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Top 10 Cheap PCB Manufacturing Companies In 2023

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are essential components in nearly all modern electronics. As products get smaller and more complex, there is increasing demand for high-quality, affordable PCB prototypes and production runs. Choosing the right PCB manufacturer can have a big impact on your budget and project timeline.

This article highlights the top 10 cheap PCB manufacturing companies based on factors like pricing, capabilities, quality, and customer service. Whether you need a simple 2-layer board or a complex multilayer HDI PCB, these companies provide low-cost options for startups, makers, and engineers on a budget.

Top 10 Cheap PCB Manufacturers

CompanyLocationMinimum OrderTurnaround Time
RayMingChina5 boards24 hours
PCBWayChina5 boards24 hours
JLCPCBChina5 boards24 hours
ALLPCBChina1 board24 hours
EasyEDAChina5 boards24 hours
PCBCartChina10 boards24 hours
WellPCBChina1 board48 hours
Seeed StudioChina5 boards7 days
OSH ParkUSA3 boards15 days
i3 ElectronicsCanada1 board7 days

Below is an overview of each PCB manufacturer along with pricing details, capabilities, and quality considerations.

1. RayMing

RayMing is a cheap PCB prototype and production house based in China. They offer 24-hour express turnaround on orders as low as 5 boards.

Pricing

  • 5 boards for $33
  • 10 boards for $66
  • 100 boards for $138

RayMing has some of the lowest prices in the industry while maintaining high quality standards. They don’t charge extra for features like impedance control or HAL lead times.

Capabilities

  • Layers: 1-16
  • Minimum trace/space: 4/4mil (0.1mm)
  • Blind/buried vias
  • Impedance control
  • Flex & rigid-flex
  • Assembly

Quality

RayMing has an on-time delivery rate of 99% and very low defect rates of less than 0.1%. They are ISO 9001 certified and perform 100% electrical testing.

Customer Service

24/7 customer service and engineering support. DFM checks are provided to catch any errors before manufacturing. Overall excellent reviews and responsiveness.

2. PCBWay

Founded in 2009, PCBWay has grown into one of the largest and most trusted PCB fabricators. They offer cheap prototyping and production with 24-hour express turnaround.

Pricing

  • 5 boards for $33
  • 10 boards for $66
  • 100 boards for $150

PCBWay has tiered pricing that allows higher volume orders to get cheaper per board pricing. Their prices are very competitive, especially for more complex board designs.

Capabilities

  • Layers: 1-16
  • Minimum trace/space: 4/4mil (0.1mm)
  • Blind/buried vias
  • Controlled impedance
  • Flex & rigid-flex PCBs
  • Assembly services

Quality

PCBWay delivers on-time over 98% of the time. They are ISO 9001, UL, TS16949, and IATF16949 certified. Testing includes flying probe, AOI, and functional testing.

Customer Service

Support options include 24/7 live chat, email, and phone. The online ordering system is user-friendly with design rule checks and quotes within minutes.

3. JLCPCB

JLCPCB has grown tremendously over the past decade to become one of the top PCB fabricators in China. They offer cost-effective prototyping and production runs with 24-hour turnaround available.

Pricing

  • 5 boards for $33
  • 10 boards for $50
  • 100 boards for $80

JLCPCB has some of the best prices in the industry. Volume pricing drops quickly, and they offer additional discounts for new customers.

Capabilities

  • Layers: 1-12
  • Minimum trace/space: 4/4mil (0.1mm)
  • Blind/buried vias
  • Controlled impedance
  • Assembly services

Quality

JLCPCB promotes their quality testing process for every order. They have a rating of 4.8/5 stars on Trustpilot. On-time delivery is over 95%.

Customer Service

Support options include email, 24/7 live chat, and phone. The online ordering system is fast and easy to use. Design rule checks happen quickly.

4. ALLPCB

ALLPCB is a quick-turn PCB production house that offers cheap prototype and production prices. They have factories in China to produce quality PCBs at low costs.

Pricing

  • 1 board for $33
  • 5 boards for $88
  • 10 boards for $138

ALLPCB has minimum order quantities as low as one board. Volume discounts provide cheaper per board pricing for additional boards.

Capabilities

  • Layers: 1-16
  • Minimum trace/space: 4/4mil (0.1mm)
  • BGAs, blind/buried vias
  • Controlled impedance
  • Flex & rigid-flex
  • Assembly services

Quality

ALLPCB promotes their quality inspection systems including AOI testing. They are ISO 9001 and IATF 16949 certified. On-time delivery exceeds 98%.

Customer Service

Support options include email, phone, and 24/7 live chat. The online system is easy to use for quotes, design rule checks, and ordering.

5. EasyEDA

EasyEDA provides low-cost PCB prototype production combined with online design tools. They support the maker community with cheap pricing for small quantities.

Pricing

  • 5 boards for $66
  • 10 boards for $88
  • 100 boards for $218

EasyEDA offers free PCB layout software and inexpensive fabrication pricing, even for small quantities.

Capabilities

  • Layers: 1-4
  • Minimum trace/space: 6/6mil (0.15mm)
  • Blind/buried vias
  • Controlled impedance
  • Lead-free assembly

Quality

EasyEDA provides photos of all completed boards along with dimensional inspection reports. They have on-time delivery over 95% of the time.

Customer Service

Support options include email, community forums, and online documentation. The website is easy to navigate with instant quotes and design rule checks.

6. PCBCart

PCBCart provides fast PCB prototype manufacturing with cheap pricing, especially for standard FR4 designs. They have global facilities to offer fast delivery.

Pricing

  • 10 boards for $50
  • 50 boards for $150
  • 500 boards for $750

PCBCart offers very affordable pricing for medium-high volume production orders. Discounts are given for larger quantities.

Capabilities

  • Layers: 1-16
  • Minimum trace/space: 6/6mil (0.15mm)
  • Blind/buried vias
  • Controlled impedance
  • Lead-free assembly

Quality

PCBCart promotes their quality control process featuring AOI testing and ICT probing. On-time delivery rate is over 95%.

Customer Service

Customer support options include email, phone, and live chat. Their online system provides instant quoting and design rule checks.

7. WellPCB

WellPCB provides low-cost PCB prototyping and fabrication. They have a quick turnaround time starting at just 48 hours.

Pricing

  • 1 board for $33
  • 5 boards for $88
  • 10 boards for $138

WellPCB has promotions and deals for first-time customers. Volume pricing drops the more boards you order.

Capabilities

  • Layers: 1-12
  • Minimum trace/space: 4/4mil (0.1mm)
  • Blind/buried vias
  • Controlled impedance
  • Lead-free assembly

Quality

WellPCB uses testing methods like flying probe electrical tests and AOI. They promise 0% defects and next-day remakes if any issue is found.

Customer Service

Support options include 24/7 live chat, email, phone, and Skype. The website makes it easy to upload designs, get quotes, and place orders.

8. Seeed Studio

Seeed Studio offers low-volume PCB prototype production aimed at makers and engineers. They have cheap pricing for small projects.

Pricing

  • 5 boards for $22
  • 10 boards for $33
  • 100 boards for $150

Seeed Studio offers free shipping on all PCB orders. Volume discounts provide lower per board costs.

Capabilities

  • Layers: 1-4
  • Minimum trace/space: 6/6mil (0.15mm)
  • Blind/buried vias
  • Lead-free assembly

Quality

Seeed Studio provides design feedback if any issues are found. They use automated optical inspection (AOI) to check quality. On-time delivery rate is over 95%.

Customer Service

Support is offered via email and online ticketing. The website is easy to use for uploading designs, getting quotes, and ordering in just a few clicks.

9. OSH Park

OSH Park focuses on serving makers, hobbyists, and engineers needing low volume PCB production. They offer cheap boards made in the USA.

Pricing

  • 3 boards for $5 per square inch
  • Each additional board is $1.50

OSH Park has per square inch pricing, so smaller boards cost less. Their quality and USA-made production justify slightly higher costs.

Capabilities

  • Layers: 1-4
  • Minimum trace/space: 8mil (0.2mm)
  • ENIG surface finish
  • Open source file sharing

Quality

OSH Park produces quality boards with 0.5 oz copper, immersion silver plating, and 100% electrically tested. The website shows preview images before ordering.

Customer Service

Support options include email and community forums. The online ordering process allows file sharing and previews before buying.

10. i3 Electronics

i3 Electronics is a low-cost PCB production house based in Canada. They cater towards makers, students, and engineers needing fast prototyping.

Pricing

  • 1 board for $50
  • 5 boards for $100
  • 10 boards for $200

i3 Electronics has transparent pricing starting at quantities of one board. Each additional board costs less due to volume discounts.

Capabilities

  • Layers: 1-6
  • Minimum trace/space: 6/6mil (0.15mm)
  • Lead-free assembly
  • ENIG surface finish

Quality

They offer a quality guarantee on all boards with rigorous testing before shipping. Production is done locally in Canada.

Customer Service

Support is available via email and a web contact form. Their website is easy to use for getting quotes and ordering even small quantities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some key factors to consider when choosing a PCB manufacturer?

Some important factors include:

  • Cost: Quote pricing and compare costs per board based on volume. Check for potential hidden fees.
  • Quality: Look for quality certifications, testing capabilities, and guarantees. Reviews from past customers can provide insight.
  • Capabilities: Ensure the manufacturer can produce the number of layers, board complexity, tolerances, and surface finishes required.
  • Lead Times: Choose the fastest supplier that meets your project timeline requirements. Some offer same-day or 24-hour rush service.
  • Customer Service: Check ease of ordering, design support, communication responsiveness, and overall experience.

How do you maintain quality when manufacturing PCBs at low costs?

There are a few key ways PCB manufacturers can maintain quality while still offering low pricing:

  • Factory scale – Larger factories can take advantage of economies of scale to lower costs through high volume orders and optimized production lines.
  • Automated testing – Automated optical inspection (AOI), flying probe testing, and other test automation methods lower labor costs while increasing quality assurance.
  • Standardized processes – Standardization and repeatable processes reduce errors and improve quality consistency.
  • Bulk materials purchasing – Buying substrate materials, solder, and components in high bulk lowers per unit costs.
  • Optimized supply chain – An efficient supply chain reduces overhead costs and lead times.
  • Limited services – Limiting custom services like hand soldering, extra testing, or pre-assembly support can keep base costs down.
  • Manufacturer location – Using factories in China and other regions with lower labor costs can reduce manufacturing expenses.

What are the main factors that impact PCB pricing?

The primary factors that influence the costs of PCBs include:

  • Number of layers – More layers require additional materials, processes, and expertise, increasing costs.
  • Board size – Per square inch pricing is common. Smaller boards save money.
  • Board thickness – Standard 1.6mm costs less than thinner boards down to 0.4mm or thicker boards like 2.4mm.
  • Tolerances – Tighter traces spaces and hole sizes under 8 mils require more precision and cost more.
  • Materials – FR4 glass epoxy is the cheapest. Other substrates like Rogers, polyimide, Gore, and Teflon are more expensive.
  • Quantity – Volume discounts provide much cheaper per board costs, even starting at 5-10 boards.
  • Lead times – Standard lead times around 5 days are cheapest. Faster 24-hour or same day rush service adds costs.
  • Special processing – Additional services like via filling/plugging, controlled impedance, and thermal relief add costs.
  • Certifications – Some certifications like UL or IPC require additional oversight and processes.
  • Location – Domestic US boards cost more than China-based providers.

How long do PCBs usually take to manufacture?

The typical manufacturing timeline for PCBs includes:

  • 1-3 days for design, layout, and checking files.
  • 1 day for preparing manufacturing files and ordering materials.
  • 3-5 days for actual PCB fabrication and assembly. This includes processes like lamination, drilling, plating, solder mask, silkscreen, testing, etc.
  • 1 day for shipping.

So the total turnaround time is usually 5-10 days on average. However, many manufacturers offer expedited services:

  • 24 hour – Requires limited complexity and extra fees
  • 48 hour – Good for simpler board designs
  • 3-4 day – Most common fast turnaround service
  • 6-7 day – Standard service for low costs

Some factors that can increase turnaround times include high-layer counts, advanced PCB technologies, and large quantities which require scheduling production.

What types of files do PCB manufacturers expect for printed circuit boards orders?

The design files required depend slightly on manufacturer, but usually include:

  • Gerber Files – The most common standard format. There are typically one file for each layer: top and bottom copper layers, drill/holes file, solder mask layers, silkscreen, etc.
  • Drill Files – NC drill files indicate the size and location of all drilled holes. Excellon or Sieb & Meyer are common formats.
  • Board Outline/Profile – Indicates the exact board shape and dimensions, usually as a mechanical layer.
  • Component Placement File – Shows where all components go for PCB assembly. Common formats are CSV, BOM, or pick and place files.
  • 3D Model – Optional file like STEP for enclosure design and fitting with the PCB.

Many manufacturers also have online tools to check designs and convert various CAD formats like Altium or KiCad into the needed output files.

What are common solder mask colors for PCBs?

The most common solder mask colors include:

  • Green – This is the standard color used on most PCBs. It provides good contrast to the silver traces and pads.
  • Blue – Also widely used, blue masks give good visibility. Blue is common for boards using white silkscreen labels.
  • Red – Used when higher contrast is needed compared to green. Works well with gold plated pads/traces.
  • Yellow – Yellow masks are bright and vibrant. Yellow can enhance visibility of boards with components on both sides.
  • Black – Rarely used because it reduces contrast and visibility of the traces and pads. Mostly used for aesthetic reasons.
  • White – White masks provide the highest contrast from pads/traces. But white can discolor or stain more easily over time compared to darker mask colors.
  • Clear/Transparent – Removing the solder mask exposes the bare copper pads and traces
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