Ordering printed circuit boards from a factory in China

Ordering printed circuit boards from a factory in China

Greetings to all MySku users! This is my first review, please do not swear strongly, I will take into account constructive criticism. I want to tell you how and where I ordered boards in China, as well as how to prepare a project on my own and what to look for. Let `s start?!

Somehow I wanted to repeat one of the projects found on the Internet, so much so that there were about a dozen friends who wanted to buy the finished product. To complete the project, you need to make a printed circuit board (hereinafter referred to as PCB), engage in LUT for such an industrial scale – for me this is the height of masochism, and I wanted factory beauty. Having monitored domestic offices where you can order software, I was disheartened by the prices, they are clearly losing to their foreign counterparts (in terms of cost), if you do not need ultra-precision, as for spacecraft, and a three-day urgency, then it is better to order in China! I chose this particular office for myself, others for one reason or another did not suit me.
BUT before placing an order on the site, we need to prepare the project itself. To prepare the software, I chose my favorite CAD program DipTrace.

So, after tracing in DipTrace, we need to export the result to the Gerber file format.
"File-Export-Gerber. »

We see the window

Select "Apertures", press "Auto" and close the window.
Next, select the "Top Marking" item, where "Objects" are indicated, leave the checkboxes by default. You can also click the "Preview" button and make sure that all the top markings are in place. We press "Export" and save the file with the name Top_silk. Since I have a two-layer PP, we export the "Bottom Marking" in the same way and save the file with the name Bottom_silk.
Next, we need to export the mask layers. Select "Upper mask", do not forget to check the boxes for "Transitions" and "Technical holes". Click "Export" and save the file with the name Top_mask, similarly export the bottom mask with the name Bottom_mask.
Let’s move on to the export of traces. Select “Top” in the “Objects” field, checkboxes are everywhere, except for “holes” and “dimensions”, export a file called Top. Similarly, we export the "Bottom" with the name Bottom. Please pay attention, we do not put the "Mirror" checkbox anywhere.
Next, export the borders, select "Board Borders", export with the name Border.
The last item remains, you need to export a file with a https://jiji.ng/42-self-contain-for-rent/ifako-gbagada description of the coordinates and diameters of all the holes on the board. To do this, “File-Export-NC/Drill…”
We leave everything as in the picture

Press the “Auto” button, then “Export” the file named Drill
Hurrah! We’re almost done.
/>Exported files can be viewed for errors in any Gerber-aware program, such as GerbMagic or Pentalogix Viewmate, the programs are free and easily found on the Internet.
Everything. exported files in one folder are saved in the rar archive. Now we are ready to order PP on the site

Now I’ll give you the possibilities of the factory:

I ordered a two-layer PP 65×60 mm in the amount of 10 pcs. The width of the tracks is from 0.3 mm to 0.5 mm with a distance between the tracks of 0.2 mm (there was no point in shrinking). Silkscreen width 0.25 mm. Transition holes: inner diameter 0.5 mm, outer diameter 1 mm.

It’s simple, register on the site. Go to the Online Price Calculator.

Basic ordering items
Dimension: PP size in cm
Layer: Number of layers
Quantity: PP quantity (minimum order 5 pcs)
Thickness : PCB Thickness (better to leave default 1.6 so it’s cheaper)
Solder Mask Color: Mask color (better to leave green, it’s cheaper)
Letter Color: Silkscreen color
Flying probe test: Here you can select Free for sample test
Leave the rest of the items by default.
Indicate your e-mail and click "Calculate"

For example, I filled in the fields, after the calculation we see the cost of work, the cost of delivery and its options, and the performance characteristics of the order.

Next, click “Upload PCB File, Place Order”
We see the window

Upload Files: upload the archive of the previously prepared PCB project.
Fill in the rest of the fields and confirm.

After placing an order, your project will be audited for specification errors and correctness. Next, you will be prompted to pay for the order, I chose PayPal. After confirmation of payment, the work is carried out approximately in three days. After that, photos of your PPs will be sent to you by e-mail.
Here is what they sent me.

Further, how the mail will work, I waited about three weeks. A nice bonus was that 11 boards came instead of 10. Apparently they cut from one blank, everything that fit was done. The boards came in a vacuum package. There was a tightly sealed package, which was already packed in a pimply film and placed in an ordinary cardboard box, rewound with tape. Photo "unpacking", unfortunately, did not.
Now a photo of the finished work:

I was satisfied with the quality of the boards, no serious remarks. No manufacturing errors were found. The silkscreen is smooth, everything is in its place. The trails are well laid out. There are no complaints about metallized transitions either. I rate the quality at 4 .

There are no living creatures at home, so as a bonus there will be

Regarding the layout of the board, so as not to breed a holivar, this is my first job, a bib, so to speak. I already see problem areas where I could do better.
According to the review, if I made mistakes somewhere, I think the veterans will correct me 🙂 If I have questions, I will try to answer in the comments or in private.