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Review: PCB Service from PCBWay

Sponsored Review

PCBWay is a large PCB manufacturing company from China. PCBWay offered me to test their PCB prototype service.

The PCB prototype service is an online service for electronics developers, makers and hobbyists. The service offers fast production within 24h for small orders and high quality of PCB prototypes.

On the front page of the PCBWay you will find a function Instant Quote to calculate the cost of your PCB project. After entering the PCB dimensions, quantity, layer number and the thickness of the board the system calculates the PCB price including shipping.

Test Projects
For my PCB service review I choose 2 of my current PCB projects - a bargraph display board with the size of 24x50mm and a round PCB project for an IR booster.

Both PCB projects are designed with Eagle CAD.

Order process
Before you order your PCBs you need to sign up and login into the system. Now you can add the PCB items into the shopping cart by entering the online quote and saving to cart.
The shopping cart shows your saved project without the project data.

Each order item needs the corresponding project data in gerber format or other CAD format. Fortunately PCBWay offers the file upload of Eagle CAD files in brd-format.

With click on Add File you can upload the project data with file upload or drag&drop.

If you upload the file in Eagle format the system needs to convert the project file to gerber format.

After the conversion run the system shows the project as a preview in order to verify the uploaded project.

On the top of the page there is a download link for the gerber file download.

The project in gerber format is now ready to upload into the shopping card. After uploading the project data the shopping cart shows the items with the corresponding project files.

The system tells you that a review of the project data is done in 1 hour or less than 10 minutes.

The final order steps can proceed after the review. I received an email with the succesful review by PCBWay after 51 minutes.

I found a coupon code in my account in order to pay the PCB project.

The day after the order the status of the production was at 20%. A couple hours later the boards have been produced and are on the way to me.

PCB Project Boards
5 days after leaving the PCB factory the boards arrived at my home. PCBWay used DHL for fast shipping.

The PCBs are packed in a small box and wrapped up in bubble wrap.

I ordered the test boards in green with white silkscreen and HASL with lead as surface finish. This was the default setting on the order page.

One of my project boards is a round PCB. The board looks great and the round form is clean with no notches. The silkscreen is clear and even. The solder pads are also clean and the hand soldering of the components worked without problems.

Both PCB projects worked as expected after soldering.

Conclusion
Ordering of PCBs at PCBWay is easy and PCBWay offers many options in the PCB Selection Section of the order form. To test all options a few more orders are necessary 😉

With the DHL as the shipping option the boards arrived in less a week. The PCB is produced in less than 24 hours as PCBWay offers on the website.

If you need help during or after the PCB order the support agent will help you by email or online. Before I sent my test order to PCBWay I uploaded a test project to the system. A short time after the upload PCBWay contacted me and ask for the status of my project. I usually upload different PCB projects and collect them in the shopping cart until sending the whole order to the supplier. PCBWay was the first that contacted me before an order has been released.

PCBWay is a good choice if you need small or larger quantities of PCBs for a fair price. I will definitely add PCBway to my supplier list.

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