I found this link...looks cool and has free software for designing PCB boards.
Price is reasonable as well!

Express PCB

Views: 2546

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I'm not seeing the link. Is it just me?
Sorry about that. Forget to type in something before the ending tag.
That's pretty cool. If you want to roll your own PCBs, I found this a couple weeks ago. I imagine the results aren't nearly as nice as the service you linked to. It's probably less expensive if you already have laser printer, however.

YouTube demonstration:

Wow! that is the best thing I have ever seen! I just now wish I had something to make a pcb board for....
When you can get stuff like that made cheap rather that doing it yourself, it makes me think... F*%# that I'll just get them to do it! :)
Systm has an episode on etching PCB's that is not totally boring:

Systm Episode 13: PCB Etching

Personally I would put up the cash to have someone else do it. Maybe at PCB123.
The only caution about Express PCB is that their software is proprietary, and as I recall, can't output to the standard Gerber file format, so you can only use Express PCB for fabrication. For prototype quantities, this isn't a big issue, but if you are considering eventually taking your design into production, they are very expensive. If you are serious about learning how to build your own PCB's, you should learn how to use Eagle PCB from http://www.cadsoft.de. It is free, runs on Windows, Mac and Linux, and outputs to Gerber, so you can send your design to any of a large number of PCB fabricators. There are other free PCB tools that output to Gerber, but Eagle is pretty much the "gold standard".
I totally agree with this: Eagle is a good product, and the freeware version is very capable. Also, as mentioned, it is essentially the standard especially for hobbyists. Given that, and going along with the DIY aspect of this site, Batch PCB is a good way to get those boards made!
For manufacturing, I usually ask to sinfo pcb (http://www.sinfopcb.com/). They've done such great work for me lately. However it may not be necessary to go through the expenses of having a board manufactured by a compagny if your project doesn't involve surface mount components and multiple layers. It is failry easy to etch your own single or dual side PCB yourself. However it require extra thinking as it is not possible to do hole plating in case of a 2 layer board. That means that vias needs to be implanted manually and can't be placed under components. They also have to be larger.
Having hole plating and soldermask will help for the most demanding projects, with SMD components and 2 to multiple layers PCBs.

PS: I always draw my PCB's using illustrator.
Making your own PCB's is loads of fun! But I disagree with your statement that surface mount makes it impossible to make your own. Any more, I try to avoid through-hole because drilling all those little holes is a major pain!!!! But, yes, multi-layer is totally impossible and you have to think carefully about your vias, especially if you hate drilling holes.
Yes, surface mount is possible and I made my own as well, however you have to think hard about the vias, it will limit the component density and placement as well. I like to make them myself anytime it is feasible, however with numerous vias and surface mount, having a professionaly made PCB with a soldermask and hole plating makes it much easier. It all depend of your project and how much you want to invest/how much you're sure about your design
To "hpux"... surface mount construction does not lend itself well to handmade boards. Unless you are a robot, SMT is pretty well best left to the pros.

Reply to Discussion



Season Two of the Trust Time Trial (T3) Contest 
A list of all T3 contests is here. The current round, the Vertical Horizontal one, is here

© 2020   Created by Chris Anderson.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service