These are PCBs recently manufactured for a VFD project. Aiming at very small initial quantity and rather compact 100×25 mm dimensions BatchPCB was considered an ideal service for making our PCBs. But in the end it turned out that shipment from US would be ridiculously expensive and simply not being worth ordering. That was the turning point when ITead Studio has been discovered. The company offers very attractive deals for small PCB batches and especially prototyping but in order to take full advantage of their prices PCBs dimensions should somewhat correlate with the factory’s blank sizes. That way even greater economy might be achieved significantly cutting down expenses for prototyping and small runs.
So what is so special about the service from ITead Studio? To begin with, they have a bit different approach by providing certain number of blanks with predefined sizes, let’s say, 100×100 mm, 100×50 mm, 50×50 mm and so on. A customer is offered to buy a service, for example, 10 blanks of 100×50 mm with specific parameters such as material type and thickness, mask and silkscreen colours etc. And then after uploading PCB design in Gerber format the factory house takes care of everything else. For instance, they do panelisation by themselves, without even asking you. In our case, having ordered 100×50 mm service and PCB dimensions 100×25 mm we ended up not with 10 but 20 PBCs, they just silently managed to fit two PCBs on each blank!
The prices are very attractive, for 100×50 mm service they ask just $25 (or even $22 if you’re happy with green color for the mask) for 10 (or even more depending on how many PCBs can fit on one blank) PCBs. Another significant advantage is an absence of tooling fee which brings the overall cost to a level way less than $100 which was literally impossible until now.
Add to this friendly e-mail notifications, really short lead time (just 7 days), and an option to choose really cheap shipment which by the way is not that slow, took two weeks in our case to deliver a parcel from Hong-Kong to Australia and cost us less than $6. Indeed, PCB manufacturing has never been so affordable for hobbysts as it is now.