Info On Custom PCB Sources

None of this information is complete; the fab houses and capabilities are constantly changing.

I (Nathan) was showing some PCBs I had made very cheaply at the Hackspace and was asked to post some details for others who may be interested. The cost of having custom boards made is very low and when you compare the advantages of through-hole plated and silk screened boards with home etched or milled PCBs the waiting time seems less of a problem.

I got mine from they only took 2 weeks and cost $30 inc shipping for 8 5x10cm double sided boards (actually they sent 10 but they don't guarantee that yield in the colour PCB option). They provide comprehensive design rule specifications and have an Eagle download for these, I used KiCAD and exported Gerber files and the board worked fine.

There's also been a recent post from Adafruit about PCB prototyping services (it mentions iTead Studio):

I've had boards from before and they do very professional complex processes (including aluminium substrate and up to 6 layers) but it costs quite a lot. They accept both KiCAD and Eagle files natively along with a bunch of other formats.

A handy 3D gerber viewer with impressive realistic board images is free to use here:

mattvenn has had good results with £1 per square inch including shipping for a 2 layer, high quality board. Also see boldport's writeup of lots of different manufacturers

If you need a 4-layer board to get a decent groundplane, then does them for $10 per square inch (Oct 2019), and defines the stackup. Defining the stackup is necessary if you are to get the correct track impedance - which is vital for RF and medium speed digital boards of any complexity. Many cheap web fabs cannot define the stackup since they farm out your design to whichever fab house is cheaper that day, and each fab house has its own stackup.

  • resources/info_on_custom_pcb_sources
  • Last modified: 3 years ago
  • by tggzzz