Lets talk about Fabricators



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Lets talk about Fabricators

Postby AZX309 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:40 am

Ive Tried a few, you have tried a few, Let's chat about them.

When I first started Doing Larger runs of PCBs I was initially buying from SEEED. Pretty decent cost wise, okay turn around time depending on size. their HASL and silk screening where not the best.
I stopped ordering from them because i had multiple friends have Horrible QC issues in a relatively short amount of time. a few had radom grounds to pads others they totally forgot the bottom layer intirly.

Since then I have Been ordering from Elecrow. Slightly more expensive but better HASL and decent silk screen. they also give extras! I typically get 1-7 extras depending on size. One time i got 14 extras on an order of 20 but that must have been a weird fluke. I have not tried panalization with them but its on my horizon.

On a tip From John at EAE i have Been trying out easyEDA's fabrication for prototyping. Good HASL and ENIG. Insanely fast turnaround time. I had boards on my porch nine days after ordering. they also gave out a good pen.
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Re: Lets talk about Fabricators

Postby cherler » Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:02 pm

I've used pcbway the last few times I've ordered after multi_s recommended them in another thread. For 10 boards under 100x100cm it's like $28 shipped and lands in about a week and a half. The quality hasn't been bad either. I only do prototyping sized orders though, so I have no idea how they are on bigger batches.
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Re: Lets talk about Fabricators

Postby multi_s » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:48 pm

here is a thread where EYG and i were talkig a bit in last year

viewtopic.php?f=151&t=55810

i am still currently still doing everything between Bitelle and PCBway but am always curious to hear peoples experience with other places.

since this thread, i have had a small problem twice with PCBway which was that they had too many pcbs failing test so they have to remake some to get the desired quantity, which basically doubles the lead time. While this absolutely could happen anywhere, it had never happened to me with pcb way until recently. otherwise they are my fave place still. I have used them for the smd stencils too and the value is insane, they have the cheapest framed stencils i have found and the quality is OK.
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Re: Lets talk about Fabricators

Postby eatyourguitar » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:26 pm

big difference with PCBway and itead is that itead gives you a free etest but never actually does the test ever. I would be extremely happy if PCBway did an etest and failed some bad PCB then re-manufactured it at no cost to me and only sent me the working one not the broken one. itead will lie about the etest then outsource the production to a company that can not meet the minimum specification advertised by itead. I am following multi_s on the pcbway.com thing. I only use pcbcart.com for matte black PCB panels for eurorack and only in larger quantities where it makes sense to use an expensive fab with good visual quality.
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Re: Lets talk about Fabricators

Postby multi_s » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:39 pm

+1 i am super skeptical that itead actually does etest, and im not really complaining about pcbway having to remake a few boards, its more just a statistic, they were perfect before in my eyes lol.
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Re: Lets talk about Fabricators

Postby imJonWain » Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:37 am

I've had good luck with Seeed and I use PCBex at work. Their prices are a little high but they include almost everthing in said price and turn around can be very quick.
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Re: Lets talk about Fabricators

Postby AZX309 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:26 am

imJonWain wrote:I've had good luck with Seeed and I use PCBex at work. Their prices are a little high but they include almost everthing in said price and turn around can be very quick.


ill have to give PCBex a shot :thumb:
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Re: Lets talk about Fabricators

Postby culturejam » Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:21 pm

AZX309 wrote:On a tip From John at EAE i have Been trying out easyEDA's fabrication for prototyping. Good HASL and ENIG. Insanely fast turnaround time. I had boards on my porch nine days after ordering. they also gave out a good pen.

Just now saw this thread. I was checking out easyEDA and noticed they do free panelizing. So I just ordered some footswitch boards on a 3x3 mini panel. We'll see how it goes. Thanks for posting this. :thumb:
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Re: Lets talk about Fabricators

Postby multi_s » Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:09 pm

culturejam wrote:
AZX309 wrote:On a tip From John at EAE i have Been trying out easyEDA's fabrication for prototyping. Good HASL and ENIG. Insanely fast turnaround time. I had boards on my porch nine days after ordering. they also gave out a good pen.

Just now saw this thread. I was checking out easyEDA and noticed they do free panelizing. So I just ordered some footswitch boards on a 3x3 mini panel. We'll see how it goes. Thanks for posting this. :thumb:


fwiw most places will do this for free even if it is not listed. it depends on the size of the order though perhaps? i think this is mostly because pcbs are fabbed on relatively larger /shared panels anyways and then cut apart into single pieces. its nice that they offer that for you though :)

also not sure if you are using eagle or not but there are some ok ULPs that will panelize for you if your panel is going to be v scored in an array, even though this functionality is not native to that software. some of the ulps work alright for simple board shapes. "Replicate_board.ulp" is one of them.


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Re: Lets talk about Fabricators

Postby culturejam » Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:15 pm

multi_s wrote:fwiw most places will do this for free even if it is not listed. it depends on the size of the order though perhaps? i think this is mostly because pcbs are fabbed on relatively larger /shared panels anyways and then cut apart into single pieces. its nice that they offer that for you though :)

also not sure if you are using eagle or not but there are some ok ULPs that will panelize for you if your panel is going to be v scored in an array, even though this functionality is not native to that software. some of the ulps work alright for simple board shapes. "Replicate_board.ulp" is one of them.

Yeah, a lot of places will do it, but it often requires extra work in Eagle or you have to email them and wait on them to answer. And I have a few places screw up and not actually panelize and I ended up with a huge single board I had to manually cut.

This place has it built in to the order page. Way easier than anything I've seen. Just hope they get it right. :lol:
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Re: Lets talk about Fabricators

Postby multi_s » Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:30 pm

ya for sure it is a nice feature. pcbway has it built in too but i have never tried it, silver circuits has it built in and it works from what i remember of using them in the past. who sent you 1 small board on a large panel?
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Re: Lets talk about Fabricators

Postby culturejam » Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:03 pm

multi_s wrote:who sent you 1 small board on a large panel?

Elecrow. Or maybe iTead. Can't recall. It was like 10 copies of the same thing, just one giant board that hadn't been cut. :grumpy:
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Re: Lets talk about Fabricators

Postby multi_s » Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:07 pm

haha oh i misinterpreted what you said first. i was imagining one circuit on a giant blank board teh size of the panel (:
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Re: Lets talk about Fabricators

Postby Jero » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:46 am

multi_s wrote:haha oh i misinterpreted what you said first. i was imagining one circuit on a giant blank board teh size of the panel (:

:lol: that would be so messed up
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Re: Lets talk about Fabricators

Postby drolo » Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:37 pm

I have been trying out allpcb for the last couple of prototypes, have not really compared prices for larger quantities but so far this is what I can say:

- for small quantities like 10 units they are quite cheap considering they send the stuff out with TNT free of charge (to Belgium at least, they also offer DHL). I have had my last boards delivered in less than a week after I submitted them, it's crazy.

- for my first order that I sent in a rush they actually went and corrected/shifted/resized some of the component labels that were covering vias or pads. really blew my mind, that an actual human actually looked into the stuff :)

- better quality than seeed/elecrow/itead, holes actually centered for once.
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