A lot goes into PCB manufacturing: designing, testing, labor, and materials – all of which can be quite costly.
If you’re about to manufacture your first circuit board, you’re probably trying to find ways to reduce the costs. Thankfully, there are many ways to accomplish this, most of which we’ll cover throughout this article.
So, without any further ado, here’s how to save money on manufacturing your circuit boards.
1. Keep the panel as small as possible
Oversized circuit boards can be quite expensive. The bigger it is, the more it will cost you to manufacture. So, aim for smaller dimensions if you’re concerned about saving money.
Now, of course, don’t go overboard with it – if the panel is too small, the manufacturer will probably charge you more, as they’ll need to use precise (and expensive) tools to achieve the design you ordered.
So, yes, smaller is better, but only if you’re reasonable about it.
2. Set your spacing requirements properly
The spacing between copper components on your board should be as wide as possible. Make sure you set your spacing requirements as early as possible and remain within them throughout the entire manufacturing process.
The logic behind this tip is quite simple: if the spacing between your pads and tracks is too small, the manufacturer will have to put additional effort to place it all together. In this case, your costs would increase majorly, which is something you’re probably trying to avoid.
3. Choose bigger diameters for holes
Smaller holes require high-precision machinery to be drilled into your circuit board. This will prompt your manufacturer to increase their pricing, as it’s trickier to produce. Keep your hole diameters as big as your design allows them to be. As long as you don’t overdo it, you’ll be able to save tons of money on PCB manufacturing for your project.
4. Extra layers should only be added where it’s absolutely necessary
Even if you have to disregard rule number one on this list, adding extra layers to your design when you can just increase the board’s size for a bit is not a good idea. The simpler your design is, the less money you’ll need to spend, so keep your board as compact as possible. Extra layers should be added only where it’s absolutely necessary.
5. Choose a quality manufacturer
If you’re looking for a turkey PCB assembly, make sure you pick a trustworthy supplier. Not all manufacturers are worth your time or money – many of them can’t provide you with the quality you need.
Look for someone who’s experienced with circuit board designs similar to what you need and don’t hesitate to compare different offers until you find something that suits your budget.
The bottom line
All in all, saving money on PCB manufacturing and assembly can be a daunting task, especially for a beginner.
In this article, we’ve provided you with some tips and tricks on how to manufacture your PCBs without spending a fortune doing it. We hope you found it to be useful and we wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors.