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PCB Manufacturing Answered

I was wondering if anyone knows a cheap place to get some PCB boards printed? I used ExpressPCB to create the board (first thing I found on the computer at work) and it's giving me a .pcb file. I assume this file-type is pretty standard? I tried using their built in pricing software, but it seems a little pricey for small quantities. Any suggestions?

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westfw
westfw

13 years ago

I believe that expressPCB is one of those software packages that is "free" but only produces a file usable by that PCB manufacturer, can can't really be coerced into producing the standard "gerber" format used by most places.
Dr_Acula did this Nice Instructable on the standard formats and how to create them with EAGLE. While some manufacturers can accept more complex formats directly, it can be a good idea to prepare the gerbers so you can see exactly what you're having done (supposedly anyway. the last boards I did that got professionally made (also the first ones I'd had put through the professional process) had a bunch of unexpectedly large drill holes...)

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guyfrom7up
guyfrom7up

13 years ago

you could always build a cnc machine (I'm building one right now) for about 100 dollars, but that requires the making of pcb, which leads back to the original problem...

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Goodhart
Goodhart

13 years ago

But I believe randofo is looking to cut traces in PC Boards, or have them cut rather, and a place that is inexpensive that will do this.

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trialex
trialex

13 years ago

Everywhere is pricey for small quantities.

You could try BatchPCB. They work by combining everyones boards collected over the week into one order with a Chinese manufacturer. When they get the boards back they separate them and ship them to you. Not the fastest turn around because you are waiting for a group order, but you get the benefits of combining set up fees.

Also they have great customer service. The tutorials on their website are great, and they will help you out if you get snagged.

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guyfrom7up
guyfrom7up

Reply 13 years ago

you could always make one your self.

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randofo
randofo

Reply 13 years ago

I try to avoid nasty etching chemicals these days.

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Goodhart
Goodhart

Reply 13 years ago

I don't blame you there...besides the burns they can cause to skin, fumes can be a problem too.