USA, single/low amount assembly, anyone got any pointers for me?

This is the user forum for KiCad EDA software. This is not a manufacturer.

I understand that I would like to know how other kicad users got their first prototype made?

Well, if you type “pcb prototype” into google search you get some results, they look familiar to those who have ordered prototypes.

Wherever you are, “one of each” does not mix well with standard PCB manufacturing process. If you don’t want expensive setup fees, look for “order pooling” services - keep in mind it’s suitable for standard tech only. Otherwise expect to order and pay for some of each.

1 Like

fred4u I get sorta what your saying macrofab and batch pcb I think did that.
I kept my designs fallowing their eda limits or drc limits.
Also yes I couldn’t do flexible boards or different colored silkscreens and boards or board thicknesses but it let me design my ideas or around new chips I found neat. little modules. LED light things arduinos in things.

Are you looking for just bare boards made (and you will hand assemble), or do you want to send them full design and get fully assembled boards back? I only have experience with the former, and no I haven’t found a place that will manufacture just a single board of a design. But, OSHPark does them in multiples of 3, so you could get 9 of one design and 3 of each other design. Yes you are getting more boards than you need, but after messing up one board you may be thankful to have a spare. (Or even if the first board is fine, you decide you want to make some modifications, you can do that (cut traces, run jumper wires, etc) to the spares.

Also, OSHPark can take the kicad PCB file directly if you are comfortable doing that. (Some people aren’t and will generate gerbers anyway. But you have a choice.) I think there are some other PCB prototyping services that also take the KiCad board file instead of gerbers.

Check out https://pcbshopper.com/ and enter in your board basic specs (you’ll need to do this 3 times, once for each of your designs). Then look through the list and choose the option that works for you. The quotes will show where the company is located, the minimum order quantity to reach your desired quantity, pricing three ways (total board price, price per board, and total order with shipping), and gives the expected lead time for the different shipping methods. No, PCBShopper doesn’t show all possible manufacturers, but all the ones that are listed on PCBShopper are friendly to the hobby maker (and cottage/small industry).

fully assembled boards back because the next step is more but why not pay more and have the kicad pnp output files used. Or from the sch and brd file like macrofab does but now only 10. I was going to get one for 60.

osh park was awsome but I want fully assembled i had got that with bach pcb and macrofab just not anymore.

PCBShopper does have a tab for quoting assembly, but I’m not sure if any of the vendors in their list are in the US. (Again, because I’ve never done full assembly quoting.)

I wish you luck in your project.

1 Like

Thank you that’s really helpful so your saying I can compare assembly services.

I could filter and would be willing to pay 15-20 usd more than macrofab that was in the USA tx.but I seen 300 euro for eurocircuits in a example.

Here is a quick example test

Circuithub does assembly in the US and has an online quote tool, so you can see whether or not the price is palatable for your designs.

1 Like

Craftyjon I will upload my baords and see latter

You are not gonna find anywhere in the USA that will assemble a single board for $60. Even Chinese PCBA would turn their noses up at that.

If you can work within their very limited parts library, JLC’s service is fast and dirt cheap, otherwise you will probably need to learn to solder.

1 Like

circuit hub I tried getting a quote 2" x 1" board the price before assembly great assembly with a connector and resistor 200. in MA USA.

I have no idea what you’re saying here. Are you using speech to text or something?

Let me try again.
I tried circuithub.com I had a board I designed in kicad with 2 components to see how much assembly would be. The price breakdown was 200 for assembly for one proto. More for other parts like board and parts but not much.

So I put the features of the design into pcbshopper

So I found these were the results with 1 board under 100.

I will see how they work with my kicad files and will say how it works.

https://www.allpcb.com/?code=P7
https://www.pcbway.com/


https://www.seeedstudio.com/

The truth is that putting components into a board with a machine isn’t difficult or slow and doesn’t cost much. What costs is setting all up before the actual assembly starts. Therefore it’s not cost effective for prototypes. If they don’t have the components there ready, it will be even much more difficult. The easiest and cheapest solution may be doing it manually, depending on how much your time costs.

1 allpcb ~95
5 pcbway 126

Yup, that is the difference between USA and China. You said you wanted them made in the USA, but if you don’t care, it’s definitely cheaper to use a Chinese assembler.