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Low Cost PCB Fabrication

Hey guys. I am really excited today because my first ever PCBs arrived from the fabrication house! I always wanted to have my own PCB printed but I was deterred by the price. So I used other methods such as developing my own board which can get quite messy or just sticking with the traditional prototyping boards. Few weeks back, I read a post from Kenneth, which led me to this fabrication house. They actually offer 10 PCBs maximum sized 5cm*5cm, for only $9.90 and $4 for delivery! This is really really cheap!

Looking at their specifications, they allow you to design pretty small double layered PCBs, with silkscreen on both sides. For me, this low price seemed like an opportunity to test my novice PCB designing skills. I could print my boards for real (and not only stare them in 3D with Eagle3D 😉 ) and see how it goes without risking too much money. So I spend some time designing my circuit and I learned a lot of things on the way which I think it would make a good “Tips and Tricks” post for this blog. The software I used is Eagle which I highly recommend for anyone thinking of starting out. It may seem like a bit old fashioned at the beginning but once you get used to it, you can design flawless PCBs pretty quick. But more for Eagle on another post.

So let’s see the boards shall we?

 

My 10 boards and 2 random ones!

My shiny little PIC proto board!

 

When ordering from iteadstudio.com they offer you to take part in their “Open PCB” program with an additional $0.10. What happens it that you allow them to send your board to any other participant of the program and you receive 2 designs from other random people. Pretty cool isn’t? In the first picture you can see the 2 random boards on top left. I still haven’t tested whether my boards work but think my design is correct. Actually I already found two minor mistakes which don’t affect the operation of the circuit. The first one is the crystal value which I wrote “16MHz” but it should read “10MHz” and the second mistake is the package size of R1 and R2 resistors. It is actually smaller than the resistors I have in hand but I will just place them vertically instead in parallel with the board.

Apart from testing my design skills the reason for making this PCB was to create a simple prototyping board for PIC18F452. As I wrote in PIC Prototype board post, I wanted to have a simple platform to develop simple projects on, and publish here in the blog. So if someone wants to work on that project, wont have to spend time on the basic hardware configuration (which for simple projects will most likely be the same). Anyway, as soon as I get the components I will build a couple of these boards and the rest I can send them out to you guys.

Relevant pages this and this


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  1. October 6th, 2011 at 01:01 | #1

    The PCB looks good. I am waiting for my first pcb from iteadstudio.

  2. psychoul
    October 6th, 2011 at 10:00 | #2

    That is great. Post a picture to see the results

  1. September 1st, 2011 at 09:34 | #1
  2. September 7th, 2011 at 11:42 | #2