[time-nuts] OT: ExpressPCB (cross-post from volts-nuts)

Brooke Clarke brooke at pacific.net
Fri Dec 9 16:02:24 EST 2016

Hi John:

Yes.  It is not at all economical to have ExpressPCB make boards the final size in production.  BUT . . . if you have 
them make panels and cut them apart yourself it's very reasonable.  I've used many methods for cutting the boards apart 
but have settled on a 12" metal shear that cuts them as easy as cutting butter.
There is a limit on the number of holes so you can not use holes as a way to snapping panels into individual boards.

Note the largest boards they make are 12 x 14".
They are in Portland, USA.

I think they are charging 34 cents/sqin (5-day) plus other charges on a per order and per board basis. For example:

Have Fun,

Brooke Clarke
The lesser of evils is still evil.

-------- Original Message --------
> That points out a key difference in the PCB house pricing models: ExpressPCB and the Advanced Circuits $33 prototype 
> are flat fee up to a size limit (for Advanced Circuits 4 x 6 inches) while others go by the square inch -- OSH Park is 
> $5/in2 for three copies of two layer, and $10/in2 for three of four layer.
> So for small boards, OSH Park is great but for larger boards, the price difference reduces (a 4 x 6 board ends up 
> being just about the same price as Advanced Circuits).  And if you can stand the slower turnaround, the Chinese board 
> houses can't be beat for any size.
> John
> ----
> On 12/9/2016 3:18 PM, Bob Stewart wrote:
>> I built my first set of boards with ExpressPCB, but they get expensive quickly if you want to make something that's 
>> not in their special form factor.  I use KICAD and OshPark.com to make my boards (there are other board makers).  I 
>> just ordered some boards that are .7" x .63" that cost $8.40 for 12.  You buy in multiples of 3, so that was actually 
>> $2.10 for a set of 3 times 4 sets.  Using surface mount, I was able to put an SOIC-14, an SOIC-16, an SOT23-5, three 
>> 0805 caps, a 3 pin header, and a 5 pad connector on the board.  Something like that would be wastefully expensive on 
>> ExpressPCB.
>> Bob
>>        From: BIll Ezell <wje at quackers.net>
>>   To: time-nuts at febo.com
>>   Sent: Friday, December 9, 2016 1:58 PM
>>   Subject: [time-nuts] OT: ExpressPCB (cross-post from volts-nuts)
>> Sorry if I'm behind the times, just did a new project that required a
>> pcb, and ExpressPCB is my go-to vendor for one-off boards. I just
>> noticed they now provide the low-cost boards (fixed size, 3x5, quantity
>> 3) that I've always ordered with silk screen and solder mask for $71. I
>> got my latest boards that way and they're beautiful. No relationship to
>> them, just a happy customer. You can still get the barebones boards for
>> $51. The hack I used to use was to put the component id and such on the
>> top copper layer as tiny text, but that was a bit of a pain for layout.
>> (Oops, can't put that label there, it's copper and there's a trace there
>> also) Really nice to be able to get real boards, even if it does end up
>> being ~$23/board.
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