PCB category

Make 10x Printed Circuit Boards For $5 On PCBWay

The quest for making low cost printed circuit boards is one that will always keep on going and it is not going to stop here. Customers, engineers, makers, are looking for low cost printed circuit board manufacturers for their PCB needs but also a reliable one as well.

It is a task to find a low-cost service or better still a cheap service and a different thing to find a reliable service. Most of the time, those two services don’t go hand in hand, they are usually mutually exclusive. What if you could find the best of two worlds? Yes, you can get a cheap PCB service and also a very reliable one from PCBWay, an industry leader in the manufacturing of Printed Circuit Boards.

PCBWay is a 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. PCBWay offers PCB and PCBA services that specialize in the prototyping and small batch printed circuit board assembly at a relatively low cost as compared to others.

Printed Circuit Board fabrication doesn’t necessarily have to be that expensive because the industry has gone through decades of innovation and more business are already providing similar services, nevertheless has the reduced cost considering the fact that the maker’s community has been seeing a sporadic growth lately. However, business-like PCBWay is making significant steps towards making this a possibility with their PCB services and other arrays of PCB add-on services.

PCBWay offer makers and designers the chance of making their printed circuit board for just $5 for 10x printed circuit boards, and this service is targeted to the prototyping stage due to the importance of this stage. Prototyping stage is the most crucial period for engineers, hobbyists, and students. PCBWay not only makes your boards quick but also makes the job right as well as cost-effective which will significantly reduce cost and shorten the time for development

Aside from getting a cheap PCB service, PCBWay is offering for new members a $5 bonus on every new signup that can be used for discount purposes. PCBWay currently supports 4 PCB files formats for PCB fabrication:

  • gerber file
  • .pcb
  • .pcbdoc
  • .cam

Getting started with PCBWay is pretty straightforward, signup to their website, use the instant quote, add order to cart, create a new account, upload your PCB files, and make your payment. To get started with the PCBWay you can visit their website here.

PCBWay Referral Program is an Avenue to Earn Coupons and Cash

PCBWay, a company that provides printed circuit board manufacturing and assembly is offering an incentive invite deals for users of its platform. PCBWay has been an avenue for makers, engineers, students and even teachers to make things; they provide sponsorship opportunities for exciting open-source projects, gifts and money for makers sharing their technical experience, creating exciting, challenging competitions, and many more.

PCBWay is continuing its quest to support the maker’s community especially its existing members with their referral program that aims to gift coupons and cash to the ever increasing members. Of course, the referral program is not limited to only existing, new users in the platform can also get on the wagon.

Getting Started

PCBWay referral program is quite easy and straightforward to get started with, and the steps below shows how to start earning with the PCBWay referral program.

  1. Users (both new and existing users) need to visit the referral program here
  2. Copy their referral link as shown below and send it to friends.
  3. Share the URL with your fiends and visitors.
  4. That is it. Still down and wait for the money to start flowing in.

Rewards

For every new user that gets added through your referral link, you will get a $20 discount coupon after any successful payment from that friend. Also, you will earn 10% of the amount they spend on their first order (Note – the 10% earning is only applicable for their first order only).

One thing is sure, PCBWay is not going to stop with this referral program, they are inevitably going to add more supporting incentives like this in the future. PCBWay is hoping to build a better maker’s community and fostering the next-gen technology with programs like this. For more information about the PCBWay Referral Program, visit the referral page (must be signed in to see the referral content)

PCBWay Offers Low Cost SMD Stencils

A new offer has been thrown to the public by PCBWay; The public can now get various sizes of SMD (Surface Mounted Devices) stencils. A stencil is a utensil that contains a perforated sheet through which ink can be forced to create a printed pattern onto another surface. It allows a person to know where precisely each component and solder would go on the SMD pads. The nature of SMD stencil influences the quality of the completed PCB because a poorly placed SMD stencil will not only render the SMD component useless, it will most likely make the whole device useless.

PCBWay is offering to existing and new customers to order for an SMD Stencil job. The SMD Stencils being offered by PCBWay are made up of 14 different sizes, with starting size of 370mm x 470mm with a valid area of 190mm x 290mm, and the biggest size available to be 500m x 1400mm with a valid area of 320mm x 1200mm. When ordering you can choose a framework if you want one and there are four thickness options to pick from. It is important to note that the size and thickness of the stencil determine the amount and shape of the applied solder paste.

Lasered Stencils are also an option, and a person can decide to have the stencil lasered half way or lasered through. When the halfway option is chosen, it is important to note that this means the stencil will be lasered from the bottom to middle.

There is also a chance to have your stencil go through electropolishing, aq process that ensures there is maximum optimization of the surface quality of the SMD stencils after laser processing. Electropolishing, also called electrochemical deburring is carried out by an acid rinse with additional applied voltage, to control the cutting of roughness. This is simply a finishing service and is not compulsory.

Once done with stencil selection choices, customers will have the option to pay using PayPal, Credit card, or one of the several payment options. Shipping will be done by DHL, FedEx, TNT, Aramex, Hongkong post, E-pack, and many more. DHL is preferred as the default option.

Get started with PCBWay SMD Stencil by visiting their stencil page here.

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 a 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 cost 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 the user and here are 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…)