dirt cheap PCB manufacture

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 :wink:

so why not list them here :slight_smile:

make em yourself? :-?


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 :wink:

thnx for adding to the list tho :slight_smile:

$50 is about the lower limit for any quantity of commercial quality PCBs.

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.

i’ll look into that one :slight_smile: thnx :slight_smile:

keep em coming XD people need choice :stuck_out_tongue:

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!

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 :slight_smile:

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.

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 :slight_smile:
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. :slight_smile:

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.

Hi Oracle, I am glad to hear your were satisfied with our service. You said you didn’t know how we make profit on this deal. The fact is, we nearly have no profit on it. But we are happy to do it because it is a very good service for OSHW guys.It is much appreciated if you can choose the Open source option. That saves money and make other guys be able to share your design. On the other hand, we can make some nice designs into kits and retail. That’s what we called: Propaganda Kits service. . http://www.seeedstudio.com/wiki/index.php?title=Open_source_Kit.

Here’s the link to our Propaganda PCB service


Hi Seeedstudio. I meant I didn’t know how you made a profit at 1 (or 3) boards for $10 which I assume is why you discontinued it. But your current options are still fantastic.

I don’t understand how the open source option can work though. Even if I want to take that option, when I submit my board order, I don’t have pretty documentation explaining how it works, how to assemble it, or what the firmware should look like. So it seems like there would be a very limited market for a “mystery board” even with the schematic posted.

And there’s always little mistakes on a “first draft”, so my board might require cutting a few traces here, soldering a few jumpers there, etc. If it’s my design, it’s my hardship which is fine, but that must make it a lot harder to sell it to someone else.

It’s a good option when you’ve gotten past the prototype stage and actually want to produce a few units, and can help others use the boards too. To get to that stage you’ll probably make a couple PCB orders, though you may get lucky and not make mistakes on the first PCB. Sometimes it’s worth a few extra hours just glaring at the layout looking for mistakes, and asking for opinions from other people.

Yes, the ‘first draft’ was usually not perfect. But you can still choose’ open source’ option. It’s quite simple, after posting your document on our Wiki , you will get 20 USD refund. Don’t worry about the boards can not be sold, 1 document+open source=20 USD. LOL