Low Cost PCB Fabrication (Cheapest PCB Fabrication) - Reviews

March 16, 2015

My design is 1" X 1.1" which cost $6 for three pcs + $5 shipping. I'm in no rush so $5 is the cheapest available. 

Thats crazy cheap and my first order with them so I'll follow up once I get them back.


http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/fusion-pcb-service-p-835.html?cPath=185 also looks like a pretty good deal for boards.  They're in pre-set sizes, and it's a minimum of 10, but 10 ea., 5x5cm boards are $10.

BatchPCB.com will do any quantity you want.  $10 setup, then $2.50/in^2 with a minimum of one in^2 (but after that first in^2, they don't round up on the board size).


Iteadstudio does similar.
Up to 5cm x 5cm
Up to 5cm x 10cm
Up to 10cm x 10cm
Larger than 10cm x 10cm
Larger than 20cm x 20cm
Larger than 30cm x 30cm
Within the "Larger than" categories they have a large selection of "Up to" subsizes as welll: 
5x15, 10x15, 15x15, 5x20, 10x20, 15,x20, 20x20
5x25, 10x25, 15x15, 20x25, 25x25
5x30, 10x30, 15x30, 20x30, 25x30, 30x30
>30x30 looks like custom quote?

Also 4 layer, color options (Green standard; Red, Blue, Yellow, Black, White), material thickness options, (0.4mm, 0.6, 0.8, 1.0, 1.2, 1.6, 2,0), surface finish options, test options.
I have purchased the 5x5cm and 10x10cm. If you're clever in Eagle, you can create neat shapes too.


I only have positive comments about iteadstudio.
If you look at my signature link, all the green boards came from iteadstudio.
The yellow & blue boards are from http://www.internationalcircuits.com which also turned out very nice.
All came back error free, clear & crisp stencilling, no electrical problems at all.
They both accept really small dimensions as well - 6 & 8 mil wide traces, 12mil diameter holes, 8 & 10 mil clearances.

The unsoldermasked board came from a US boardhouse in AZ, I needed a board real quick and didn't wamt to pay extra and wait longer for soldermask & silkscreen, which made assembly tricky - way to easy to have shorts with 10 mil traces and 10 mil clearances. China shops were closed for New Years, calendar oversight on my part. Now that I know how much easier solder mask makes assembly, I will use that on All boards I order, US or international.


The honest answer is that cheap and low volume basically do not go together when it comes to PCB fabrication.


Some fab houses will panelize your board along with other customer boards to reduce cost to you and them. They often require fairly strict rules about how many layers the board can be and what features your layout utilizes, such as drill and trace sizes. Even under this scenario it is essentially not possible that you will ever get to $2.00 a board. Advanced Circuits http://www.4pcb.com/ offers a barebones PCB service and PCB Express is often very price competetive for low volume "prototype PCBs" but even with them the lowest cost I have ever incurred was $10 per board for a simple 2-layer board that was only 2" square.


Your only other real alternative is to travel to China and find someone to make them for you there.


I have used a company called Olimex many times before and had great results for small batch 1 and 2 sided boards. They are based in Bulgaria but ship worldwide (I am based in the UK) and turnaround is normally 3-5 days plus shipping time (which depends on the method chosen). Prices include tooling, and the standard board specification is reasonable. They do offer additional board variants for a small extra cost.




For higher density / 4 layer / larger profile boards I have also used PCBtrain, which is a UK based company. This service offers more options on board specification, but also includes tooling so there are no additional costs. There is an online quote facility to get instant prices on your board spec. This company also quotes for small-batch surface mount assembly, although I have never used this service before.




DorkbotPDX is a newer batch service managed and manufactured in the US:




It's just $5 per square inch (for three 2-layer boards).  Thus 2 sq inch would be just $10 total for all 3 boards.  Silk screen & solder mask included.  Shipping is free in the US.


EAGLE .brd is accepted directly and a .dru file is provided for the DRC check.  I'm using EAGLE and have never had a PCB manufactured before so that is a big help.


I just missed the June 28th batch, so I'm submitting for the July 11th batch.  The turn around is 9 days from the submission deadline.


I'll post some pics of how the boards comes out.


I'm from Switzerland and I regularly use pcbcart.com  (based in China).


5 pcs. of a 2 layer 50mm x 50mm board with silkscreen legend on both sides cost about 80$ (8$ / pcs. + 1 time tooling costs of 40$). You can reorder boards another time with no additional tooling costs, even if you made some changes to the silkscreen!


10 pcs. of the same specifications cost about 95$ (5.5$ / pcs. same tooling costs).


Standard lead time are 8 days upon received payment and board files (protel, Altium, Eagle and gerber files are accepted and some others). It doesn't matter if there's a weekend in between. They take 8 days, not business days!


Shipment costs are between 20$ ad 30$ depending on the delivery method you choose.


The quality is very good and if they screw up, they deliver more boards than ordered with no extra cost.






For double layer PCBs with a size of, or smaller than 10cm x 10cm I can definitely recommend Seeedstudio.

Their PCB service, Fusion PCB, is identical to the iTeadStudio, but Seeedstudio seems to be more professionel and faster, and there is no price difference. Besides of that Seeedstudio also have free international shipping on orders over $50.


The price of 10pcs double layer 5cm x 5cm is $9.90. The price of 10pcs double layer 10cm x 10cm is $24.90.

The service includes E-Test on 50% (5pcs), and the standard soldermask color is green, but it can be changed to anything else for $10 for all 10 items.


I have used Seeedstudio for most of my PCB projects when the PCB size is less than or equal to 10cm x 10cm. You can buy bigger PCBs thru their service, but the price is not that competitive anymore when the sizes exceeds 10cm x 10cm.


Best Regards

Thomas Jespersen


Hi, if my experience is of help, the last pcb proto I designed i ordered to http://www.pcbya.com from Spain, so i suppose they don't have problem in sending to europe. I ordered only one proto and had no problems.

The price was great, now I'm looking for cheap component assembly and soldering shops from Europe, that let me send few boards. Anyone?

Cheers, Oscar


For Single or double layer PCBs , I can definitely recommend Elecrow.

It's not famous as Seeedstudio,but Elecrow's PCB Service is much Cheaper  than seed's . and most important is that  it provide SIX COLOR to CHOOSE FREE.

Their PCB service, Also Fusion PCB, The price of 10pcs double layer is almost the same as Seeed's, and they also provide 5pcs PCB service.

But when the PCB size is smaller than 10cm*10cm, 5pcs and 10pcs is the same price and I don't know why?

when the PCB size is bigger than 10cm*10cm, 5pcs PCB sevice  will save amost  US $10 per time.


Best Regards



I have order a cheap boards from H-Instruments.


Price for 5 pcs 2 layerboard (max size 50x50mm , 1.9"x1.9") is only 37.95$ with free shipping includet.

Soldermask on top and bottom layer and silkmask on top

I have used them few times and the quality is very good, so I can recommend them if you nedd cheap professional boards.


About European PCB: I just finished a quotation to US customer with an all-inclusive price at ca. 19US cents per cm2, but admittedly that was a bigger panelized set (2L FR4).

As for prototype work, our lowest EU PCB price starts from under 30 eurocents per cm2. Delivery starting from 7days.

The price level is not much as the quality is actually excellent (see customer comment and maybe our www here: http://electronics-pcb.com/elec-pcb-technology-2 ).


Although our service might not be the cheapest there is, consider this: no size limitations, integrity (=when you say you want European PCB, you will get it), and same

good service to everybody!

This and reasonable prices might be my personal revenge on the lots of bad shopping experiences I got while in the Uni :-)



What a nice surprice at Elecrow 4 Layer PCB fabricate service.

For 5cm*5cm max PCB manufature, it need only $23.9.

For 10cm*10cm Max PCB manufature, it need only $49.9.


I think it is the lowest price for 4 layer PCBs.

For more details, you can visit http://www.elecrow.com/services-c-73/pcb-fabricate-service-c-73_116/4-layer-10-10cm-max-10pcs-p-365.html.


$2 per board will have to be high volume in China definitely.. When I do small batches of prototypes (less than 10) I use PCB Unlimited (http://www.pcbunlimited.com/), they have different options for printed circuit boards. Their offshore PCBs are really good prices, but the turn time is not that good.. Their quickturn service however is really good, I usually ask for 4 layer boards and can get good US made PCBs in about 3 days. If you have some supplier with prices that low for only a couple of boards please let us know.