We are always wondering where is the best place to manufacture PCB prototypes. Recently PCBWay asked us if we would like to test their PCB service. This post aims to give you a small overview of the experience we had while ordering boards from PCBWay.
Here shortly about the key features what make the service different from others.
- Many options, like: matte colours, impedance check, finish options etc.
- Fast feedback for the uploaded design
- Shipping prices shown before Gerber files uploaded
In future for our premium products we look forward using a service which offers nice Matte Black with Gold finish. So PCBWay is one of the few PCB prototyping services who offers this option.
The ordering experience from PCBWay was really good in general. After uploading the Gerber files an engineer at PCBWay looked over the board in ca 10min. The engineer made necessary correction and one could proceed with the order. If you think the engineer made and error correcting your PCB options, then you can immediately chat with the customer service. There is also a separate page to review your Gerber files, it would be awesome if it would be part of the ordering process, like on DirtyPCBs and OSH Park (awesome board preview). It's also nice that there are so many advanced options for ordering PCBs and also many shipping options. The PCBs were delivered quite fast with DHL express to Germany. In case your order exceeds $30 be ready to pay import tax.
Nicely packaged PCBs arrived, yay!
There were 11 PCBs, seems like they send an extra one for testing. The quality is good, the black colour seems a bit different than from Seeedstudio or DirtyPCBs, not so dark (a grey tone to it). The edges are milled nicely. The Fiberglass Substrate looks also different to other PCB services. There is also a small serial number on PCB for each customer. While I scratched away some of the Soldermask, I could also verify that the copper looks very similar to another PCB that I had. But the quality is only verifiable with a electronmicroscope I guess : )
The finished prototype using the PCBWay PCB. We thank PCBWay for sponsoring the PCBs for our v0.4.0 prototype. We also recommend PCBWay for your next prototype, as it's a nice quality PCB and you only pay $5 + shipping for 10 PCBs if your PCB dimensions are 100 x 100 mm or smaller.