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Topic: dirt cheap PCB manufacture (Read 3193 times) previous topic - next topic


I need to know a place where i can get some prototype boards knocked off at a really cheap price, im using eagle free version.
it wouldnt be fun spending money on getting a batch of boards made up and finding out something is horribly wrong on them, thus wasting a load of money most of us do not have. and also dont want to pay through the nose for a few boards to test a design.

and i am sure there are others that would like this info too ;)

so why not list them here :)




thats fine for single sided (i only have single sided copper clad) simple boards..

but no good for double production prototypes with impossible to draw by hand tracks. (yea i have no access to a laser printer so transfer methods are a no-go).

i'm talking about proper made boards.


Seeedstudio's propaganda service.  10 boards for $50 up to 4x4 inches, double sided with double sided silk screen and solder mask.  


thnx thats one, but its too many boards and too much money for wat im after ;)

thnx for adding to the list tho :)


$50 is about the lower limit for any quantity of commercial quality PCBs.
Unique RGB LED Modules and Arduino shields: http://www.macetech.com/store


i dont need 10 boards tho. especially if there turns out to be a problem in the layout or design that i wont discover until i build one.

i'll only want that many wen i either need beta testing or sell kits.


It's worth looking at BatchPCB for prototype quantities.

When you only need a few boards, just to prove the design, they might be cheapest. (Sometimes they throw in a free board.  :-X)

Just another option, if you weren't aware of them.
"Data is not information, information is not knowledge, knowledge is not understanding, understanding is not wisdom."
~ Clifford Stoll


i'll look into that one :) thnx :)

keep em coming XD people need choice :P


Aug 08, 2009, 08:23 pm Last Edit: Aug 08, 2009, 08:34 pm by jkeny Reason: 1
I'm interested too - has anybody used the batchpcb service? Turnaround can be 3-4 weeks. What's the quality like?

Oh & anywhere in Europe? I saw someone mention Olimex but these are 30 euro for a double sided panel 100 X 160mm - not cheap compared to Batchpcb or Seeedstudio

Edit: Aha, just looked at Seeedstudio - it's not that simple - seems to be a $250 initial outlay for new designs doh!

Edit 2: Oh yeh Batchpcb is closed for August. doh!
Birth, was the death of him


Aug 09, 2009, 06:39 am Last Edit: Aug 09, 2009, 06:41 am by calcdffirefighter Reason: 1
I use http://www.expresspcb.com/ and really like them. They also have a free download of PCB design software and sch software. I love'em. You design your board with the PCB designer, select your qtys. It calculates the price, and you order it all through the free software. Its a cake walk.

EDIT: Didnt see you were in Norway... well the above info may help others at least :)


The ExpressPCB software is awful for anything with more than about 5 components. Someone sent me a design they worked on for a few weeks in ExpressPCB, after they decided they weren't cut out for PCB design. I tried to use it for about 20 minutes, then just gave up and redrew the whole schematic and routed the board in Eagle in about 2 hours.
Unique RGB LED Modules and Arduino shields: http://www.macetech.com/store


Yep, the ExpressPCB software definitely sucks bigtime, and it's windows only.

I hope to try batchpcb soon.



once i read thru the sparkfun info about exporting the gerber files and used one of their suggested gerber viewers to check them it was ok :)
i chose the files needed, zipped them up and sent them to the batchpcb bot for analysis, it seemed happy with them.
apparently they have a special cam file that will generate the files from the layers properly. :)


Aha, just looked at Seeedstudio - it's not that simple - seems to be a $250 initial outlay for new designs doh

I've used Seeedstudio a few times.  It is $50 for 10 boards...no other initial outlay.  And you can get away with $30 for 5 boards if you give them permission to try and resell the other 5.  Considering those options I really can't understand why one would be $30 for a single board from batchPCB.  It's always good to have a spare anyway in case you screw up the assembly too bad and even if you have a few traces wrong you can patch it.

Originally they had a 1 board for $10 deal (and they actually sent me 3 which I thought was very nice of them) but I just dont' see how it's possible for them to make a profit on a deal like that, so I'm happy enough with the 10 for $50 offering.

fwiw, the boards fromt them are very high quality, comparable to the Arduino Diecimillas I've got except green instead of blue.

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