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 Post subject: Consider this outfit to fabricate your printed circuit board
PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:29 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:26 am
Posts: 799
Location: CA bay Area
At $5 per square inch, with no setup fee, their prices seem pretty reasonable for small proto quantities.

I have designed three boards so far using the free design software from ExpressPCB. One is for schematics, the other does board layout. The layout program can use schematics made in the first program to help lay out the board.
I ordered the first two boards from ExPCB. I used their MiniProto service, which is a 3.8" by 2.5" board. This got me three professional boards, for ~$91, each order.
But the present board (#3) is 5.5 x 5.2. This forces me to use their standard service, and I get two boards for just under $300! This is a little stiff for someone between jobs!

But, I can get ExPCB to convert their proprietary files to standard fab files (Gerber and NC drill files) for $60, then have DorkBot's service make them for $143 (28.6 SqIn x $5). That's $203, a saving of almost a hundred bucks over ExPCB.

Even better, I recently downloaded a new design package called DesignsparkPCB. This produces Gerbers and NC drill files as its final results. I can design with this, then get DBot's immediated fab savings! Too cool!

Anyway, check DBot's offerings. As always there are design considerations, like minimum hole size, minimum trace widths, and all that. About the only down side is DBot may be a little slower than ExperssPCB in turnaround. But like ExPCB, and unlike most of the other discount fab houses, DBot's fab house is here in the USA, so the money "stays in the family". And Laen, the guy running DBot's service, comes across as a very helpful person.


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