Tag Archives: PCB

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 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.

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:

EAGLE 8.7 – Parametric 2D & 3D model generation, library.io, more!

Today we’re proud to announce the release of EAGLE 8.7 and what is quite possibly one of the biggest releases we’ve had to-date, this time focused (largely) on libraries and library development (and what that means for 3D modeling of your finished PCB)!  But before we get into it, let me share a thought —

As some of you know, most of us on the EAGLE team use the SW (imagine that!).  In fact, it’s the overwhelming majority in development, mktg, leadership, support, etc. who not only use it, but we’ve run workshops, taught university courses with it, etc.  And it’s from the experience of talking with you and having to explain many of the more idiosyncratic things either in EAGLE or in ECAD in general, that we’d decided we needed to take a shot at addressing the component creation process.  Our goal being to reduce or eliminate one of the slowest, most non-value added processes in your workflow. (This is the stuff that really slows you down and only gets harder as the parts get more sophisticated.)

That being said, this is only part of our ongoing efforts to make library development and the problems with quick, quality component creation faced by so many users (whether professionals or hobbyists or students) a thing of the past.  It’s also the first step in treating ECAD parts and their MCAD equivalents as a single component creation process which shouldn’t be decoupled (after all, it’s the same datasheet whether you’re making parts in EAGLE or in Fusion360).

EAGLE 8.7 – Parametric 2D & 3D model generation, library.io, more! – [Link]

Digi-Key launches a common parts library for the KiCad EDA Tool

Digi-Key Electronics has announced that it is in beta release of a library containing almost 1,000 common parts for the open-source KiCad schematic capture and PCB tool. By Ally Winning @ eenewsembedded.com:

The library will be hosted on the Digi-Key website. It was built after Digi-Key analyzed the top 1,000 parts that KiCad users would require. The library combines schematic symbols and PCB footprints into atomic elements and adds fields including part numbers and datasheet links. As the library has the same license as KiCad’s main library, it is freely available to all developers. The final release of the library is planned for early 2018.

Digi-Key launches a common parts library for the KiCad EDA Tool – [Link]

PCB Motor – A smaller and cheaper brushless motor.

by Carl Bugeja @ hackaday.io designed a brushless motor using a 3D printer and a 4-layer PCB. He writes:

The PCB motor is my solution for trying to design a smaller, cheaper and easier to assemble brushless motor.

The motor’s stator is a 6 spiral PCB coil in a star configuration. Although it has less torque compared to an iron core stator, it still suitable for high-speed applications.

The current prototype has a 3d printed rotor with a 16mm diameter.

PCB Motor – A smaller and cheaper brushless motor – [Link]

MetCal Connection Validation – The Next Generation of Soldering

Making solid connections between electrical components on a board is an important part of many hardware projects. A good solder joint forms an alloy at the surface of the PCB and the component lead. During soldering, a solder connection on a circuit board can quickly turn into a real nightmare if not caught immediately, ending up with a too thin or too thick solder joint.

Connection Validation is MetCal’s latest innovation in hand soldering. It allows you to precisely apply the solder to your components. MetCal Connection Validation is to complement or even replace the standard visual inspection during soldering, where now the soldering iron will do it instead.

MetCal Connection Validation (CV) evaluates the quality of the solder joint by calculating the intermetallic compound formation immediately after the soldering iron’s tip is placed on the joint to solder, and it provides closed loop feedback to the operator visually. Connection Validation provides feedback to the operator via the LED light ring integrated into the hand-piece. The Soldering Iron will light up green when the correct intermetallic thickness has formed, and a red light comes on if an error has occurred.

The following are some of the features and benefits of Connection Validation Soldering Station:

  • SmartHeat Power on Demand Technology
  • Patented Connection Validation IMC Formation Technology
  • 2.8” color touchscreen with bold graphics
  • Communications Port for process traceability data and firmware graphics
  • Precise tip temperature display
  • Integrated Net Power Meter and power graph
  • Patented Chip-in-Cartridge technology
  • Closed loop bi-directional communication
  • Stores and records cartridge attributes
  • Provides traceability information
  • Protects power supply from non-conforming cartridges
  • Backwards compatible with MX series power supplies
  • Password protection

Introduced at IPC APEX 2017, MetCal’s exciting patent technology was met enthusiastically by contract manufacturers and electronics assembly leaders worldwide.