Author Topic: Companies for PCB printing and SMT assembly  (Read 673 times)

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Offline LeoneShamoth

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  • Location: Canada
Companies for PCB printing and SMT assembly
« on: Sat, 14 November 2020, 17:55:35 »
After a while in the custom keyboard scene I have decided to try my hand at creating a number pad to test and hopefully sell at some point in the not too distant future. For my first run, I decided to just have the PCB printed, and do the SMT mounting myself. After many hours of work, I had 10 boards made, none of which worked. After doing some more looking into my design, I found that I had somehow overlooked a small section and made a stupid mistake when cleaning up my routing, causing the connection from the USB to the Processor to be wrong... Great.

I by no means want to do SMT mounting again. I feel the need to do another prototyping run on the PCB before moving to create an interest check, as I am a new creator in the space. I have looked into a couple PCB manufacturers, PCBWay and JLCPCB, and have found problems with both.

PCBWay
Very expensive for a small amount of PCBs. I would most certainly not be able to recoup my cost if I went to prototype with them.

JLCPCB
I used JLCPBC for my first run, and the quality of the boards was good. When looking into their SMT service, it appears that they have a couple problematic restrictions. Particularly they will not place parts close to the edge, which means the USB header would not get done. They will also not place the amount of parts I need. My pcb has a total of 34 parts, and they will do a maximum of 30.

What other good options are out there? I cant see much more than these two companies that look very reputable at face value, and I am interested to know what services some of the more experienced makers in the community use.

Offline Rayndalf

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Re: Companies for PCB printing and SMT assembly
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 14 November 2020, 22:52:57 »
JLCPCB supports only 30 parts total or 30 unique parts? I had a set of GH80-3000 PCBs made by JLCPCB and they did everything except the USB C connector (wrong side, through hole + surface mount, and too close to the edge I guess).

Offline LeoneShamoth

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  • Posts: 3
  • Location: Canada
Re: Companies for PCB printing and SMT assembly
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 15 November 2020, 01:16:25 »
JLCPCB supports only 30 parts total or 30 unique parts? I had a set of GH80-3000 PCBs made by JLCPCB and they did everything except the USB C connector (wrong side, through hole + surface mount, and too close to the edge I guess).

Ah okay, that makes sense. I don't see it explained anywhere but that is good to know. I still would prefer to find a company that will do the edge pieces, as if I wanted to do a larger order I would not want to do all the soldering myself. That being said, I could use JLCPCB for prototyping and then use PCBWay for the final order, as their price model is much better built for bulk orders. I would like to see the quality of my board printed by them first but it would probably work.