[sebhc] PC Fab

Eric J. Rothfus eric at rothfus.com
Sat Sep 18 07:31:57 CDT 2004

Hi Carroll,

I use PCBExpress (www.pcbexpress.com) myself.  I don't quite remember why
I went with them, however.  When I was shopping, most of the different
on-line services appeared to have roughly the same prices.  This one
required that you use your own software to generate the files they
need to produce the PCBs.  I use the Eagle development software.

I looked at Express PCB (www.expresspcb.com) as well.  They have
free down-loadable development software which is MUCH easier than
Eagle...though not as powerful.  All in all, I think that their
solution will be easier for simpler boards.

There are really three variables for small runs of PCBs at these

  - board size - the smaller, the cheaper :-)  (obviously)

  - number of boards - the more, the cheaper per board  :-)  (obviously)

  - silk-screen & solder mask - when you add these, the price starts
    to go up quickly.  They're NOT necessary...really.

When I did my runs, I did the first few boards without silk-screen and
solder mask and they worked great.  When I started to produce boards
that others would be using, that's when I added the silk-screen and
solder mask.

Here's a quick example, my boards were 3" X 3.75":

Without silk-screen & solder-mask - 4 boards

   PCB Express - $115

   Express PCB - $105

With silk-screen & solder-mask - 4 boards

   PCB Express - $238

   Express PCB - $229 (fixed price for 5 boards)

Hope this helps.


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