A PCB (printed circuit board) mechanically supports electronic parts that are electrically connected with the help of conductive pathways, traces etched from copper sheets which are laminated onto a non-conductive substrate. Much of the electronic industry’s assembly, PCB design and quality control needs are set by standards which are set by the IPC organization. The main generic standard for the design of a printed circuit is IPC-2221A, regardless of the material used to manufacture the board.
Circuit boards consist of an insulator which consists of one or numerous layers of material glued into a single entity. The additional layers serve as grounding to the board. The copper traces are either created by laying down individual lines mechanically or by coating the entire board in copper and stripping away the excess. By stripping away the excess, the needed printed circuits are left which connect electronic parts.
Many printed circuit board shops can help with the design process and offer high end features such as an auto router and trace optimizer which can drastically decrease the layout time. However, the best results for laying out it are achieved by at least some manual routing.
These days, there are various kinds of circuit boards available in variety of materials and finishes, including FR4, FR4 High Temperature, Polyimide, GeTek, Rogers, Arlon, Nelco, Alumina, Ceramic, Bakelite, FR1, CEM1, and CEM5. The thickness of a circuit board varies based on the number of layers and can be as thin as 1.0mm (0.0394″). They can be single sided or multi-layered with cooper clad of 1-oz or higher. Although these are standard PCBs available for purchasing, yet you can secure a customized it to suit your needs. The key is to find the right PCB manufacturer to make the boards to your specifications.
A custom PCB can be made in several ways. For instance, flex circuit boards are designed to be very flexible. This allows it to be placed in positions which are otherwise not possible or to get used in wire systems. A PCB can also be used in satellites, spaceships and other machines in outer space. Rigid copper cores are designed in a way that conduct heat away from sensitive parts and protect them in the extreme temperatures they experience.
Some circuit boards are designed with an interior conductive layer to transfer power to various parts without using extra traces. These customized needs are circuit boards which are ordered by companies to fulfill specific requirements with limited space. In addition, PCBs are also used by students and electronic hobbyists for their custom projects and applications.
* Are cost-effective and highly reliable.
* Economical for high-volume production.
* Have color codes for different connections and are therefore easy to install.
* Mention the rating of the device which helps in their maintenance.
* More layout effort.
* Higher initial cost as compared to point-to-point constructed circuits or wire-wrapped.
* Etching of circuit boards generates chemicals which are dangerous for the environment.
* Cannot be updated once it gets printed.
Prototype printed circuit boards are made for a number of reasons; often it is important to manufacture these circuit boards to perform various tests before going through with a full PCB production run. When it comes to prototype boards it’s important to get them made to the highest specification possible. PCB prototype is one of the most requested services in the electronics industry. It is important to prototype these circuit boards to perform various tests before going through with a full PCB production run. We know many PCB prototype suppliers but we don’t know their distinctions and advantages.
For an average consumer, finding the best cheap PCB Prototype
service in the market can be a bit difficult, considering there are tons of PCB manufacturers out there. To address that issue, we are going to talk about some of the best PCB prototype suppliers that currently available in the market. These board houses can provide PCB prototype and low-volume production.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at all the best low cost PCB prototype and production manufacturers.
PCB Prototype Service — EASYEDA
EasyEDA is well recognized and known as a free Circuit Design Software for schematic drawing, simulation and PCB design. In fact, EasyEDA is also PCB prototype supplier that offers low cost PCB prototype for electronic engineers and hobbyists. EasyEDA offers them low price, fast delivery and top quality PCB with precise tolerances on solder mask, absolutely no errors.
EasyEDA is featured by helping users make their design from concept to PCB production in the easiest way. EasyEDA provides professional PCB custom service for customers to save time and reduce the workload in designing PCB. There is an Online PCB Price Calculator to help you get a quick price of your PCB. You just choose the specifications you need, like Layer Quantity, PCB Quantity, PCB thickness, PCB Color, PCBDimension Width and Length, then your PCB price will be calculated automatically. (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.)
Moreover, EasyEDA Gerber Viewer supports viewing Gerber files from any other EDA tool for free. You just upload files from Altium, Kicad, Eagle, Diptrace, Pads, P-CAD etc and send your files for basic design for manufacture (DFM) tests. Just upload a design easily.
PCB Prototype Service — 4PCB
As the 3rd Largest printed circuit board manufacturer in the USA, 4PCB is known on its excellent customer service and reliability.
4PCB is featured by its quick turn service. It guarantees that your Standard Specification PCB will ship on-time. If you place your 2-layer PCB order by 8:15am MST and 4PCB will ship your boards on the same evening. If you submit your 2-layer or multi-layer PCB designs on Friday and 4PCB will build your boards through the weekend. On 4PCB, there are two options of PCB specification: Standard and Custom PCBspecification. If you like its PCB prototype service, you could find its four easy ways to order your PCBs. 4PCB also offers customers free software and free file review for their PCB design.
PCB Prototype Service — OSHPARK
OSH Park is a community printed circuit board (PCB) order that brings you high quality, lead-free boards which are manufactured in the United States.
OSH Park PCB is easily recognized by its purple color. All designs are purple mask with gold-plating. Some Oshpark PCB are free shipment but some Oshpark PCB need varies shipment costs which are based on various express service, shipping time and shipping address. More information about its PCB price and shipment, could be found on PCB order service page and PCB shipping info page.
PCB Prototype Service — SEEEDSTUDIO
Seeedstudio offers customers any kind of prototype PCB they require. The PCBs from Seeedstudio is short delivery time, competitive price and high quality. When prototypes are ready to iterate, Seeed helps produce 1 to 1,000 pcs using in-house engineering, supply chain management and agile manufacture force. When you are ready to order PCB, access to the Fusion page to learn more about its PCB service. Seeedstudio offers four kinds of Fusion electronic service which includes Fusion PCB, PCB Assembly, Stencil and Flexible PCB as the image showed:
Seeedstudio provides open source hardware and small quantity manufacturing services using a design from manufacturing framework. Seeed provides accessible technologies with quality, speed and supply chain knowledge.
PCB Prototype Service — EXPRESS PCB
ExpressPCB provides manufacturing service of top quality two-layer and four-layer PCB. ExpressPCB offers customers six PCB manufacturing options : MiniBoards Service, Prototype Service, 4 Layer Prototype Service, Standard Service, Production Service, 4 Layer Production Service. If you use its MiniBoard Service, you just need to pay only 41USD for three boards (plus shipping) and made in the USA.
ExpressPCB is also an online electronics design software which is very easy to learn and use. The software includes two applications, one for drawing schematics, the other for PCB layout.
PCB Prototype Service — SAN FRANCISCO CIRCUITS
San Francisco Circuits is a one-stop PCB shop capable of handling complex PCB production from manufacturing to assembly for prototype. It specializes in all printed circuit boards including flex PCB, metal core PCB, HDI PCB and military PCB. Their average lead times are 1 to 5 days for just PCB assembly and 10 to 16 days for turnkey PCB assembly.
PCB Prototype Service — AP CIRCUITS
AP Circuits is a PCB manufacturer in Canada. AP Circuits is devoted to rapid prototyping volume at a fair price. If you are using AP Circuits P1 service you can get prototype PCBs fabricated in three days.
Here, we produce review on some PCB manufacturers.Select the PCB prototype service depends upon your needs.