PCB Prototyping Simplified by PCBWay
Join me as I recount a personal journey that completely revolutionized my electronics engineering experience. At the outset of my ventures in the world of electronics, crafting PCBs proved to be an arduous and time-consuming task, putting my patience to the test with toner transfer methods and the complexities of local manufacturing. However, the challenges didn’t stop there; I constantly found myself racing against time to procure elusive components, leading to frustrating delays in my projects.
While there were various tools available for PCB designing, such as OrCad, DipTrace, Eagle, Altium, among others, it was the PCB manufacturing process that presented the most formidable obstacle.
However, that all changed when I stumbled upon PCBWay. It was a game-changer for my prototyping needs. Gone were the days of labor-intensive DIY approaches and the frustration of hunting down rare components. PCBWay’s platform provided me with a refreshing and efficient solution, breathing new life into my projects.
With PCBWay by my side, I unleashed my creativity without limitations. From intricate hobbyist projects to more complex professional endeavors, PCBWay catered to all my needs. Their services allowed me to focus on what I loved most—designing and innovating—while they took care of the rest.
Let’s take a walkthrough of the PCBWay website and explore how we can order PCBs.
Above is the dashboard of PCBWay, which becomes visible upon signing up or signing in. This user-friendly interface displays essential account information such as pending balance, ongoing orders, and other relevant details.
To initiate a new order, simply click on the “PCB Instant Quote” or “Get Assembly Quote” button located on the top menu bar. These options will seamlessly guide you through the process of creating your order with ease.
At PCBWay, you have access to a diverse range of PCB manufacturing configurations. You can select from materials like “FR-4,” “Aluminum,” “Rogers,” “Copper,” and more. The platform offers flexibility in choosing PCB thickness, with options ranging from 0.2mm to 6mm.
One standout feature that I particularly appreciate is the extensive array of choices for solder mask and silk screen colors. This level of customization empowers you to tailor your PCB design to your preferences, creating a unique and visually appealing end product.
We also have the freedom of choice extends to selecting the copper thickness, ranging from 1 to 13oz. Moreover, you have a wide range of surface finishing options for the copper, including “HASL with lead,” “HASL lead-free,” “Immersion gold (ENIG),” “OSP,” “Hard gold,” “Immersion Silver (Ag),” “Immersion Tin,” “HASL lead-free + Selective immersion gold,” “HASL lead-free + Selective Hard gold,” “Immersion gold + Selective Hard Gold,” “ENEPIG,” and more. This vast selection of surface finishes allows you to tailor your PCB to meet your specific requirements and preferences, ensuring a flawless end result.
We can use the help button (?) to know more details about the parameters.
After entering the specifications of the PCB, a simple click on the “Calculate” button provides us with the estimated cost of the PCB.
It offers a wide range of options to choose from, including “Standard PCB,” “Advanced PCB,” “FPC/Rigid-Flex,” “Assembly,” “SMD-Stencil,” “CNC|3D,” and more. These diverse choices cater to your specific needs and ensure a comprehensive selection of services.
One of the best aspects of PCB assembly at PCBWay is their turnkey solution, where they take care of procuring components for the PCB assembly process. Additionally, they offer the flexibility for customers to supply all the components themselves if desired. In certain cases, you also have the option to provide specific components while PCBWay handles the rest, ensuring a convenient and customized assembly experience.
After calculating the estimate for PCB and assembly services, you can seamlessly add it to your cart. Subsequently, the platform will prompt you to upload various artifacts of your PCBA design, ensuring a smooth and efficient ordering process.
A Gerber file is a standard file format used in the electronics industry to represent the artwork of a printed circuit board (PCB) design. It contains information about the PCB layout, such as copper traces, pads, holes, and other features needed for PCB fabrication.
The BOM, short for Bill of Materials, serves as a crucial counterpart to the Gerber file in PCB design tools. Typically, these tools provide an option to export the BOM file, which contains a comprehensive list and detailed information of all the components used in the PCB assembly.
Then the centroid file, also known as a Pick and Place file, is used in PCB assembly to guide the machines that place components on the board. It contains the exact coordinates and orientation information for each component, ensuring accurate and efficient assembly. This file simplifies the process and helps avoid mistakes during PCB manufacturing. This also we can export from PCB design tools.
In conclusion, PCBWay emerges as a leading and comprehensive solution for all your PCB manufacturing needs. With a vast range of material options, PCB thickness choices, and various surface finishing alternatives, you have the flexibility to design and customize your PCBs to perfection.
From selecting copper thickness to deciding on the ideal surface finish, PCBWay empowers you with unparalleled choices to create PCBs that align precisely with your project requirements. Whether it’s “HASL with lead,” “Immersion gold (ENIG),” “OSP,” or any other finish, PCBWay ensures the highest level of quality and precision.
Furthermore, their user-friendly platform and excellent customer support make the entire process seamless and stress-free. Should any confusion arise during the decision-making process, PCBWay’s dedicated customer support team is readily available to guide you every step of the way.
With PCBWay, you are not just receiving exceptional PCB manufacturing services; you are embarking on a journey where innovation meets excellence. Empower your projects with PCBWay’s reliability, customization options, and unparalleled support, and watch your electronic dreams come to life with ease and efficiency.