Cost breakdown of Seeed’s PCB service

Posted on Monday, December 3rd, 2012 in PCBs by DP

Mat has gone through the trouble of filling up a spreadsheet with the cost breakdown of Seeed’s PCB service. It seems that the boards with the lowest cost-to-area ratio are the 10cmx10cm ones that are ordered in quantities of 10. For higher quantities it quickly becomes apparent that the larger boards have a lower cost-to-area ratio.

Via the forum.

This entry was posted on Monday, December 3rd, 2012 at 5:00 pm and is filed under PCBs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

22 Responses to “Cost breakdown of Seeed’s PCB service”

  1. dext0rb says:

    Seems odd to me to see such non-linearity in the pricing, although thinking about it..I guess the market demands will actually sway the pricing away from linear expectations. (ie 10×10 @ 10 pcs). They must be moving a high volume of those orders in order to get that price outlier.

  2. Most of the boards I order from Seeed are in that 10×10 @ 10 pieces slot.

  3. Hector says:

    The outlier is most likely caused by the free version of EaglePCB having a limit of 10x8cm

  4. Superfro says:

    Now if we can get a side-by-side comparison with iTead, and with color options it will be really useful, I found color boards to be cheaper at iTead, at least for some colors.

    • ewertz says:

      It’s not that easy to make a head-to-head comparison because the baseline services are different, namely the soldermask color options/assumptions and the e-test structure.

      Technically this chart isn’t correct because Seeed only guarantees that 50% of the boards will be good (although my experience is that 90-95% percent are usable when only specifying 50% e-test).

    • jme says:

      there is no comparison in quality however. seeed is infinitely better

      • ewertz says:

        I thought that they used the same PCB house, at least at some point in the past.

      • Trev says:

        Having had the same 5×5 board done at both Seeed and Itead, I couldn’t spot any significant difference other than iTead’s silkscreen was sharper than Seeed’s which was a tad fuzzy. (Of course iTead also includes 100% factory e-test for no extra charge which is why I decided to try them.)

  5. Morbak says:

    Where can i produce 4 layers prototype ? Thx,

  6. George says:

    10 pieces of 10×10 will fill up a 18″x24″ panel which is a common size for PCB factories. If you order the 10×10 there’s almost no work needed by them to start the panel

    • ewertz says:

      My guess is that this is not what’s going on. It was my understanding that Seeed/Itead’s gotten this great price by usng their orders to fill in incomplete panels that the PCB manufacturer is already running, and therefore utilized a resource that would otherwise be wasted. I will concede though that this doesn’t explain the (super) sweet spot for 10x10cm boards that doesn’t carry over to the other sizes.

  7. Drone says:

    @Hector, you’ve hit the sweet spot – proprietary dimension limitations of Eagle “free” and (idiotic) religious dedication to Eagle in the small scale prototyping community. Free us from Eagle – please1

    • AMS says:

      Use KiCAD. IMHO better than Eagle for priciple of least surprise. FOSS, and no artificial limit sillyness.

    • ewertz says:

      Yes, free us from free, please!
      Just because it’s the most usable by most objective measures doesn’t mean that we aren’t suffering under the tyranny of CadSoft! Oh, despair!

      • Sleepwalker3 says:

        There’s always Design Spark which I believe is coming along. I don’t think it’s open source, but it’s free and I don’t think it has the restrictions of Eagle from memory. (Considering the liveliness of the Eagle Vs. Open Source debate, I know suggesting Design Spark is going to create a lot of ‘Sparks’).

  8. Tom Price says:

    Makes me feel slightly better about prototyping an Arduino shield which is 2.1″ x 2.7″ (53 x 68 mm).

  9. Arup Basak says:

    10×10 from Seeed costs $24.90 and the cheapest shipping becomes around $7
    So, I just order two 10×10 from Seeed and add a cheap connector/anything to cart to make it cross $50 and free shipping. Isn’t that nice?

Leave a Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

Recent Comments

  • KH: TPS62200 will get him to under 15uA, a bit better than the 20-30uA he mentioned. I would try the same thing. Switch some resistors in...
  • KH: Yeah, it's an end-user thing. Very few people would spend hundreds of hours on this kind of project and sustain it. It's more or less...
  • Max: Not quite a dinosaur if you've seen Big Hero 6 though... wait. You've watched it with your kids, didn't you? That's cheating...! ;) One of...
  • Edward Mallon: A visiting researcher dropped by our humble basement workshop with questions about the physical skill level students would need if they added one of our...
  • KH: And that looks really expensive... Only browsed the vid though, I'm an dinosaur so I had the sound off too. Nice of him to open-source...