Breadboards makes it easy to use for creating temporary prototypes and experimenting with circuit design, but they aren’t very reliable if you plan on actually using it. At some point, you’re going to build a circuit that you want to make more permanent. The best way to make your project more durable is to get it made into printed circuit board (PCB).
Many engineers will ecth their PCBs at home or choose a PCB manufacturer to fabricate PCBs. As we know, you can etch PCBs at home using a process that resembles developing prints from photographic film. However, this method is messy and uses a lot of chemicals. It’s a lot easier (and cheaper) to send your design to a PCB manufacturer to get the board made.
There are tons of PCB manufacturers out there, but for prototype purposes cheaper is usually better. EasyEDA is such a full suite schematic and PCB design software/manufacturing service that's free to use and offers great prices on custom PCB manufacturing.
Everythings start with designing a PCB, here is a beautiful tutorial explaining how to make a PCB using EasyEDA.
Step 1: EasyEDA PCB Manufacturing
After you finished your PCB design, you can directly order PCBs from EasyEDA.
EasyEDA provides fast and cheap prototyping service. They provide online instant quote, fast fabrication and competitive price, which saves a lot of time and money for customers.
There is a pricing calculator at https://easyeda.com/order. The cheapest option is for 10pcs of 50mmx50mm boards, which comes to 9.8USD. 10pcs of 100mmx100mm boards is 17.6USD. For larger boards, 5pcs is cheaper than 10pcs.
This service provides PCB manufacturing services for customers with many customized product options, such as quantity, layer, PCB thickness, dimension, color and all that.
- Economical price: It only costs you $9.8 to start prototyping your own design. Moreover, Invite Friends can gain a $5 coupon for PCB order;
- Number of Copper Layers 1-16
- PCB thickness selectable from 0.4mm – 2.0mm;
- Multiple choices in quantity,thickness and colors;
- PCB Material FR-4, FR4-Tg, FR4-High Tg
- Totally free 100% E-test.
Step 2: PCB Order Steps
The order steps process is also simple, here are the PCB order steps:
- Just click the Fabrication Output button in the PCB editor or Upload your gerber files on PCB order page;
- Fill in your PCB information;
- Add to cart;
- Get your PCBs.
Just this simple, as long as your files meet the requirements, you will be ready to get your PCBs in a few days! Meanwhile, EasyEDA provides the users the capacity to download the Gerber files,which are free to download and can be used with any PCB fab house: there's no tie to EasyEDA. EasyEDA even offer PCB assembly.
It is also possible to import existing designs done in Altium, Eagle and KiCad and edit them in EasyEDA prior to PCB Gerber generation. Furthermore,it is equally possible to submit 3rd party Gerbers like Eagle, Pads, or Altium Design to EasyEDA for fab.
Welcome to access the How to Order PCBs at EasyEDA page for more detailed information about their PCB manufacturing service.
Step 3: PCB Manufacturers Reviews
EasyEDA PCB reviews
I have ordered 6 different PCB's from these guys and I have found the quality of them excellent and the price competitive.
Most of the boards are built up and either in test or with clients, here is a picture of the most recent which is not surface mount and an older one I still have from an old revision.
Delivery is usally pretty quick to New Zealand and if they ever came up with a board assembly service (hint, hint) I would use them for a lot more work
affordable and HQ-PCB
I ordered 5 2-Layer PCBs with delivery to Germany. The whole process from order submission to receipt of the product took about 2 1/2 weeks. Furthermore I got one PCB extra and the import was duty-free.
Short and sweet: short delivery time, cheap, high quality
I\'m completely satisfied.
Easyeda is worth a recommendation.
Step 4: Other PCB Manufacturers
Laen sends out a bi-weekly PCB order. Boards are $5/sq. inch. for 3 copies. The quality is excellent, the boards are produced domestically, and shipping is covered in your board price. Boards take a max of 9 days turn around. Not cost-effective for producing small volume runs, but good for testing/experimenting with a design. All designs are purple mask with gold-plating
Olimex had great results for small batch 1 and 2 sided boards. They are based in Bulgaria but ship worldwide and turnaround is normally 3-5 days plus shipping time (which depends on the method chosen). Prices include tooling, and the standard board specification is reasonable. They do offer additional board variants for a small extra cost.
They have a 'prototypers' service, $10 + $2.50 per sq in. They use Gold Phoenix as their downstream provider, its probably good for most small projects but be aware that it may take 3 weeks to get your PCBs (they are low priority and made in China)
The price of 10pcs double layer 5cm x 5cm is $9.90. The price of 10pcs double layer 10cm x 10cm is $21.90. You can buy bigger PCBs thru their service, but the price is not that competitive anymore when the sizes exceeds 10cm x 10cm.
They have standard sizes and services, but they offer good quality and they claim to go down to 6mils line width and spacing.
Price example: 10cm x 10cm dual layer, 2xsoldermask 2xsilkscreen 28,00$ (and now on offer for 24,90$) plus shipping.
5cm by 5cm maximum, 2 layers, +/-10 copies, 100% e-test, any color: $14
10cm by 10cm maximum, 2 layers, +/-10 copies, 100% e-test, any color:$25
Step 5: A Price Comparison Site for Printed Circuit Boards
When you are ready to order PCBs, you also can go to PCBShopper.com, that lets you shop for the cheapest PCB prototype manufacturer. You enter the size of the board, the number of layers, the preferred solder mask color, and the quantity, and the site tells you how much the prototypes would cost from the different manufacturers.