Many friends ask me “ Do you know which fab house make the best and cheapest prototypes in China?” And in most cases, they mention they used to deal with **way and J$C or some other fab houses.
To sum up their differences, I’ve listed a few things you should know when making cheap prototypes.
Cheap fab houses make samples quick and cheap, sometimes 10*10cm*5pcs only costs you $2.00. And with some coupons returned, maybe you are enjoying the project totally free! But it won’t last long. Some big companies are doing this so as to eliminate the competitors, to attract nice traffic to lure something else. Eventually, free things usually are the most expensive to afford.
Cheap house are only offering cheap boards when it’s within the regular specs. Once you ask for ENIG (immersion gold) finishing or 2oz copper with a trace width of <5mil, they cannot make it at a good price. After engineering evaluations, they are going to refuse your order or charge you big bucks, without telling you the other alternative plans.
And in many cases, you would try to opt-in to another fab house since the last one turned out to be less satisfactory. But you know what, you are just using the same manufacture under another cover. Their bank account, invoices are all the same.
As end users are hobbyists or moderate companies, they cannot test the raw material but the board function, nor do they care what technology is used. Most of the cheap fabs use something called conductive adhesive technology, the price is only one-sixth of the copper-immersed process technology. You can’t make good things with such low prices, everyone knows that. But the boards can still meet the basic requirements.
Some fab houses maybe offering lower prices, some are super fast in delivery, some are inconsistent in quality and some are attracting new customers with attractive promotion plans. If you don’t mind spending more time to dig up the differences and throw your dice, they are good at cheap prototypes for a reason.
Alternatively, if you need consistent quality, reasonable price, excellent service, and projects that are too challenging for those fab houses to handle, XG is always here to support you. To find out what else we can do, please feel free to drop us a message anytime.