for you folks who want custom pcbs..

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metis
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for you folks who want custom pcbs..

Postby metis » Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:39 am


cfinger
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:27 am

Re: for you folks who want custom pcbs..

Postby cfinger » Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:42 am

I've had a few boards made w/ 4pcb.com

You can get a single board made in 5 days for $33 + shipping, if you claim to be an engineering student. Plus, they give you a 5$ McDonalds gift card with it! Haha. Best deal I've seen so far. They also have an automated quoting system that checks for errors in your design.

I've had 3/4 designs done by them, all very nice looking.

uptownmaker
Posts: 378
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:26 am

Re: for you folks who want custom pcbs..

Postby uptownmaker » Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:04 am

I've used Advanced Circuits a few times as well, and I've likewise been impressed with their work. Turnaround time is reasonable. Their DFM tool leaves a bit to be desired; I've found that it has problems parsing my drill file unless I place the entire board in the negative X, negative Y quadrant. It just doesn't like the lack of a sign in front of the values.

PCBExpress/Sunstone Circuits, who make the PCB123 design software, are hard to beat for convenience. They have reasonably cheap boards (in qty 25, they are about $1.50/sq, silkscreened) and their live time quote system built into their CAD package is handy. They do 24 hour turnaround on all purchases without charging an arm and a leg, and the fact that they offer a fairly full-featured CAD package for free is a nice deal. However, the CAD package kinda sucks. Okay, REALLY sucks. I don't really plan on using it again, if I don't have to- but sometimes, at work, the need for a quick-turn, very simple PCB comes up and the one week lead time of Advanced Circuits just won't cut it.

I'm curious about batchPCB. I might give them a try on some board designs I'm thinking of trying out soon. I'm impatient, though, and I don't like the thought of waiting 3-4 weeks. On the other hand, it's for early protos of an at-home project, so buying 25 of them for $300 versus buying one or two for $20-$30 each is not such a hard decision to make.

Edit: Very interesting- Advanced Circuits (4pcb.com) has a free CAD package now, too. I'll give a try.
Last edited by Theo on Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
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