How to build PCB Prototypes in China for less cost & in a Shorter Time?

Most designers want to build their prototypes with less cost and shorter lead time. However, there is a long list when comes to determine how you wish for them to be built:

  1. How many prototypes do you want at the beginning?
  2. And what specs are the most reasonable and DFM friendly?
  3. Are these components you choose from the library easy to get from a local market or from where you want them to be built?
  4. Finally someone else asks the ultimate question “If you find out something needs to be changed, how quick can you modify the design and re-build the prototype?”

In a keen market competition, if you need a revision that may cost you a 2 week delay will make a big difference for the final product launch time, and may affect your sales profit.

In order to build the quickest and most affordable prototypes, here are 3 crucial things you need to know:

  1. Most typical China fab houses can only handle specs like the ones listed below. If you need heavy copper and narrow traces, please be cautious and confirm whether you really need them like that. Take the chart below for your reference. If your boards are within 1.6mm thickness, then other specs should be considered as below the best for manufacturing. But of course, XG and other capable factories can handle something beyond that if you require.

  1. Special materials like RF board/ High TG boards are not standard stock material for most factories. Check if they have a stock material that fits your design. Just in case they quoted 7 days, while telling you need to order materials after order is placed. Last week I got a customer asking for gray mask, while my vendor does not produce this.
  2. If you are looking at bulk order, please ask your local electronic distributor for prices or at least estimate some prices for those crucial components, or you may regret to find that the total chips prices are not going to be covered by the product retailing prices. I have witnessed many times desperate customers looking for obsolete or hard to find parts from unstable sources. And they paid big money to keep the projects going.

So my dear designer friends, we all understand that there are too many details to be considered when comes to make a prototype. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out any time.

XG is always here to support your projects and inquiries.

Find us at FB @Xgtechnologies.

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