Cheap PCB Design Process

Making a cheap PCB is easier than you think. Here is short summary of how to create your layout and a list of some PCB manufacturers that you can choose from to get your circuit board manufactured.

Blinking LED PCB from OSHPark

What you need to create a PCB:

I’ve written a PCB Design tutorial for KiCad that will show you exactly how to design a PCB from scratch.

Next, choose one of these cheap PCB manufacturers:

Cheap PCB Manufacturers

OSH Park

OSHPark is a US-based PCB manufacturer. They’re famous for their purple PCBs. I love that you can upload your KiCad files directly without having to create Gerber files first. It just makes everything a bit easier.

Seeed Studio

Seeed Studio is Based in China. Cheap and friendly. I visited them on my trip to China a while back, and I can highly recommend them.

Also, check out my interview with Seeed Studio from when I was just starting out.


Eurocircuits is a European-based PCB manufacturer. It’s my go-to manufacturer when I am working on professional projects where quality is more important than price.


PCBWay is a Chinese PCB and Assembly service that can offer really good prices. I’ve ordered from them once, and the board arrived about one week after I placed my order.

Compare Different Manufacturers

A really good resource for finding a cheap PCB manufacturer is Here you can enter your board size and where you are located in the world and get both price and estimated delivery time for a lot of different manufacturers.

When you have selected your manufacturer, go ahead and follow their instructions on how to send them your design files¸ then sit back and wait for your fresh circuit board to arrive in the mail =)

Don’t know how to design a cheap PCB?

It’s extremely useful to learn how to design circuit boards on your own. I waited too long before learning it, but when I finally did – a whole new world opened up for me. Suddenly I was able to build projects with RFID technology, large microcontroller boards, quadcopters, see-through-wall sensors and much more.

To learn to design PCBs, check out my beginner’s KiCad tutorial.

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17 thoughts on “Cheap PCB Design Process”

  1. PCBWay Experience:
    I ordered on a Friday afternoon about 3pm and had my boards Tuesday morning with their standard service. The quality was outstanding and the free blue solder mask made for a nice touch.

    I made some errors in my first board design but the low cost made it painless. I’ve just sent my second order to them with all my mistakes corrected so I’m looking forward to a repeat performance. They also allow you to get free prototype boards with your order which is a very nice

  2. I’ve used OSH Park’s service now for about 3 years with excellent results. They’ve added couple new services lateley and am very appreciative of the new 1/8″ board service. There also is a OSH Stencil (separate website) service that works wonders when flow soldering. The stencil service a little spendy but will pay itself back in WIP losses.

  3. As far as I know most pcb manufacturer’s minimum order should be 5 and mostof them only accept Gerber files.
    There are a lot of Pcb manufacturers, factors such as the quality, price, freight, and distance need considered.
    I saw a vendor on facebook, WellPCB, their online calculation, very affordable, the quality should also be good.

    • I know that China has a OURPCB and is headquartered in Australia.
      Specially manufactured to produce PCB and PCBA, the minimum order quantity is 1 board, the normal 5-6 days of manufacturing is completed, the expedited 24 hours, the price is very low, good!

  4. I don’t know anything about electronics but I would like to get a schematic drawn up for a chip to drive a uni polar stepper motor. I could send the pin outs of the chip and leads of the stepper. This isn’t a large job and could be done I suspect in 0.5 hour if the person knows what their doing. Please quote me a price and delivery date. After that if you could do a layout on a single board, then I could get the gerber file and get some trial boards made in China.
    Thanks and Best Regards, Kevin Delany 905 277-3044

  5. Does anyone know if any of these board makers offer to conformal coat them? Does Ki-CAD or other allow for specifying the area to be coated?

    • It should be possible to specify a layer for this in KiCad. But I have never seen it offered by the PCB manufacturers, but I’ve never looked for it either, so might be available.


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