Cheap PCB Prototype

PCB, aka, the printed circuit board has definitely changed the course of electric and electronics history forever. From the most advanced electrical vehicles to the engineering university project accomplishment, PCBs are essential almost in every sector. However, students and the first-time maker may not need high-end and expensive PCBs at all. Instead, they can work fine with the PCB prototypes.

Thus, many people look for cheap PCB prototypes. Also, manufacturers and users of PCB want to know the cost of PCB.

Ideally, PCB prototypes are easy to manufacture and cheaply available. Plus, it has limited applications and usability. Nonetheless, we will discuss the lowest PCB price ensuring that you get the best quality with its prototypes.

So, let’s check this out.

Table of Contents

Factors Determining PCB Prototype Cost

When you look to find cheap prototypes, you have to first understand how the costing works for these circuit board prototypes. It will help you fix which side needs more attention and which you can leave to get the prototypes within your budget range.

The most common features that affect the PCB prototype cost includes-

Size of PCB Prototype:

Not all prototypes will be the same size. The size will vary depending on your PCB applications and project needs. As a rule of thumb, larger circuit boards will cost more than smaller boards. It happens because larger boards will need more materials and time for production.

Types of PCB:

Printed circuit boards are available in different types depending on their substrate materials. You can get the prototypes in standard copper, ceramic, transparent glass, and other materials. Usually, copper circuit boards are the cheapest, and ceramic  boards are the most expensive ones.

However, for simple engineering projects and students, copper-based PCBs will be the best choice. It is moderately priced and also features just about the right facilities you would want. Some high-end PCBs may include ceramic PCBs. But it won’t serve amateurs’ purpose.

Numbers of PCB Layers:

Next, the number of layers on the prototypes will also determine its cost. As you may imagine, single-layer PCBs are the most affordable. As the layers on the PCB prototype increase, the manufacturing cost of the circuit board will also increase.

For instance, 6 layer blue mask PCB soldering will be 2X costlier compared to the Flex 4 layer PCBs. Thus, your costing for the overall PCB prototype will depend heavily on the number of layers it has. Ideally, high-end electrical vehicles will need dual or four layers on their PCB segmentation. On the contrary, PCB makers on a strict budget will easily get on with the single-layer circuit boards for their regular projects.

PCB Complexity:

The next big factor for PCB cost is its complexity. The complexity of the printed circuit board will refer to the number of components it has, the density of the board, its wiring system, etc. For example, high-end circuit boards will surely have more components which will skyrocket their pricing.

Similarly, the wiring system will define its overall pricing. Next, the substrate density comes forward to add to the costing factor.

Manufacturing Speed and PCB Numbers:

You have to fix it when you need the circuit board prototypes. Do you need express delivery or regular delivery for the prototypes? Similarly, you have to decide how many prototypes you will need for your projects.

If you need quick production and delivery of the circuit board prototypes, you will have to pay more for it. On the contrary, if you are ready to get the circuit board on a delayed deadline, you can get them cheaply.

On top of it, the number of PCB prototypes you need will also determine its cost. If you need a few pieces of prototypes, its per piece cost will be much higher. But, if you need these prototypes in hundreds, the cost for each PCB will reduce dramatically.

Cheap PCB Prototype:

Since we know understand the factors that determine prototype costs, let’s turn the focus on the cheapest prototypes. But for this, you need to learn the actual price of the PCB prototypes. But it is indeed difficult until you can determine which prototype you want along with its layers, efficiency, and delivery time.

For instance, at times the bare board may cost over $100. On the contrary, the prototype can be gettable in just a few dollars. As the general rule suggests to us, the prototype will cost will depend on the size of the PCB prototype batch. If the circuit board manufacturing batch is large enough you can indeed get it cheaper price.

For instance, FX PCB will deliver you a bare prototype for around $2 to $3, for the standard ones. The costing will remain more or less the same for other manufacturers as well. Nonetheless, you can expect to get a 10cmX10cm by circuit board prototype for around $2.

The actual configuration that you can get with these two dollar for prototypes-

  • A 10cm by 10cm board.
  • 10 pieces of board
  • It will have 2 layers, maximum
  • The copper track or substrate will be 1.6mm thick
  • Its weight (copper track) will be 1oz.

If you order more circuit board prototypes such as 100 prototypes with the same specifications, the cost for each board will reduce significantly.

FX PCB uses the modern automation system and advanced circuit board designing software to manufacture the prototypes. Plus, our cost-cutting and streamlined production line also help to reduce the circuit board cost. All these facilities help FX PCB to supply the cheapest circuit board prototypes for students and budget makers.

Conclusion

Although many people won’t believe it, you can get a cheap PCB prototype in around two dollars. If you plan for a student project or simply need it for simple device manufacturing, you can get them. FX PCB is ready to deliver the circuit board prototypes of different categories at the least possible price. But it won’t compromise with the quality which will provide you get relief if you are on a strict budget.

Peter Gong
Peter Gong

I am Peter Gong. I have been working in PCB and PCBA industry for 15+ years now. I have been a part of the PCB revolution with my dedication to circuit board technologies and creative ideas. I write in FX PCB to impart my knowledge on PCB and PCBA for all circuit board lovers, manufacturers, and users.

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