Seeed Studio’s new PCB assembly prototype service

in kit biz, News, PCBs by DP | 15 comments


Seeed Studio PCBA prototype service testing:

    Appreciated you use our fusion PCB service before. For greatly increase your efficiency for your product design from prototype stage, it bring a new service for your check.

We are going to launch a new service online at the end of July—PCB assembly prototype service. We could help quickly building prototypes for you to verify your designs. Combining with our OPL service, hope to greatly increase the efficiency for design reference and supply chain optimization. For now, the service is still in Alpha testing stage. We’ll highly appreciate if you could help in reviewing it. Please allow me to make a simple introduction of the service.

What is PCB assembly prototype service?
Seeed provides turn-key services for fully soldered and assembled prototypes for quantities 2 – 10. You just upload your Gerber files and select components from the Seeed OPL (open part library). Seeed will solder and assemble the PCB boards with the OPL components and ship within 3 days (excluding Chinese Holidays).

What is OPL service ?
OPL (Open Parts Library) is a collection of 100+ commonly used components. The Seeed OPL includes ICs, resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes, transistors, crystal oscillators, connectors, fuses, and more.

Here is the URL again: looking forward to any feedback.

This entry was posted in kit biz, News, PCBs and tagged , , .


  1. ken says:

    Any way to buy some of the connectors on their open source parts list?
    Some I’ve never seen in Mouser/Digikey catalogs…

  2. Alan says:

    Even if they don’t stock a particular ADC / FPGA it’s gotta be great to have all your 0603 / 0402 SMD capacitors pre-loaded.
    Of course, if they offer bigger BGA chips as an optional extra, that would be nice too.

    Hell, I’ve got sample IC’s waiting for the board design to finish. If you let me send them to you, can you solder them on for me? How much would you charge?

  3. Drone says:

    This is a welcome attempt. Let’s not be too critical yet; at my post time this service from Seeed is still pre-release.

    To save you a few moments, here is the link to Seeed’s current list of components in their OPL:

    Rather sparse. But as Alan said in this thread, at-least it is nice to get the small parts pre-installed on the delivered proto-boards. Plus the turn-around looks pretty fast. But the Devil may be in the details – prices, and seemingly Eagle centric :-(

  4. octal says:

    The problem with this is that we must be using Eagle. I’m using Diptrace and I cannot see myself using something like Eagle. I hope we can still use their service if I port the parts I use to Diptrace using same references.

    • Eh? There’s no requirement to use Eagle. You upload Gerbers to them for the PCB. And for the parts you can either upload a CSV-file or enter the parts manually on a form in the site.

      Since they are hand soldering you *don’t* need to supply a file with the part names and centroids.

      So you can happily continue using Diptrace, Fritzing, MsPaint or whatever that tickles your fancy as long as you can generate standard Gerbers.

      • octal says:

        Hi Mats,
        I don’t think so. I think they expect users to use their part lib mainly because they are 100% confident about the parts patterns. The parts must be from their stock, so you must use THEIR lib parts.
        This is not a simple assembly service, they solder only the parts that comes from their library.

      • No way. A SOT-223 is a SOT-223, and a 0603 is a 0603, ana a SOIC28 is a SOIC28. There’s not enough variation in the footprints to prevent hand soldering. (And most likely not automated P&P either).

        Heck, I can solder 0603′s on a 0805 pad and vice versa without any problems. SOICs, DIPs and HC-49 crystals. Same thing. USB footprints can differ a little but not enough to cause major problems for hand soldering.

        As you said, this is a prototype hand soldered service. Not a setup for cranking out 100000 pieces with a maximum yield.

      • octal says:

        You missunderstood me Mats,
        I know it will be manualy worked out. What I mean is that they’ll do it ONLY for the parts they provide in their lib (for wich they already have stocks since they use them for their own products). I dont think that this service will be available for the parts you provide as a customer. This will not compete with their original assembly service that they do provid for qtt>100Units.

      • If you with “part lib” mean their *stock* then I misunderstood you. For me part lib means the footprint library for the pcb design software.

        The discussion started with someone (you) complaining about that Eagle must be used, and I said that that Seeed expects Gerbers so any software will do.

      • octal says:

        to make things clear (1) part lib means footprints. (2) You have to use THE PARTS that are in their lib, because they are proposing (as I understand) to solder to your pcb ONLY the parts that are in the gerber and that are in their parts STOCK. And the lib of parts provided by them in Eagle format is the catalog of the parts they are suggesting to solder on your PCB. So NOT using eagle mean that you have to reproduce absolutely the same parts in your CAD software (with all references and al.).

      • Eh? A Gerber file have no knowledge of PARTS. Only graphical representations of footprints and tracks and a list of holes to be drilled. These are the layers they are requiring: (Layer 2/3 is not used for 2-layer boards). Please tell me where the “references” would be. All of these files are photo-plotter files with geometric shapes except for the Drill file.

        1. Top Layer: pcbname.GTL
        2. Inner Layer: pcbname.GL2
        3. Inner Layer: pcbname.GL3
        4. Bottom Layer: pcbname.GBL
        5. Solder Mask Top: pcbname.GTS
        6. Solder Mask Bottom: pcbname.GBS
        7. Silk Top: pcbname.GTO
        8. Silk Bottom: pcbname.GBO
        9. Drill Drawing: pcbname.TXT
        10. Board Outline:pcbname.GML/GKO

        I agree on that we must use their PART STOCK because they won’t purchase anything else or accept a consignment from you.

        And yes, they have a Eagle library and also a 3D library that can be used. But that is *not* a requirement to use it. The footprints of the parts are enough similar between different fottprint libraries to be of no consequence. You can use the Eagle standard library for your parts, or the DP, the Adafruit, The Microbuilder or your own footprint/parts library. As I said earlier a TO220 looks the same in all libraries. Same with a 0603 resistor. Even if they can have minor tweaks it doesn’t matter.

        A the BOM file that you have to either upload or edit-in-place looks like this:
        OPL SKU,Qty.,Parts

        They will simply look for the “A1″ label on the silk screen when they are hand soldering your pcb.

        Please don’t make things unnecessary complex and hard when it’s not.

  5. Ian says:

    I could be totally wrong but I thought they were using the TM220 and 240 for this.

    • Nope, no P&P. Not according to their web page anyways. There’s a radio button with only one choice on the “PCBA Qty & BOM” -tab.

      Fulfillment Method
      * Manual & Soldering (Tips: We are using manual solding method to fulfill your order)

      • Ian says:

        Well TM220 and 240 is almost the same once you fix all the misaligned parts ;)

        Just being flippant :)

  6. Sleepwalker3 says:

    Ssssh Ian! I’m blocking my ears and chanting, I don’t want to hear about TM220 or I’ll want one myself!

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