Electronics > Manufacturing & Assembly

Choosing a board house

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DMartens:
Hi ... watching YT videos and reading electronics blogs, the two board houses that seem to be most popular with hobbyists by far are PCBWay and JLCPCB ... I entered/uploaded three different board designs to both sites and checked out their prices ... board sizes were 100x100mm, 100x160mm and 160x300mm ... mix of SMD and THT components ... standard FR4 material ... 2 and 4 layers ... white silkscreen ... green solder mask ... no v-bit routing, no castelations, no buried vias or other "special" features ... in short, your typical run-of-the-mill specs.

On average, PCBWay came out to be between 3 and 5 times more expensive than JLCPCB, with estimated delivery times that are very similar.

So why do many YT creators promote PCBWay? Does "sponsored by" mean the creators are getting their boards for free? Or is PCBWay's quality superior thus explaining the cost?

NorthGuy:
There are many factors. For example, IMHO JLCPCB's ENIG is somewhat better than PCBWay's, but PCBWay uses better substrate, and does better routing - you won't get things like chipped-off corners. Also, when comparing, consider the shipping costs which will be higher in JLCPCB. However, PCBWay charges 1% bank fee.

Kean:

--- Quote from: DMartens on June 15, 2024, 04:03:34 pm ---Does "sponsored by" mean the creators are getting their boards for free?

--- End quote ---

In some cases yes.  And possibly other payment or perks.
JLCPCB also do similar sponsorship deals.  Notably, I've seen a few recently for the 3D printed parts.
I don't know which is more "enticing" for sponsorship.

I've had good dealings with both, but generally use JLC for a number of reasons for my prototypes and small scale production - mostly related to convenience & price.

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