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What has your experience been with Futurlec PCB service?

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Gandledorf

New Member
I've been looking for lowcost PCB production, and noticed futurlec.com has some extremely low, nearly unbeatable prices. Has anyone here put PCB orders out through them?

I regularly buy parts from jameco.com, digi-key.com, mouser.com, and futurlec.com, and in my experience, futurlec tends to be the slowest at getting things to me, but also the best at pricing, so I was wondering if on custom made equipment, they might be low enough in quality to make them a non-option.

I'm not looking for "professional" PCB's, just ones that will do the job.

Any comments?
 

John Sorensen

New Member
I did a quick check on Futurlec's prices compared to ExpressPCB's miniboard service, and the quote is (coincidentally?) the same. If you live in the US, I'd recommend ExpressPCB. Their software is free, the boards are excellent, as is the service (delivery in a week or less).

j.


Step 6: Board Summary

Length: 76.2 mm
Width: 127 mm
Area: 9677.4 mm sq
Board Type: Double-Sided


Printed Circuit Board Quotation
Qty Description Each Total
3 Double-Sided Printed Circuit Boards 17.41932 52.25796
1 Setup and Artwork for above boards 10 10
Total 62.25796
 

Gandledorf

New Member
John Sorensen said:
I did a quick check on Futurlec's prices compared to ExpressPCB's miniboard service, and the quote is (coincidentally?) the same. If you live in the US, I'd recommend ExpressPCB. Their software is free, the boards are excellent, as is the service (delivery in a week or less).

j.

I'll have to check them out, too bad the CAD software is Windows only though (didn't see a version for Unix/Linux). I did notice, however, that their boards don't have silk screens, which makes it a bit harder to manufacture them quickly (as I'm giving some of these boards to friends to solder, so they can have duplicates of my designs).
 

Rescyou

New Member
Boards

One thing to consider when you get boards done is doing 4 boards on one pcb and have their perimeters drilled with close spaced holes so you can seperate them. I've done 16 boards at a time that have been snapped off one main board and it's significantly cheaper as most of the $$$$ goes to setup and not the actual sq/mm's

For Instance PCB123's price for 76mm x 127mm (3"x5") is $30 each if you take 4 boards.

If you make one big board 152mm x 254mm and have it drill sectioned to accomodate 4 of your boards, PCB123's price is $52 per board each if you take 4 boards.

So $52/4= $13 each instead of $30 if you had them made seperate.

Check it out with PCBexpress and see what the difference is between a single board or a large board that has been sectioned by close drilling.

Obviously there maybe extra dril charges but a lot of the manufacturers don't charge extra or the charge is negligable. I checked with PCB123 with one hole and 5500 holes on the above example and it stayed the same for pricing, others may too.

I use apcircuits.com, here is some info on countour perforation drilling (bottom of the page) for setting up the drill holes.

https://209.91.126.188/services/proto1/tips.html

I haven't used Futurlec's pcb service but they are generally have the best pricing on things, and their shipping time absolutely sucks. My Grandpa is still waiting on a steam engine from them he bought 87 years ago... well not quite that bad. Shipping to Alberta, CA usually takes them 1-1.5 MONTHS.


Resc.
 

Gandledorf

New Member
Thanks for all the help guys, I really appreciate it, I just had a few more questions/comments:

I did a quick check on Futurlec's prices compared to ExpressPCB's miniboard service, and the quote is (coincidentally?) the same. If you live in the US, I'd recommend ExpressPCB. Their software is free, the boards are excellent, as is the service (delivery in a week or less).

I didn't get the same results as you did... ExpressPCB list their price formula as being $67 + ($0.75 * NumberOfBoards * BoardAreaInSquareInches) + ($1.25 * NumberOfBoards) + Shipping.

Using 120mm x 120mm boards I got the following much better prices from Futurlec. A double sided only runs $87.76. With Express PCB, the cost would be $113.81 (if you send them one 120mm x 360mm board and cut it yourself).

For Instance PCB123's price for 76mm x 127mm (3"x5") is $30 each if you take 4 boards.
If you make one big board 152mm x 254mm and have it drill sectioned to accomodate 4 of your boards, PCB123's price is $52 per board each if you take 4 boards.

So $52/4= $13 each instead of $30 if you had them made seperate.

This does sound like a better deal, but I don't see where your prices are from as they list a 3"x5" board as $46, and the larger boards as being much more than $52 each. Where are you getting the prices from?



haven't used Futurlec's pcb service but they are generally have the best pricing on things, and their shipping time absolutely sucks. My Grandpa is still waiting on a steam engine from them he bought 87 years ago... well not quite that bad. Shipping to Alberta, CA usually takes them 1-1.5 MONTHS.

This has been my experience too, but for the savings they give me I can typically wait for it ;)
 

Rescyou

New Member
Pcb123

Pcb123 computes the cost of the board on the same screen as the design software.

You can download their software for free but I do believe you can only submit the data from the program to them for circuit manufacturing.

https://www.pcb123.com/

Resc.
 

sdvpblj

New Member
futurlec

I have used futurelec. The quality is fine, but they do take a while to arrive.

Also, depending on the board, Barebones PCB (Advanced circuits) at Express fabrication of pcbs from gerber files. has been cheaper with less than a week turnaround for a board with nothing additional (no silk screen, no solder mask.)

Both companies take gerber files which I generate using the PCB program in Linux

Barry Johnson
 

MrAl

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Hi,

Are they the ones with the pcb building too? I inquired once and they
said they were too busy.
 

flat5

Member
Futurelec will be slow to ship if they are waiting for parts.
You can ask them to ship what is in stock now.
My parts order arrived in 7 days. To Holland.
 
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