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The cost of manufacturing for a printed circuit board depends on several things that should be taken into account during the design process. When you are new to the PCB world your design may not be optimised in terms of cost-effectiveness. So, what will affect the cost of PCB design and assembly?

Factors That Will Affect The Cost Of A PCB

Here, we will take a look at several recommendations that will help reduce the costs of PCB manufacturing.

Board Size

This is perhaps the most obvious one to think about. Because the PCB cost is created in relation to the area of the board, the costs go up the bigger the board is. This is why designers should always strive to keep the area of the board to a minimum.

Choose The Right Board Shape

Some printed circuit board fabrication companies will charge extra for irregular shapes, that is to say, shapes that differ from the standard square or rectangle.

Therefore, if the shape of the printed circuit board is not important for the design then it is recommended to design a board in a standard shape to help keep the costs down.

Avoid Slots

The PCB manufacturers will also charge extra for creating slots or inner cut-outs on the board. If slots are not required for mounting or anything else for that matter, it is recommended to avoid them, so you also avoid the extra charges.

Choose The Size Of Copper Objects And Spacing

The dimensions of copper objects, and of course the spacing between them is proportional to the costs of the manufacture of the printed circuit board. What this means is that as the dimensions of the copper objects and the spacing between them decreases, the cost of the PCB goes up.

Printing small objects on copper, machines which have higher precision and lower tolerances are needed. This equates to the more precision required means the more expensive it will be, and this price increase is felt more in low quantity orders and prototype builds.

Take the time to locate a reliable manufacturer and make use of the latest electronics PCB design software – this can help save time as well as money. Consider using the software produced by Altium as it comes with a free trial.

Nearly all printed circuit board assembly service providers say that they provide low cost or cost-effective services but not all of them actually do. First and foremost, you should be completely aware of your project requirements and your total budget. You should then do your due diligence and research assemblers either through the internet, trade magazines or trade shows. This will involve some time and effort but, in the end, it will be worth it.

One thing that you should not do is cut corners. Cutting corners almost always leads to errors and callbacks which is just going to cost you even more money, so it is in no way worth it.


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