[time-nuts] Working with SMT parts.

Didier Juges shalimr9 at gmail.com
Fri Aug 12 06:40:53 EDT 2016

The way ExpressPCB works is that their free software produces boards in a proprietary format, and you have to pay to convert their design file to Gerber.

Your mileage may vary but I found the combination of design tools learning curve, board quality and quick service to be worthwhile to me.

I have tried Eagle twice and never could manage to build the models I needed. It may have been an issue of not finding the right tutorial but I have produced several ExpressPCB designs in less time than I have tried (unsuccessfully) to produce a single schematic in Eagle, let alone a PWB. Since it is a hobby that has become a business, time matters to me, design time and delivery.

At that point, the cost of the Gerber becomes somewhat irrelevant.

Note that you can make boards of any size in ExpressPCB.

I am not advocating it is the best solution for everyone, I personally would like to be proficient with Eagle, but Express PCB works for me.

Didier KO4BB

On August 11, 2016 10:45:45 PM CDT, Chris Albertson <albertson.chris at gmail.com> wrote:
>This seems totally backwards.  Typically a Gerber file is something
>you make yourself on your computer then send it in for a prototype.
>Seems odd to buy them.
>I checked ExpressPCB prices and they are very high.  I can get PCBs
>made quickly in the US for $3 per square inch, shipping included with
>$9 minimum order.  And  you don't buy the Gerbers.
>I notice ExpressPCB offers free software.  But it is totally
>non-standard and you can't use it for anything other then for their
>service.  Most people needing free PCB software use Eagle, some use
>Kicad or some others.  But Eagle seems to be kind of a universal
>On Thu, Aug 11, 2016 at 8:55 AM, Didier Juges <shalimr9 at gmail.com>
>> I concur. I have been using ExpressPCB extensively over the last 2
>> with great satisfaction now that it is possible to get Gerber files
>> them.
>> I typically use the mini board pro service (3 bare boards, 2 sided
>> solder mask and silk screen) for prototypes and then buy the Gerbers
>Chris Albertson
>Redondo Beach, California
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Sent from my Moto-X wireless tracker while I do other things.

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