How to get a PCB Board printed?

how can i get a pcb printed. i need a 2.4x1.0 inch pcb, i also need it to fit an arduino chip and all of my other parts, it needs to have a latching type switch to turn the arduino off and off, i have the fritzing software but how can i send the circuit to someone to print it? i have not built the circuit with fritzing yet but id like to build it detailed and have a board printed to fit all the pars i need. it dont necessarily have to be the cheapest board, but id like to get it before next year.

Do some research to decide on which PCB service you will use. Fritzing has a service kind of built into their software but my understanding is it's much more expensive than other popular options. There are a ton of options. Most of the cheapest ones have similar pricing but may have different features that makes one preferable to others depending on your application. For example, I wanted to make a board with LEDs on it. I wanted it to have white solder mask so the color of the board wouldn't show through. I found that many of the PCB services charged extra for different solder mask colors but DirtyPCBs was the same price for any color so they were the best price at that time.

Design the board. This is possible in Fritzing but it's not really what Fritzing was designed for. There are other free software options that are much more commonly used for this purpose. The most popular two free options are Eagle and Kicad. Eagle has traditionally been the most popular but the free version is limited in size, is not allowed for commercial use, and it's proprietary software. Kicad is a free open source option that has become a popular alternative to Eagle. The reason I told you to decide on the PCB service you'll use first is that there may be certain board size constraints and you will also want to be sure to make your design meet their design rules.

thankyou. im going to research those two companies, trying to design the pcb with fritzing is not really working out. i want to be able to use mostly surface mount components. thankyou

DesignSpark by RS Components. It’s free

I can recommend KiCAD. It is free open source software and heavily developed (CERN is involved). There are a lot of tutorial videos around. The community seemed a little weird to me (especially when you dare to mention confusion about the main user experience quirks), but in principle, you get competent help in the forum, too.

The workflow is

  1. Draw the schematic.
  2. Annotate the components (Like R? -> R1 ...)
  3. Give each component a footprint (Like R1 is 0603)
  4. Export the net List
  5. Start the PCB designer (press F11 to switch over to the OpenGL view, it is much better now)
  6. Load the net list
  7. Place your components
  8. Draw traces
  9. Export to Gerber (relevant layers plus drill fill)
  10. ZIP results and upload to pcb service. I use Seeed. They do 10x 10x10cm^2 for 5$ + ~10$ shipping, and you can use v-cuts, so you can get 30-40 boards of the size you mentioned.

I personally use EagleCAD for my designs and Seeed to make them. They also don't appear to charge extra for colours.
My last board was 2.4" x 1.2" and cost $4.90 for 10 boards and another $9.64 shipping.

DesignSpark was the first EDA software I tried. At the time Kicad was not very actively developed. I spent quite a bit of time learning it and making parts but I realized there was not much community support for that software. Maybe things have changed since then but I haven't heard much about it since. Around that time CERN got involved with Kicad and that was the final motivation I needed to abandon DesignSpark.

That Seeed Fusion seems like a good option. DirtyPCBs is cheaper for the 5 cm x 5 cm size but $5 more expensive for 10 cm x 10 cm. DirtyPCBs allows panelization at no extra charge, whereas Seeed seems to charge way more if I understand correctly. I found it interesting to notice that Dangerous Prototypes say they use Seeed Fusion even though they run DirtyPCBs.

I personally like design spark, mainly because it has a similar feel to EASY PC which preceded it and i bought.
Everyone has their own preference for design packages though.
Eagle is very popular.
All the output files are accepted by the cheap Chinese PCB manufactures who are very good.

Have you thought about assembly/soldering. ?

SMD can be difficult but with practice can be done with a fry pan (skillet).

SMD can be difficult

In my experience, SMD is MUCH easier than I would ever have expected. I almost immediately managed to solder 0603 with my solder station (not even finished the first practice board) and TQFN ATMEGAs with a 30€ rework station (took two tried, and I admit that I still prefer the TQFP version if I have the space). I can absolutely recommend SMD to anyone who is designing a PCB anyway. I don't really think anything else makes sense, if you don't have two left hands and/or are half blind.

Unfortunately with age comes both deteriorating eyesight and trembling fingers along with bigger thumbs.
I have a standing ebay search for over a year now for a Mrs Crossroads.
They all seem to be taken though.

Unfortunately with age comes both deteriorating eyesight


I can barely solder through-hole much less SMD.


I can barely solder through-hole much less SMD.

Agree here too.

Got this, it has made a huge difference:

"I have a standing ebay search for over a year now for a Mrs Crossroads."



Agree here too.

Got this, it has made a huge difference:


I can now see much better how badly my fingers tremble. :slight_smile:

You have to get the fingers out of the picture:







Vertical Spring.jpg



I have been meaning to modify old 3d printer as a pick and place machine for a while now.
One of those projects that gets started then stopped then started again.
With continuous modifications.

I cannot recommend enough EasyEDA. They have software that you can use to make schematics and then port those schematics to a pcb all the while selecting different components from their library/user generated library. It's awesome and easy. They usually take about a week to ship it out to you. Only downside is they ship out of China, so it takes a while with customs if your order is over a certain amount. But my boards came out great!