Itead, Members with Experience...

Looking for info on Itead for PCB prototyping. I have only used OSH Park and, well, I'm really tired of waiting a month to get the PCB. Itead is pretty cheap, but I noticed they have a new site for their service and a forum. People have been posting, but no one is responding to their posts.

Basically, what are their turn around times? What shipping service recommendation for the US? Care to recommend another Fab company that have turn around times of a couple of weeks to 3 weeks... With nice quality boards and an option for colors other than lame green...

Itead has expedited shipping service. I read from a post that a member of this forum has used that service and can get the boards in around 10 days. That's pretty good for the price. has similar service, with free slow shipping if you buy $50 or more. I don't notice difference in their qualities on my simple boards. I've used both, both have color options. I also used DorkBotPDX, the predecessor of OSH Park. They are printing in the US and turn around time wasn't great due to small number of users.

Thanks for the advise.

I am going to try Itead and see how they do. OSH Park, does have really good quality boards and decent price, but the waiting for a month is getting old.

I have used itead for a lot of boards, no problems. All the green boards here. colors are available too, I just choose not to pay for that. Delivery is generally just under 3 weeks to east coast US via inexpensive US Register Air Mail shipping. 10 boards, $9.90, ~$5 shipping. Can get a lot of parts on 5cm x 5cm.


You have been pretty productive :) For me shipping from out of the country is always slow since I'm in the middle of nowhere.

I have ordered from iTeadStudio..

(and actually have 3-orders Im waiting on currently)

MY experience is.. when it was itead.. things were addressed fast..

confirmation email.. and boards shipped out about a week later or so.. then the 'wait'..(about another 10+ days or so)

this time.. through iMall..

1.) my old/original orders from itead were NOT available for re-order 2.) I didnt get an confirmation email (status update) that my order was 'accepted' until AFTER I emailed them asking what was up?

Sent on 25th.. Nov 7th gt email apologizing saying sorry about update.. was 'shipped' out on Nov 2nd..

I check tracking.. 'says' acceptance on the 2nd.. but then sat at sorting facility for another week?

Nov 9th.. passed through sorting facility..

Colors are $5.00 extra..

(Im going to try white, black or yellow/blue myself next time) :)

previously it seemed like it moved a bit faster? (maybe more popular now?)

That is what I was looking for. I have been to the old site when it was operational and seemed pretty sweet. What got me wondering is their new forum. Members posting questions and then no replies for over a week. Posts that read "Is anybody here?"

Maybe there just ironing out the kinks. I hope it's better than BatchPBC from Sparkfun. Looks like they screwed everything up...

I've used them three times, and am very happy with the service. The boards are typically made in three days, and postage to the UK takes about 10 days.

I placed an order of a bare PCB for testing Itead. Well, I have not heard from them and my order is still processing.

UPDATE: There are bugs on the new site and the PCB is in route.

Also checked out Seeed, People are complaining that they haven't received their boards when they ordered them 2 months ago...

Is there any other respectable PCB Fab house?

My experience would say otherwise codlink. I have PCBs enroute from them right now, and last Thursday or Friday ordered more. They e-mailed back for order clarification - apparantly ordering from one address, paying via paypal with another address and leaving the order # off is not the way to go. They e-mailed back today to say the order was with factory for review & they'd let me know if there were issues - which I don't think there will as this is my 3rd oder of this particular card. The only delay I've seen is getting thru customs on both ends, and slow shipping as that's all I've paid for.

If you have an issue, e-mail wendy @ iteadstudio dot com, and sunny @ iteadstudio dot com, they've taken of my adventures in payment & file submissions.

Funny, I just responded to Wendy's email about this and she advised that the board I ordered was in the mail already. I am assuming there are some bugs in the new site.

I read their instructions on PCB fab and I am concerned about having to put the order number on the silkscreen. Do you know of a method that I can use as I do not want the order number printed on my board?

PS: I edited my post above to reflect these changes.

Having just received my first order from Itead, I thought I'd detail my [u]positive[/u] experience.

The NANO-sized two-sided board to surface mount MCP 2551 and 2515 CAN chips and ancillary components was designed and gerbers generated with DesignSpark. Gerber file name suffixes were changed to match what Itead wants. Traces are 10 mil signal and 15 mil power. Two boards (slightly different, one with ground plain copper fill, the other without) were panelized into each 5 X 5 space.

ordered Oct 18 Itead requested change in gerber Oct 19 (add outline rectangle around the paired boards) revised files sent same day fabbrication started Oct 20 shipped Oct 29 I failed to note when HKPost said it left Hong Kong, but "arrived destination", i.e. in Italy, Nov 10 arrived my address Nov 13 (remarkable for Dogana Italiana - I've had as much as 15 day delays at this step)

I wasn't in a rush, so avoided expedited shipping - not only is the shipping cost higher, but one pays 21% value added tax here on that, but not on postage (and I've not had all that good service from DHL, FedEx and the like anyway).

The boards themselves seem first rate. They are not very complex, and the traces aren't tiny, but they are certainly not something I could do in my home shop. This is the first time I haven't etched my own boards, and I don't think that I will ever etch another!

BTW. On another thread there was a discussion of how to cut apart panelized boards using Dremel or hack saw. I have a simpler way that doesn't raise lots of fiberglass dust. I score both sides with a "plastic laminate scoring knife" and straight edge, snap them apart and clean the edges with a file. Short of having a proper shear, this seems about the simplest and cleanest way to go. An alternative might be an old-fashioned guillotine (sp?) paper cutter, but I haven't tried that and don't have one. The scoring laminate knife has a hard, maybe carbide, triangular insert that easily scores the board. I also have a thinner plastic (i.e. plexiglass) scoring knife, but it doesn't hold an edge when used on fiberglass whereas the one for Formica could probably cut 1000's of boards without wear. Ciao, Lenny

Thanks for sharing. I will give Itead a try with a PCB fab and see how it goes.

I've ordered a lot of boards from iTead, and the turnaround is typically a week. Shipping to me (Toronto) is about 2 weeks using the regular shipping option, or 3 days using DHL expedited.

The quality has always been pretty great, and their customer service is very nice. Also, sometimes you get extra of your own boards if someone else decided to open-source their project and your boards were grouped together. At least, that's what I think is the reason I sometimes get 11 or 12 boards instead of 10.

Another nice feature about iTead is the 100% testing option.

I have had good experiences with their service so far. Only one order was messed up - I got 20 of a single design instead of 10 each of two designs. When I pointed it out to them, they re-ran the original order of the missing PCBs and included it in my next PCB shipment for free.

I too worry about the iMall transition. Not sure why it was needed, what it fixed. I have an order in production now, let's see what happens.

As far as shipping goes, the reason to use DHL in the USA vs. the USPS is the turn time in the customs warehouse. I've waited 3+ weeks for parts to clear the US customs when shipping with the USPS. DHL seems to have a greater interest in getting the parts delivered - 3-4 days total time from shipment in CN. Thus, I consolidate multiple PCB orders into one shipment and pay for the extra $20 to get the parts via DHL.

Constantin: I too worry about the iMall transition. Not sure why it was needed, what it fixed. I have an order in production now, let's see what happens.

They've been going through that "transition" since I started ordering PCBs from them many, many months ago and there's never been any issue on my end. I wouldn't worry.

I order from OSH Park and Itead on the same day within an hour of each other.

I received my Boards from OSH Park over a week ago and still waiting on Itead.

The last 2 batches of boards from OSH Park though have silkscreen missing. No idea why some of the screen is missing, no overlapping, or touching anywhere. I have emailed Laen a few days ago and haven’t heard anything from him, so I will be using Itead from now on if the boards are correct.

imall has been working for me, with at least 3 orders completed recently.

codlink: The last 2 batches of boards from OSH Park though have silkscreen missing. No idea why some of the screen is missing, no overlapping, or touching anywhere. I have emailed Laen a few days ago and haven't heard anything from him, so I will be using Itead from now on if the boards are correct.

I wonder, did you verify with one of the gerber viewers out there that your board is rendering correctly? For example, iTead only prints the tNames and bNames layer, whereas I like to print the values of the parts next to them... so I have to manually explode the parts, delete the identifier, and then re-do the value to be part of the tName layer. I find the online gerber viewer pretty good.

Yes, I have verified it with viewers. OSHPark has it's own viewer as well.

Really, the silk doesn't bother me as much as someone not returning emails. I am a firm believer of customer service. If they don't want to bother with helping someone, than I don't bother using their service.

All I asked Laen was why is only some of the silk wasn't printed. I am still new with PCB Fab and designing and figured it was something stupid that I did wrong or didn't do at all.

Before Eagle I used Fritzing, I never had any trouble with OSH Park's boards. Was making me wonder what I was doing differently.

But, like I said the silk that is missing is no big deal because they are for me to use anyway, so no one else will see them.