Making a cheap PCB is easier than you think. Here is short summary of how to create your layout and a list of some PCB manufacturers that you can choose from to get your circuit board manufactured.
What you need to create a PCB:
- An idea for an electronic circuit
- A schematic diagram
- A PCB design
- Gerber files from your design
Next, choose one of these cheap PCB manufacturers:
Cheap PCB Manufacturers
Based in China. My number one choice for simple PCB prototypes. Cheap and friendly. $10 USD for ten boards. That’s one dollar per board! Plus shipping. It usually takes about three weeks to get the boards delivered to Norway.
You can find it here: https://www.seeedstudio.com/fusion_pcb.html
Read my interview with Seeed Studio.
Pretty cheap and lets you order one board if you want. They are straight forward with you and tell you that they make PROTOTYPE boards with no testing and they may contain errors. Board errors are probably something that all the cheap prototype PCB manufacturers struggle with, so I wouldn’t let this scare me of using them.
Based in Bulgaria. They offer OK, prices, but their price list is a bit hard to understand. I used to order from them a couple of years back and was happy with their service.
I have never tried their service, but their prices are as low as Seeed Studio and they also offer 4-layer boards.
I have not tried them, but their prices seem fair and you can upload you Eagle design directly without having to convert to Gerber files. And they claim to make good quality board.
A Chinese PCB and Assembly service. I have not tried them, but I hear they can offer really good prices. You can get an online instant quote if you want to check their prices.
Compare Different Manufacturers
A really good resource for finding a cheap PCB manufacturer is PCBShopper.com. Here you can enter your board size and where you are located in the world and get both price and estimated delivery time for a lot of different manufacturers.
When you have selected your manufacturer, go ahead and follow their instructions on how to send them your design files¸ then sit back and wait for your fresh circuit board to arrive in the mail =)
Don’t know how to design a cheap PCB?
It’s extremely useful to learn how to design circuit boards on your own. I waited too long before learning it, but when I finally did – a whole new world opened up for me. Suddenly I was able to build projects with RFID technology, large microcontroller boards, quadcopters, see-through-wall sensors and much more.
Learning PCB design is one of the many skills you’ll learn in my electronics learner’s club Ohmify.
Your post answered my questions. Thanks a lot.