Have Questions About the PCB Design Services Process?
Here are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about the PCB design services process.
Please feel free to call us as well at (800) 320-2480
or email email@example.com.
1. How do I get a quote for PCB design services?
Please provide us with a native schematic (ideally) or a pdf schematic from your layout software and answer a few questions about your board. We’ll need to know the board size (unless you want us to determine it) and if you have any special features, like a particular shape, RF traces, matched line lengths, or if you need components or mounting holes placed in specific locations.
2. How long will it take to get my quote?
If your board has no special requirements, we will deliver a quote generally within a few hours of receiving your information. If you are really in a rush, call Ryan O’Connor at (760) 646-0745, and he will facilitate getting you a quote as quickly as possible. Remember that we can generally start on new projects the same day or the following day after we provide a quote.
3. Are you going to Auto-Route my boards?
No, we have a team of very experienced PCB designers who have been designing PCBs for many years. They provide the ‘common sense’ and expertise that auto-routers lack. They know how to optimize a board for manufacturing and keep it within IPC specs. They’re also experts at meeting regulatory requirements for UL, CE, and all significant certifications. We have found that the time it takes to clean up an auto-routed board can often exceed the time it would take to route it manually. Please read our Article about Autorouting.
4. How soon will my design be done?
Boards vary from simple to complex, but we’ll tell you how long it will take when we quote your boards.
Our design team is fast but will take the time required to ensure you receive a quality layout. We will have two or more reviews with you, with at least one after part placement and one after routing. Your response time at these two points will impact our delivery time, but we plan ahead, so you can too! If there are critical placement or routing requirements, we will complete those and send the files for review before continuing.
5. My quote seems excessive.
Give us a call and tell us why. Although we have been in business since 2000 and have developed a very accurate quoting system, there are certainly times when our quote may be off. Your board may have features that are throwing off our calculations. Sometimes this can come down to our design staff seeing things differently than you and your engineers. If you draw our attention to it, we’ll give your design a second review and modify our quote and our quoting process if you help us identify a shortcoming.
6. How do I get a netlist?
We can help you. If you had your design performed out of house, you might have a .net or .asc file that is the netlist, or we can help you extract one from your schematic entry program. Let us know, and we’ll have a designer contact you.
7. My board needs to fit in a particular case/location. How can we make that work?
If you have a mechanical drawing of what you want, we can work from that. If you don’t, we can design one for you. Give us a call, and we’ll have a designer review your mechanical constraints with you.
8. How do I review my board during the checkpoints?
We will send you the complete design files or pdfs at each review stage. At that time, we can also schedule a ‘live’ review with the engineer and our designer to review the board and make changes on the fly. During the live review, we’ll teleconference with you using a GoToMeeting (at no cost to you) so that you and your engineer can see the board and discuss potential changes in real-time.
9. How can I be sure my board is designed correctly for manufacture (DFM)?
Leave it to us! All of our designers are trained in Design for Manufacturability. Our experienced engineers will provide you with a list of suggestions if there are manufacturability issues with your design. We’ll then work with you to make your board what you want.
10. What about testability (DFT)?
Our designers have extensive experience with designing for test as well. Whether you want simple MDA (Manufacturing Defect Analysis) or more comprehensive functional testing, we can design with those goals in mind – just let us know!
11. What will you deliver?
We will deliver the complete set of board files so that you can make changes internally if needed in the future and a complete set of Gerbers, including drill chart and mechanical drawings – everything a board house needs to make your board.
12. What if I need other engineering help?
Let us know – we have electrical, software, and mechanical engineers – an entire design team, plus manufacturing facilities. We regularly take projects from concept through production and product sustaining – we can help you with any step in the process. Give us a call, and we’ll have one of our engineering managers discuss your project needs with you. Learn more about our engineering services on our PCB Engineering Page