Every electronics device is built around PCB. It is an essential part that provides rigidity, thermal dissipation and even brings additional functionality. PCB enables assembling and robustly soldering components. There is no doubt that how good PCB depends on the designer and manufacturing quality. You can make a perfect circuit design, but if PCB is crappy, no manufacturer can help even with the highest precision. All steps from idea to the finished product must be treated with high standards no matter if this depends on you or the second party.
PCB manufacturing is a significant step. Depending on board quality, it depends on whether it will be easy to solder if dimensions and holes markings will be within specs. Previous actions influence the automation of further processes of assembly and testing.
Selecting a PCB house
Building a PCB has never been so easy. Many fab houses provide excellent services from start finish. This is a highly competitive market; this is why everyone wins – especially customers. PCB manufacturers are investing considerable resources to highly automate, increase quality, and reduce costs so they could compete. Us users are benefiting from low prices and fast turnkeys. Most of the cheap PCB manufacturers, as a rule of thumb, are located in China.
In this case, let us look at the NextPCB China PCB manufacturer. It is one of the most experienced PCB manufacturers in China, specializing in the PCB prototyping and assembly industry for over 15 years. They are running two large factories exceeding 150000 sq. They are dedicated to prototyping and assembly small and large scale. NextPCB is known for fast lead times as low as 24hours and low prices starting from $4.5. They even offer a free trial for the first order to make sure the manufacturing quality meets the needs.
NextPCB prototyping capabilities
The full list of all PCB prototyping capabilities can be found here. The important ones are:
- 1 to 16-layer PCBs
- From 0.6 to 2.5mm board thickness
- Copper weights: 35um/70um/105um
- Materials: Fr-4, Aluminum, Rogers, Arlon, Polyamide
- Surface finish: Tin / Lead Solder (HASL), ENIG
- Max board size: 510*590mm
- Green, red, white, yellow, blue, black, and matte black solder mask color
- Minimal 3.5mil trace width and pacing
- Min 0.2mm hole
- Panelization options: V-scoring, Tab-routing, Tab-routing with Perforation (Stamp Holes)
There are even more dimensions that you need to study before designing your board and sending it for manufacturing.
How to place an order on NextPCB
Ordering is straightforward with NextPCB. They are giving a very intuitive online quote form where you can select all necessary parameters of your design and instantly see the approximate price of manufacturing and delivery.
You can select base materials from FR-4, aluminum, Rogers, and Copper in the quote form. Layers, dimensions, panelization variants. Quantity, board thickness, sizes, colors of solder mask, and silkscreen. Also, there are options to select necessary electrical testing and impedance checking. If you leave most of the parameters by default, you can be sure that this is the cheapest option because it includes most cases, and they can optimize and automate the process at the best price. By changing parameters, you can instantly see the price in the Calculate tab.
For instance, 5pcs of dual-layer PCB sized at 100mm costs $4.5 without shipping. And they promise to dispatch them within 24 hours.
After doing the initial calculus, you need to:
- Please register and log in to their system
- Upload PCB Gerber files (They are flexible here about file formats – contact if unsure)
- Review uploaded files
- Place an order with one of the payment options (PayPal, TT, Western Union, etc.)
- Wait for the product to arrive
If you are building a small batch of devices, be sure to check their PCB assembly service, which starts from $30. Additionally, they may take care of sourcing components and do testing for you. All you get is a finished product that you may begin using instantly.
NextPCB is an excellent choice because they are highly experienced in PCB manufacturing and assembly. The professional team is comfortable in working with advanced and sophisticated devices. The equipment allows fabricating high quality and intricate professional-grade designs with different materials and target uses. Engineers always review design files before manufacturing for error-free yields. Fast 24-hour prototyping turnkey, 24-hour support with 10-minute response time ensures that you get the best possible product. Read more about NextPCB here.
If you feel hesitant about services or unsure where to start with the ordering or assembly process, always feel free to contact them via email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). Or go to the contact form within their website.