electronics & Electrics' started by Agentelectron, Mar 24, 2017.

  1. Agentelectron

    Agentelectron New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2017
    Messages:
    2
    Hi All,

    I play with electronics often enough, and usually make my own PCBs using either the toner transfer method or pre-sensitised boards - depending on my needs.

    Both methods have their pros and cons and I'd like to investigate the cost of having a house manufacture boards for me, especially for the more complicated/finer detailed boards.

    I'd like to know if anyone here has used / routinely uses manufacture services?
    How much you typically spend?
    What do you do if you only want 1 or 2 boards prototyped?
    Do Australian manufacturers exist? (Maybe I've missed one in Google).
    Does anything annoy you with these manufacturers, would it be just easier for me to suck it up and make my own - how I want it!

    I've looked on this forum for this topic, but the posts are from quite a while ago so I'd like some fresh opinions, over 5yr old ones.

    Cheers!
     
  2. dakiller

    dakiller (Oscillating & Impeding)

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    8,466
    Location:
    3844
    https://oshpark.com/
    They're the favourite for the maker community these days, I've used them extensivly.
    $5 USD per square inch, for 3 copies. 6mil/6mil trace and clearance.

    I won't even think about etching my own boards again. As long as you can wait the 2-3 weeks for the boards, you would be mad to do it yourself.

    There aren't many aussie PCB manufactures, and I doubt they will do anything but higher volume work or be super expensive for low volume.
     
  3. _zak

    _zak Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2009
    Messages:
    399
    Another option is Dangerous Prototypes' Dirty PCBs. US$14 for a pack of ~ 10 (yep, they're dirty), 5 cm x 5 cm; US$25 more for 10 x 10. Price includes shipping.

    You often wait a fair while, and the quality isn't as high as OSH Park, but they've always been solid for me electrically.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
  4. mtma

    mtma Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    Messages:
    6,105
    I've used pcbway for the 100mm squared and 10 copies for 10 USD, but shipping needs to be added. Production lead time is quick but to get them quickly in practice you would need to pay for courier shipment.
     
  5. paulvk

    paulvk Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,081
    I have used https://firstpcb.com/ 100mm x 100mm for $10 US plus shipping
    First time you use them you get a $10 voucher so they are free
    Shipping is about $40 AU by xpress courier so you get them fast maybe 7 days or less.
    The boards have been very good and were double sided with a lot of vias and components on both sides , through hole & surface mount.
     
  6. SLATYE

    SLATYE SLATYE, not SLAYTE

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2002
    Messages:
    26,858
    Location:
    Canberra
    I've used Elecrow's PCB service in the past, and that went well. Can't beat the price.

    I've been looking around for cheap-ish 6+ layer boards suitable for high-speed work (ie so I need full specs for layer spacing/thickness) but so far I haven't found any - cheaper to just purchase a pre-built module with all the high-speed interfaces built-in.
     
  7. Thraxeh

    Thraxeh Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2003
    Messages:
    4,357
    Location:
    Sydney Australia NSW
    I use PCBWAY. I like their quoting system/interface and I found for larger boards the pricing scales really well.

    I even had them make up a 1200mm long PCB for a particular project(1200mm is the limit of their machine) and it came out well, however I could tell I was pushing things to the limits. Alice the sales rep told me they ran into a small delay with this PCB as they had to discard 3 of the boards as they didn't meet their quality control. Nice to know they were putting in the effort to ensure it was done right.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Agentelectron

    Agentelectron New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2017
    Messages:
    2
    Thanks for all your replies!

    So by the sounds of it any boards you order are going to come from overseas. How often do yous normally have to wait? I've found in the past (with other overseas items I've bought) quoted postage times can be ballooned out.
     
  9. mtma

    mtma Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    Messages:
    6,105
    If you go pcbway with one of their courier options with relatively standard board specifications it will be about 1 week, but could be quicker.
     
  10. paulvk

    paulvk Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,081
    First pcb use express courier which takes about 3 days to get here and you get a tracking number.
    I have uploaded files on Saturday and had the boards on the following Friday my last cost for 10 boards was $45 AU including the shipping but as they all deal in $US it varies a bit with the xchange rate
     
  11. Caffeine

    Caffeine Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Messages:
    1,776
    Location:
    Sydney
    I've used Gold Phoenix quite extensively.

    Cheapest price is US$100 for a 10in by 10 in panel, 7 mil clearance, one design (as many copies of that one design as you can fit), single sided white silkscreen, double sided green soldermask, 2 layer, hot air leveled, 1.6mm FR4.

    They ship via fedex and generally I get the boards in ~5 to 7 business days.

    You can change any of the specs, but those changes will cost extra. For example, any other colour soldermask than green is an extra US$20.

    Edit: You can also pay extra to get the boards faster. 1 day rush for example (so received in ~3 days) is an extra US$100
     
  12. Elder

    Elder Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,255
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Gold Phoenix isn't as competitive for small volume samples, it's more of a professional service provider for small to medium volume product. It can be easily justified to pay the AUD$150-$200 inc shipping if you're going to be going back and using Gold Phoenix for production, in that case it's a very small price to pay to get some confirmation of the pcb manufacturer before potentially going straight to a PCB+PCBA order where you're likely spending $5,000-$25,000. They do do a small sample run of PCBA's and send them to you for confirmation first, but this is a longer turn around than PCB alone and you're burning a bunch of components with every sample lot sent to you so it's not the greatest time to be finding PCB faults.

    Sparkfun used to use Gold Phoenix for their batch PCB service which was among the best low cost small volume PCB prototyping services about a decade ago. Turn around time was poor and unpredictable though because of the batching being done by Sparkfun to get the cost down, things have improved a lot since then. Now Sparkfun recommends oshpark, or at least they did the last time I read about it. I don't really keep up with it because I am with Caffeine, I usually use something like GP because of the justification mentioned above.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2017

Share This Page

Advertisement: