PCB category

Get Paid By Sharing Your Technical Expertise With The Maker’s Community

PCBWay, is a leader in the manufacture of PCB and PCBA services and a friend of the community who always have interest of the maker’s community. We have seen PCBWay has put a lot of effort providing sponsorship for PCB based projects already, but they are not stopping there. PCBWay is continuing this community grooming with the PCBWAY PCB SHARE PLAN, an initiative to allow makers and engineers to give back to the community and get paid for their efforts.

The PCBWay PCB Share Plan is a project sharing plan set up by PCBWay to ensure the growth of the community in general. This was done to make sure community members help each other reach their peak. Sharing of information is regarded as good practice by PCBWay and is therefore greatly encouraged.

Anyone who has a PCB (printed circuit board) project can share it with community. PCBWay is not trying to dig out the experts in the field as the goal is to help those experts get about their self-acclaimed peak. This means that both amateurs and professionals can share projects. This will be super easy because editors are always available to offer assistance with editing and publication.

Another interesting and amazing perk that comes with sharing your projects is that after releasing an Open Source PCB (printed circuit board) design, you can put it up for sale and when people buy, you get a 10% commission of the total PCB (printed circuit board) cost.

WHAT IS ACCEPTED?

Basically, everything based on Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) through different methods of teaching such as:

  • Tutorial: This method of teaching is such that even an amateur can create the same device just by following your instructions.
  • Showcase: Mostly done by professionals, this method simply shows the end and does not include the means. This means that only the result is shown and there are neither a detailed explanation nor a set of instructions.
  • Work in progress: Some people feel documentation is critical and so they release documentaries of their work as they progress. This is very helpful because the public can learn how to build or design step by step.
  • Protip: Showing and describing solutions of a single challenge. One can choose a specific problem related to printed circuit boards and solve it by describing what to do if a person is faced with that challenge.
  • Teardowns or Unboxings: Deep explanation about a specific software or hardware. This often involves continuous teaching for weeks to ensure there is enough knowledge passed on to others about the topic
  • Getting started guides: This method of teaching describes what to do when you are new to a software or hardware. It merely explains what to do when you’re an amateur.

HOW TO SUBMIT

Submission is very easy and can be accomplished by following these set of instructions:

  • Step 1. Create a PCBWay ID here, Log in on PCBWay.
  • Step 2. Click ‘PCB Instant Quote’ link on the header fill in PCB Specification Selection > Calculate > Add to Cart > Upload your PCB files.
  • Step 3. Click ‘Share & Sell’ button on the shopping cart/order list > Choose an excellent cover image for your project
PCBWay Project Sharing Process

PCB Sponsorship for Non-Profit Projects and Crowd Funding Projects

PCBWay is a leader in the manufacture of PCB and a reliable PCBA services. PCBWay doesn’t only work with makers but they are giving back to the maker’s community. PCBWay has sponsored over 800 PCB based projects coming from students, teachers, electronics engineers and other people who showed interest in electronics. However, what is being offered now by PCBWay is a win-win coin, as both sides are profitable for the parties concerned.

The first half of the coin deals with students and teachers. Due to a change in the policy, any student or teacher can apply and be sure of sponsorship. The only qualification for application is that the project must have a PCB included. PCB is simply an acronym for Printed Circuit Board, and these are boards that make use of lines and pads to connect various points electronically. One can design a Printed Circuit Board using a CAD package like KiCAD, DripTrace, Eagle CAD and others. If you want to learn about making your first PCB with PCBWay, read our getting started series.

The progress of applying for support is no longer complicated. The application for sponsorship is pretty and can be completed after four super easy steps.

  1. Describe your team and project with appealing words and pictures as detailed as possible.
  2. Upload your PCB files to PCBWay online quote system for placing your order.
  3. Get a coupon after your articles pass the audit stage.
  4. Share PCBWay’s sponsor page to get more coupons.

This sponsorship has five different stages according to PCBWay:

  1. Engineering Projects Sponsorship: PCBWay.com is confident about the quality of their PCBs, and now they offer sponsorship for the projects from students and engineers. For university/college students and teachers, all you need to do is use your high school address as shipping address. Upload some few details about your project such as your university/college Name, the nature of your projects, and other necessary supporting materials to PCBWay for the sponsorship code. For engineers, all you need is to describe your projects as detailed as possible so that it can convince them that your projects are great enough and worth a sponsorship. They will check the details of your request and send you the coupon in 24 hours. You can use that coupon at checkout. Get started today.
  1. Sponsorship of Competition PCBs: Please always check for your future orders of competition PCBs, they can be entitled to a bigger discount or even free. This will be determined by the nature of the competition and its impact. You may be asked to provide a little more details about the competition to help PCBWay assess your case. This is considered on a case by case basis. Try to Post your project as you may save a lot. It’s possible that all your competition PCBs will be free.
  1. Shipping for sponsorship PCBs: Sponsorship is for PCB related service offered by PCBWay, but not include the delivery. So you need to pay for the shipping charge of the sponsorship PCBs.
  1. PCB Assembly Service: Though not free, PCBWay.com will offer a significant discount on the PCB Assembly Services for students and teachers. Please contact the customer service.
  1. Discount for Future Orders

PCBWay.com offers 10-15% discount on future orders from teachers and students. This covers the PCBs for classroom projects, team or club projects and all kinds of students’ competitions.

Flipping over the coin, the other half is open to everyone, this means students, teachers, engineers, experts, and even amateurs can participate. $50,000 has been budgeted for the crowdfunding project support in 2018 and every month five $100 cash coupons will be given out via Twitter. The project has to be based on PCBs. All projects and ideas should be sent to sponsor@pcbway.com for evaluation.

PCBWay is hoping to build a better maker’s community and fostering the next-gen technology by recognizing the talent and effort of the best electronic designers around the world. For more information about PCBWay Project sponsorship, visit the sponsorship page.

PCBWay 2nd Edition of PCB Design Competition – The Pride Of A Maker

Late of last year, PCBWay, a leading manufacturer in PCB and PCBA, announced the first of it’s kind PCB design contest in close partnership with SpainLabs (Well-known Spanish electronic forum) with amazing prices and even cash prices was offered to some of the best PCB and Product design from several competitors which all ended up in a huge success. In less than 3 months since the end of the first design contest, PCBWay is launching another one design contest for the 2nd edition of the competition.

Everyone has been waiting on their toes for the commencement of the 2nd Edition of PCBWay design contest. As of June 11, information was shared on the competition’s official website that the contest would start soon. This means it is time to get ready with some awesome PCB designs and win fabulous prizes.

This is the second edition of the competition, and the primary goal is to discover hidden gems in the electronics engineering field. The competition is being organized by PCBWay, SpainLabs, YoREPARO, and lastly ATMakers. They are collaborating to create an avenue for talented electronic engineers to generate revenue.

The 2nd edition of this competition has added a new award category to the former only two award category and also comes with subsequent more substantial cash prices as compared to the previous edition. The competition has three award categories which are:

  • The BEST Design Award,
  • The Most Popular Design Award,
  • The ATMaker Award.

THE BEST DESIGN AWARD

This is the award for the best design in the competition.

  • 1st Prize: $1000 in cash + $100 in coupons+ 10000 PCBWay Beans+ Certificate of Awards & Honors
  • 2nd Prize: $500 in cash + $50 in coupons+ 5000 PCBWay Beans+ Certificate of Awards & Honors
  • 3rd Prize: $200 in cash + $20 in coupons+ 2000 PCBWay Beans+ Certificate of Awards & Honors

THE MOST POPULAR DESIGN AWARD

This is the award for the most popular design and not necessarily the best design in the competition.

  • 1st Prize: $1000 in cash + $100 in coupons+ 10000 PCBWay Beans+ Certificate of Awards & Honors
  • 2nd Prize: $500 in cash + $50 in coupons+ 5000 PCBWay Beans+ Certificate of Awards & Honors
  • 3rd Prize: $200 in cash + $20 in coupons+ 2000 PCBWay Beans+ Certificate of Awards & Honors.

ATMaker Award

This is a special prize for a person that excels in assistive technology. The price awards a lavishing $1000 in cash + $100 in coupons+ 10000 PCBWay Beans+ Certificate of Awards & Honors.

Unlike the last contest which was the maiden edition, professionals such as Mitch Athman, Bill Binko, Carlos Navas and the likes have been contacted and will be judges for the competition. These are experts plus several others that have been gotten so that there will be a fair selection process.

  • For “The Best Designs” Awards, winners will be decided by four electronics engineers from SpainLabs, ATMakers, Cornfield Electronics, and PCBWay.
  • For “The Most Popular Designs” Awards, winners will be chosen according to the number of Vote score, Likes, Shares, Gerber Download Orders. There’s a formula that includes every factor on a weighted calculation of the result.
  • For “AT Maker Prize” Award, one winner will be chosen by Bill Binko, founder of ATMakers. His judging would not only be on PCB design but how useful the design would be to the AT community.

There is no limit to the PCB design’s size, layers, theme, or even the quantity of entries as compared to some limits imposed in the first edition. This means you can enter as many times as you want to and there are no restrictions about what you will be entering the competition. Size does not matter. Deadline for submission is the 12th of December, and if you’re interested, all you have to do is to click here to get to the official website and get started.

PCBWay Beans” can be used to redeem gifts. Its property comes from “PCBWay Points.” But when you redeem the gift, it will subtract the corresponding value.

How To Get Started With The Competition

  1. Start PCB Specification Selection on “ Instant Quote” page and then add to cart.
  2. Attach the Gerber Files and submit.
  3. Share your project by click “Share & Sell” button.
  4. Describe your PCB project and share with the Community (Add Keywords: PCB Design Contest, SpainLabs, Yoreparo, ATMakers )

More information about the contest can be found on official contest page here.

PCBWay Low Cost Prototype PCBA Services starts at just $88 for 10 units

After making your PCB prototype the significant next step is placing your components on the printed circuit board. Depending on the sophistication of the prototype being developed, the number of parts to be used, and the parts layout; one might want to solder the components to the PCB board manually.

Soldering components to a PCB might be a good idea, but might not be that efficient or even cheaper in the long run. Not only this will be an avenue to waste precious time especially when dealing with more than five boards, but it is too prone to errors. A single mistake on the board might render the whole board useless. Just like we have seen PCB making services, there is also PCBA (Printed Circuit Board Assembly) services available that can solve this.

One of the primary reason people go the route of assembling their printed circuit boards by hand is that of the cost associated with it doing PCBA. PCBA services have been traditionally known to be expensive for people making prototypes because they tend to order only small units. I remember my first PCBA job for about two units that costs me over $500 to finish. PCBA is usually ideal when one wants to embark on medium to large scale manufacturing but not small batch. PCBWay is hoping to bring change to this space, by offering PCB Assembly wholly tailored for prototypes and small batch quantities, and also comes with some exciting incentives as well.

PCBWay.com is a China Shenzhen-based manufacturer specializing in PCB prototyping, low-volume production, and PCB Assembly services under one roof. PCBWay has been one of the go-to destinations for boards fabrication and assembly, and they have over 71K active customers worldwide using their services. PCBWay offers PCBA services that specialize in the prototyping and small batch printed circuit board assembly at a relatively low cost as compared to others.

PCBWay is offering unbelievable pricing for their Prototype PCBA services. Their prototype PCBA rates are starting from $88 for 10 pcs in total and $0.1 – $0.3 per component cost. Not only are this prices low, but they are also going to bring down the barriers to making prototypes and reduce the time to market.

Mounting BGA, Micro-BGA, QFN and leadless package parts are some challenging tasks for PCBA, and where some manufacturers have somewhat abstained from. PCBWay is fully able to handle any of those parts without issues and they can handle BGA of 0.25mm pitch with X-ray testing. The following are some of the PCBWay Printed Circuit Board Assembly capabilities:

  • SMT Assembly
  • BGA Assembly
  • Through Hole Assembly
  • Mixed Assembly
  • Rigid Flex PCB Assembly

Aside from the Printed Circuit board assembly, PCBWay also provides options for outsourcing your PCB parts called Turn-Key options. For the PCB Assembly, the following are the board requirements:

  • Min Board Size: 50mm x 100mm (Boards smaller than this size need to be panelized)
  • Max Board Size: 250mm x 500mm

In addition to the low cost of the PCBA services, PCBWay is also providing options for free shipping all around the world, free stencil, quality check & guarantee, and many others. To get started with the PCBWay you can visit their website here.

Making your first Circuit Board – Getting started with PCBway [Part 2]

This is the next part of  MAKING YOUR FIRST PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD – GETTING STARTED WITH PCBWAY [Part 1] Series.

Designing your PCB

When you design your first PCB, there will be several steps that you will need to take before you sent the design files off to the manufacturer for manufacturing.

Create The Schematic

When creating the schematic in any of the programs mentioned in part 1, remember to double check that everything is connected where it needs to be with a NET. This is how the program’s auto-routing, DRC, and ERC features know what is connected where. I generally like to go over my schematic two or three times, counting each net, and making sure that everything is connected and accounted for before moving on to the board layout.

Eagle CAD Schematic

When designing your schematic, you will need to pay particular care to ensure that the footprint of the component you use in the schematic exactly matches the footprint of the component that will be soldered to the PCB.

Creating the PCB

Each PCB CAD software will usually offer a way for you to transfer your schematic design to a PCB layout. Designing a PCB layout might be slightly tedious if it’s your first time doing it, but fortunately, several tutorials talk about it. If your design features mounting holes, v-scores, mouse bites, or fingers, make sure you place them on the board first.

A PCB Layout

When designing your PCB Layout, it is essential that you take note of your traces size. Manufacturers usually have restrictions on how small your traces can be, as well as how small the clearances can be between traces. PCBWay minimum track and spacing are 4mil and 4 mil respectively, their minimum hole size is 0.2mm. Of course, going for the minimum will slightly increase your board cost.

Having your PCB manufactured

The first thing you will need to do before you can ship your design off to be manufactured is to generate a Gerber file that contains all of the necessary design files to use in the PCBs production. This file is a universal file and is generated in the CAD program you used to design your PCB. Each program has its way of generating this file, so be sure to read the program’s instructions, or search for the proper way to create the file with the program you are using.

Ordering at PCBWay

Go to PCBWay (https://www.pcbway.com) and fill the board details in the instant order, from there you will be directed to more elaborate board details.

PCBWay Instant Quote

Update your board requirement information in the PCB Specification screen. You can change the board thickness, board color, silk color, and even the type of finish you want. Some of these add-ons are going to increase the board cost.

Once you have all of the various options for your PCB selected, all that is left is to add to cart, upload your Gerber files, make payment, and wait for your PCBs to arrive. It could take anywhere from 3 – to 6 days to be produced depending on the number of your boards.

One major advantage of using PCBway is that – they offer a free engineering file review service. Before your board goes into manufacturing their team of professional technicians will review your design for any potential errors.

PCB boards

Making Your First Printed Circuit Board – Getting Started With PCBWAY [PART 1]

If you are into electronics, PCBs (Printed Circuit Board) are some of the most common things you will see. These boards make our lives easier by eliminating all those connecting wires and breadboards. If properly designed, it will reduce the size of your device and it can look very professional. Making a professional board could be a bit challenging for newbies, and that’s what this post will show, how to make one using PCBWAY services.

PCB boards
Printed Circuit Boards

PCBWay is the answer to get affordable and professional PCBs with fast delivery and free technical support. PCBWay.com is a professional quick turn PCB prototyping and low-volume production manufacturer located in Shenzhen China. PCBWay also offers PCB Assembly services if you are looking to populate your board and this will not only save you time but cost as well. You can instantly get the quotation of your PCB and PCBA on their website, you can also check the order fabrication and processing status online, all in your account panel with PCBWay. After your PCBs are sent out to your address, you can track your order’s shipping status online.

PCB is one of the most crucial parts of any electrical and electronic device. Quality of PCB determines the quality of all these devices. Modern technology makes possible the increasing miniaturization of integrated circuits, higher packing density, and smaller layout dimension, hence the higher demands on PCB arise. To get started making your first professional PCB, you first need to have a circuit design to work with.

Hobbyist level PCBs are generally designed in two different layouts. The first and most simple is a single sided layout which means that components and copper traces are only located on one side of the PCB. The second hobbyist-friendly design is the double-sided PCB. This board features a copper coating on both the top and bottom layers.

Schematic and Board Design Software

There are dozens of PCB CAD software available for you to design your first PCB with and all come with their own features. I have used several PCB CAD packages like:

Choosing a PCB CAD software to use depends on user and here is some things to consider when a CAD suite is selected:

  • Community Support – This is very important and can drive you a long way in your current and future design. Autodesk Eagle is one of those tools with a strong community, and many open source hardware projects and libraries are available for it.
  • Cost – The cost matters here. Some are available for free like CircuitMaker from Altium, UpVerter, and even Eagle has a free version.
  • Flexibility and Options
  • Easy to use

PCB design is usually done by converting your circuit’s schematic diagram into a PCB layout using your preferred PCB layout software.

[to be continued on PART 2]

WellPCB – A Low Cost PCB Prototyping and PCB Assembly Service

The dream of every maker and innovator out there is to make a product that will be usable by potential users. For hardware-based products and devices, the first step in achieving this is to develop a prototype and then move from there. The prototype will involve making a circuit diagram on a breadboard and then commence to make a PCB (Printed Circuit Board) for the circuit under construction. After checking the PCB quality, PCB Assembly can begin for large-scale manufacturing.

Many makers and engineers want to fabricate PCBs for a custom, prototype, or one of a kind project, but they often can not afford to have them manufactured in volume. WellPCB is a company that offers very “affordable” Printed Circuit Board Fabrication and PCB Assembly Turnkey Services. WellPCB not only offer PCB manufacturing in large scale, but they also offer PCB prototyping starting from $3.99 for a 1 – 2 layers board, unlike most PCB makers that have pricing starting at $5 and above. (more…)

Seeed Fusion Service Ensures High-Quality PCB Assembly at every stage

Seeed PCBA inspection and manual re-work station

Quality is as important to us as it is to you. At Seeed Fusion, our manufacturing expertise can help you reduce errors and failure rates for a prototype or a mass-produced product. Whether there is a problem with one of the components, assembly, or the PCB design itself, any error can result in a non-functioning device which can be complicated or impossible to rectify. In the business for over 10 years, Seeed is an old hand when it comes to manufacturing electronics and implements quality control measures at every stage of its Seeed Fusion PCB Assembly service.

Gerber File Review

Quality assurance procedures begin at order submission. CAM engineers will review every set of manufacturing files to minimize design for manufacture errors before the files are sent for production. As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure. If any problems are found such as shorts and breaks, missing holes or solder mask openings, etc. Seeed Fusion will work with the customer to review the issue and make corrections if necessary.

PCB In Production

As standard, all Seeed Fusion PCBs undergo bare PCB AOI (Automated Optical Inspection), flying needle tests, individual visual checks between each stage and then a Final Quality Control inspection. These measures cover errors with copper deposition, trace connectivity, solder mask coverage and more.

Incoming Parts Quality Inspections

Many fake, second-hand or old components are on the market, so vigilance is paramount when shopping for parts. Seeed Fusion’s PCBA service can take the risk out of parts procurement for you. Seeed preferentially orders its components from partners DigiKey, Mouser, TME and Element14 to ensure genuine and new parts direct from reliable channels.

Seeed’s own stock of parts, the Seeed Fusion Open Parts Library (OPL) also undergo strict quality control measures to fulfill high standards. All incoming stock goes through the same IQC (Incoming Quality Control) that Seeed’s own materials undergo and suppliers are trusted partners that are audited on a regular basis.

Populated PCBs queued up for inspection. Stickers highlight potentially problematic areas for further review.

Assembly Process

Seeed Fusion PCBA’s completely lead-free assembly line employs visual inspections along the entire line as well. Each operator at each stage will check for common process errors, for example, PCBs fresh from the reflow oven will be inspected for insufficient solder wetting, component tombstoning or skew, etc. and re-worked if necessary. Boards are then inspected before packing, and any issues that arise are forwarded to the customer for confirmation.

Other tests and certifications are also available such as mechanical and functional testing, In-Circuit testing, SMT AOI, X-ray inspection, FCC/CE certification and more.

By utilizing industry proven and tested quality control measures, Seeed Fusion PCBA can maximize your output and production efficiency with peace of mind and no compromises. And now is no better time to give us a try. We are currently holding March sales to help with your production needs whether it be prototyping or mass production. Get 10% off PCB upfront, $50USD off PCBA and over 400 OPL components are free just this month. Don’t forget there is also free express shipping on PCBA orders. Upload your BOM here and get a quote now!

Learn more about Seeed Fusion PCBA service from the video below:

Printed circuit board manufacturer – JLCPCB Review

Recently, I had the opportunity to test the printed circuit boards (PCB) offered by JLCPCB. These tests were made in two different boards of the brand and here I’ll report my impressions about them.

Due to the spread of the maker culture and the do-it-yourself (DIY) and easy access to components and a huge amount of technical information available on Internet, it has become much simpler to develop a solution to a problem or just have fun soldering some components.

However, taking the design out of a breadboard (or universal board) and turning it into a PCB stills a big challenge, mainly due to the costs involved.

And  exactly at this point the services offered by JLCPCB make the difference, offering a high level service of PCB manufacturing with an  extremely competitive cost.

Requesting the production of PCBs is quite simple and there are two basic ways to do it. If you are developing within EasyEDA just click on “Gerber Output” and your gerber file will be generated and transferred directly to the JLCPCB system.

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The Factors That Determine PCB Assembly Pricing

This is a sponsored post discussing about PCB assembly costs factors on Bittele Electronics.

Bittele Electronics has developed its pricing schedule based on various factors that determine PCB assembly costs. Some of our customers call us to better understand the factors involved assembly pricing. In general, the factors that cause pricing differences include PCB dimensions, part types and quantities, soldering methodology, type of inspections, etc.

Pricing changes often depend upon the quantity of parts to be assembled on a PCB as well as the type of parts. Component types and the technology selected by the customer also determine our final pricing. Other things that impact pricing include, through-hole components, SMDs, and fine pitch, leadless or BGA devices.

There are substantial price increases if you specify double-sided assembly. This is because the assembly process will need to be repeated to place parts on both sides of the board. The double-sided assembly process also includes extra solder stencil production, SMT equipment programming, etc., which can add costs to the average assembly charge. Nonetheless, Bittele attempts to charge reasonable prices along with lead-free assembly by considering all these factors in our prices.

Bittele offers lead-free assembly based upon the customer’s specifications. We possess two additional production lines dedicated to lead-free assembly. We employ RoHS-compliant, state-of-the-art soldering methods. Lead-free assembly may result in prices changes, however. You can obtain the actual costs by contacting one of our sales representatives.

The type and size of parts that you select will also determine the final PCB assembly cost. Charges may also change if you specify lead-less parts, such as BGA, QFN, etc. In addition, costs may vary with package sizes (e.g., 0201, 1206, etc.) as well as the inspection methods you specify.

Bittele has a variety of inspection methods, including in-circuit and functional tests, available to ensure high quality PCBs. We are capable of the following tests: visual inspection for basic quality verifications, x-ray testing for lead-less devices and blank PCBs, AOI inspections to test solder paste applications, missing components, and polarity. Our inspections are completed without additional charges.