Author Topic: Shared PCBs  (Read 999 times)

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Offline artag

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Shared PCBs
« on: October 30, 2019, 02:44:09 pm »
I have some PCB layouts I want to make available. I don't want the hassle of ordering, holding stock and dispatching the PCBs themselves so the 'shared PCB' concept where the board house makes them for anybody from my design files seems great, as long as it's economical for the small number of PCBs that anyone might want to order.

The first of these I tried sharing via OSHpark. They will make and post it for $8 for 3 boards and that seems very acceptable. But another - 5 x larger, but still under the 100x100 limit that's quite common on these aggregation services - is over $40 for 3, much less attractive. I guess OSHPark must price linearly by area rather than having a default minimum.   The 5 samples I had made by jlcpcb cost me $2.50 shipped (admittedly that included several one-time-only discounts but normal price would still be only about $10, I think).

I've tried various low-cost (and some more expensive UK) PCB printers and been entirely happy with the service from all them. The quality is fine for the jobs I'm doing, and I'm quite happy with the slow speed of cheap postage (in general I've found that spending more on the pcbs has very little effect on speed but spending more on postage can save 1-2 weeks). So it's just the sharing mechanism I'm looking for, I think any of the manufacturers will be fine otherwise.

I believe I've seen someone else (one of the chinese manufacturers) offering this sort of open design deal but not sure who - is there a particularly good place to do it, or some other way to make them available ? I think many low cost sources are disadvantaged through no fault of their own by high postage costs. I'm very happy to let the Chinese government subsidise those !

 
« Last Edit: October 30, 2019, 02:46:30 pm by artag »
 

Offline excitedbox

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Re: Shared PCBs
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2019, 03:20:22 pm »
I have considered making a circuit / schematic sharing site that would include sharing board designs. I am just too busy with 3 other projects right now to take on another project by myself.

I wanted to make it easier to share projects and collaborate with versioned software and hardware downloads. It wouldn´t be difficult for people to download the files and send them off to whoever to get made.

People could then upload everything from case designs, to parts lists, to firmware, all packaged neatly together by project version.

A big thing would also be reference designs for building larger circuits. Like a filtering or amplifying circuit to use in a design.

 

Offline spongle

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Re: Shared PCBs
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2019, 04:12:16 pm »
dirtypcbs.com
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Shared PCBs
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2019, 04:15:11 pm »
I just post the gerbers and bom on github, then people can use whatever board house they want.
 
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Offline artag

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Re: Shared PCBs
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2019, 05:01:52 pm »
I agree it's quite possible to post the files and let people do their own thing. That's fine for people who have done it before or want to use their favourite board house.  However, I think there's also a good argument for having a 'buy a board' button on a site that's already made some and been 'approved' by the designer.

spongle - thanks, that could well be the chinese site I saw it before : https://dirtypcbs.com/store/designer/pcbs . I'm interested to know if anyone has an opinion on how that compares with OSHPark's similar service.

excitedbox - yes, kind of like thingiverse  ? But github or similar probably already provide a good enough service for that, it's the combination of repository and manufacturer / dispatcher that I'm looking for.
 

Offline kizmit99

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Re: Shared PCBs
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2019, 09:35:47 pm »
PCBWay has a Shared Projects section which sounds like exactly what you are looking for (now whether or not anyone finds your design there is TBD)...
https://member.pcbway.com/specials/SharedProject
 
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Online thm_w

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Re: Shared PCBs
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2019, 10:48:57 pm »
Elecrow sort of does this, but the cost is inflated: https://www.elecrow.com/cooperated-designers.html
Seeed I believe it was, had a discount if you "open source" your design when you ordered. When you did this you would get some free PCBs from other open source projects. This was a cool idea IMO, and they just need to have a box of "surplus" PCBs to grab from.

The problem with having specific PCB stock on hand, is its going to take effort to stock and organize boards, that may be gone a day later. Its a huge amount of time/effort spent, you could never charge enough to cover the costs, or people will just re-order with the gerbers for less.

Looks like the dirtyPCB option is the best so far.
 

Offline OwO

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Re: Shared PCBs
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2019, 02:03:51 am »
I would simply put the design files on GitHub (not just the gerbers), since gerbers are hard to edit. Personally if I'm ordering someone else's design I'd also like to look over the design (both schematics and layout) beforehand to see if there are quick customizations I'd like to make.
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Offline james_s

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Re: Shared PCBs
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2019, 03:58:40 am »
Oh I post the design files too but most people I've talked to who have built my projects just used the gerbers. It makes the software unimportant.
 

Offline 741

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Re: Shared PCBs
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2020, 09:37:39 pm »
Quote
I'm very happy to let the Chinese government subsidise those
AFAIK, it's not the Chinese government doing the subsidy; indirectly I suppose it's us, see https://www.ft.com/content/3af8bfb8-ad3a-11e8-94bd-cba20d67390c.


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