Your opinions on PCB mfg?

I wanted to hear about your personal opinions on getting through the
manufacturing process for your PCBs. I have looked at most of the
sites that have been mentioned in a different thread, and I am very
puzzled by the “Shipping costs”!! It is almost 20x the cost of the PCB for low
volume production.
Which mfg. offers the cheapest shipping?

Not a complete list:

That should get you started.

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I use hackvana, which offers essentially/close to free Hong Kong registered post shipping for small orders, in addition to the usual, more expensive, express DHL etc… options.

You’d probably have to drop into #hackvana on freenode to get a firm quote for your gerbers, which will be affected by substrate, layers, copper thickness, and soldermask/silk/RoHS etc… options, and the main factor, board dimensions.



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This question gets asked a lot. (Mostly by newcomers to the forum.)
The last one form January this year.

And one for assembly: (This one is a bit older.)

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Any answer you get here may not be accurate 30 days from now. Just about everybody in the industry uses “Special Offers” and gimmicky promotions from time to time. In a corporate environment you’re probably locked in to one or two “approved vendors” unless their prices are way out of line with prevailing prices. If you are an individual or freelancer, my advice is to shop around a little every time you place an order until you have a history of several orders to guide your future decisions.


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OSHpark is free shipping for USPS. For China pcb manufacturer, there’s not much difference of shipping fee.

PCB fabrication should have a significant setup cost, to cover the Gerber post-processing, drill setup and many other one off costs.
A common gimmick is to reduce this and conceal it as shipping. This is also abused to reduce declared value for customs duties and GST/VAT. This can backfire on you badly if customs get suspicious