I have been asked a few times about where I make all of my PCBs and boards. So I thought I should share that experience here, which is what this blog post is about. In past 5 years, I have used PCB services from several companies, including Itead, Seeed, Elecrow, and Oshpark. There is no doubt that the Oshpark PCBs are far superior than the first 3 Chinese vendors. The downside of Oshpark is the cost of manufacturing is much higher, specially for larger size boards. Among Itead, Seeed, and Elecrow, I have never really noticed any differences in the quality of the PCBs that I received from them. In early 2013, when Itead and Seeed charged extra bucks for color PCBs (solder mask with different color than Green), I discovered Elecrow was offering it for free, and I started using their services over the other two. My biggest advantage of switching to Elecrow is they are able to source components for my boards at reasonable prices.
Elecrow is a small Shenzhen-based company who manufactures open-source hardware boards for Arduino and IoT platforms. Besides, they also provide excellent PCB manufacturing, PCB assembly, and laser-cut custom stencil services at affordable prices. All of my products at Tindie store are assembled by Elecrow. Here’s a showcase of some of these products.
|Easy Pulse sensor
|Easy Pulse Mikro
|RGB panel driver shield
|PIC16F development board
|PIC development board
It’s been over 3 years now using their services and collaborating on some joint products,
and I can confidently say that they have done a great job for me in bridging the gap from my hand-made prototypes to the actual products. There were a few instances where some of my assembled boards didn’t turn out exactly as I expected. But their customer service was great in handling those situations. They gladly admitted their fault when it’s theirs, and fixed the issues at no extra costs. Communicating with them has always been prompt and excellent.
The reviews posted above are my honest and unbiased opinions based on my 3 years experience with the Elecrow team and I have not received any kind of benefit from them for writing this article.