Design Your Own PCB Business Card





Introduction: Design Your Own PCB Business Card

About: Electromechanical Engineer, Product Designer, Maker. I love to make prototypes and teach others in the process. I graduated from UCF and spent two years working at NASA.

In this instructable I am going to show you how to make your own printed circuit board business card. I feel that these business cards will really help you stand out from the crowd and make a great impression. It might even add one more skill to your resume. Everyone that I have given these cards out to has been really impressed and thought it was a great idea. I have regular business cards as well and I only selectively give out my circuit board cards. You can take it to the next level by soldering different circuits on the cards. I made one of my cards into a standalone Arduino.

Step 1: Download PCB Design Software

A computer with the PCB design software CadSoft Eagle installed is all you will need.

You can download it for free here. Download the program for your operating system(Linux, Windows or Mac). When you run the program for the first time, choose the "Run as freeware option." You can use this as long as you do not sell any of your boards. You are just fine making business cards and small circuit boards for yourself. There are some limitations to using the Freeware version of Eagle. The useable board area is limited to 100 x 80 mm (4 x 3.2 inches), only two signal layers can be used (Top and Bottom), and the schematic editor can only create one sheet. Other than that, it has all the features that the professional version has.

Step 2: Download the Board File and Add Your Details

Download my board file and open it with Eagle. To add you name and details, right click the plus sign at the upper left hand of the text and click on properties. Customize the board as much as you want. I added a silkscreened logo to the back of my board in the same location at the contact information. To do this, you will need to learn a bit about layers. Layer 21(tPlace) and layer 22(bPlace) are used for silkscreening the top and bottom of the board respectively. Create your logo and flip it horizontally and save it as a bitmap(.bmp). In Eagle, go to File->Import->Bitmap and import your logo to layer 22. If you want to change the shape of the board, you can edit layer 20(Dimension) with the Polygon tool in the tool bar.

Step 3: Order Your Circuit Board Business Cards

Once you are satisfied with your board, it's time to order. There are a ton of board houses to choose from, but my favorite for small runs like this is DirtyPCBs. It's not what is sounds like. They aren't dirty at all. Well, they are dirty cheap. I'm a big fan of their Protopack for $14(5cm x 5cm). You get around 10 PCBs for $14! You might get 8 or you might get 15. For this business card, the Protopack will be $25 because the board fits into the 10cm x 10cm category. Either way, the price is great! Another good thing about DirtyPCBs is all you need to do to order is upload your .brd file and pick a few options. Most board houses will require you to send them gerber files, but they create the gerber files themselves. Now you can choose the board color(Red, Yellow, Green, White, Black), your board thickness and what coating you want. HASL is just fine and it's free. You will not need a stencil for this project because there are not surface mount pads on the boards. The standard shipping is free, but I would recommend shipping with DHL if you can. My boards came in less than 2 weeks with DHL.

That's it! Get creative and make it your own. Watch Eagle tutorials on youtube and you will be a pro in no time.

If you like my project, please vote above and please subscribe to my YouTube Channel to see more of my projects! I am very interested to try out the new HP Sprout.

Thank you.



    • Casting Contest

      Casting Contest
    • Oil Contest

      Oil Contest
    • Make it Move Contest

      Make it Move Contest

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    Great start on an always great idea. Thanks for the tip on the board house. I've used osh park a few times, but they're kinda pricy in comparison! I think I'll add some on board power(via cr2032) and some leds with a push button. :)

    1 reply

    Thank you, I'm glad you liked it. Awesome, let me know how it goes.

    The download doesn't seem to work for me. When I click on it, it brings me to a page full of code. Looks interesting and I would love to try it.

    P.S spoilers for anyone that isn't caught up with game of thrones yet =P

    3 replies

    Right click the file and click "Save Link As..." Just make sure to keep .brd on whatever you name the file. The site must think it's an xml file or something.

    Awesome thanks! Really cool idea. Is the circuitry on the board anything specific? Or is it just a cool design you liked?

    The traces are similar to a breadboard and have the exact same spacing so you can transfer your small breadboard projects to the pcb.

    Thanks for sharing, there are do many board
    houses with extremely cheap price. I have tried PCBWay, only $13 for 10 pcs 100*100 mm
    PCBs. But they ship with DHL, which is relatively expensive but fast.

    2 replies

    That's a great site, thank you for sharing.

    That's a great site, thank you for sharing.

    WOW this put my mind to fly !!! I start thinking about a lot ideas!!! Great job :) Jon Snow rocks jejeje :) Thank you to share this!!!

    I have a mess load of 27 Ohm resistors, would they work, i have to use them some way. Was thinking of your idea and making it into a model of the KITT car, would that work as well? i am asking permission to use your idea, if that is okay.

    Nice idea but kinda big... take a look at this product from Adafruit:

    3 replies

    I designed it to fit my wallet and those boards from adafruit are too expensive for what they are. Making them yourself is easy, cheap and you can personalize them.

    yes you're right, I read your article too fast... I checked your PCB manufacturer site, didn't know we can get PCB's at these prices... and it is also possible to chose the thickness... which thickness works best?

    I used 1.2 mm for my first run, but you could use .6mm as well.

    I truly love this idea. I have read about homespun PCB's used as business cards, but yours is the first I have observed. If you do get your info blotted out on your final spin, I am anxious to see it .I also voted!

    1 reply

    Thank you. If you watch the video you can kind of get an idea, but I think they came out great.

    There's a price comparison site for PCB manufacturing: You enter your board's specs and it shows you prices from 25 different manufacturers. DirtyPCBs is on the list, but for 10x10cm boards, there are less expensive alternatives.

    1 reply

    There are much cheaper sources that I use for higher quantities. I use dirtypcbs for quick small runs. I really like that they accept .brd files directly from Eagle. Most other places will make you give them gerber files.

    I really like this.