Skip to main content
Topic: Mystery Custom Color PCB Group Buy 3 Copies $0.75/cm2 (Read 1704 times) previous topic - next topic

Mystery Custom Color PCB Group Buy 3 Copies $0.75/cm2


Forget the standard blue, red, yellow, black, white and boring old green. How would your project look on a unique, custom color PCB?

We've been working with a super high quality board house in northern China to make PCBs in "Pantone matched" custom colors. The latest results have been really impressive, such as TINRS's TinyGame shown here in pink and white. These are easily the best quality 2 layer PCBs we've ever seen.

Over Spring Festival we added a PCB group buy feature to DirtyPCBs. It's the same basic deal as other PCB pooling services, but with a custom mystery color twist.  Upload your designs to add them to the panel. We'll accept orders until the 50x50cm panel is full (or for 10 days, whichever is less), then send them to be fabbed in a mystery custom color silkscreen and solder mask combination. The exact color will be a surprise, but it will never be any of the ordinary colors (or purple!).

You can join a group buy of these high quality, unique PCBs for $0.75 per square centimeter (includes 3 copies). I'm super excited about this new feature and hope some of the custom color combinations are popular enough to become standard options in the future. The planned mystery colors are truly unique combinations that we've never, ever seen before. Here's some more details, or jump straight to the group buy page.


Your projects will really impress with these unique custom color PCBs! Add your PCBs to the panel. When a panel is full (or at least every 10 days) we choose a mystery color and fab it at a super high quality Chinese board house. You never know what color silk and soldermask you'll get, but it'll never be the standard combinations!

This is a group buy! Your designs will be added to a group panel until the panel is full (not more than 10 days). 3 copies of this panel will be fabbed in a custom mystery soldermask and silkscreen color combination at a high end PCB manufacturer. We'll break the panel down and mail out your boards.

Minimum 3 copies! We make three copies of the panel to spread out setup costs, therefore the minimum quantity is 3 pieces. You can also order more, but only in sets of 3!

Readable gerbers only for now! While we beta test the system we are going to refuse any gerbers that our automated filters can't deal with. This means an outline is required, drills must be scaled properly, and you should have no silkscreen outside the outline. If our script chokes on your outline and mis-measures the boards (and charges too much!), we ask that you not order for now.

This isn't cheap! This is a premium, unique service. These panels go to a super high end board house in Northern China. The quality is amazing, but it comes with steep setup fees. The custom color setup fees alone can be $200, depending on several factors. This is a low quantity pooled PCB panel service, but expect higher prices than the purple panel people!

Sorry, not taking requests! Here's a secret: we've had mixed luck with custom colors. Sometimes we get stunning results, sometimes they're noting like the colors we requested! These panels are a way to dial in on the capabilities of custom colors without set expectations. We're super sorry, but we're ABSOLUTELY NOT YET interested in trying to make PCBs in YOUR custom color.
Got a question? Please ask in the forum for the fastest answers.

Re: Mystery Custom Color PCB Group Buy 3 Copies $0.75/cm2

Reply #1
Hi Ian,

you write that these are really high quality.

Is the quality more on the technical side or more the looks?

If it is the technical side, does this board house offer smaller traces, like 3mil/3mil or finer soldermask geometries, e.g. between 0.5mm pitch pads?

Or if it is more the looks, does the board house use photolitographic silkscreen allowing much finer detail instead of the more coarse silkscreen, probably done by an inkjet like machine, which the dirty protopack boardhouse uses?

What is the smallest line width on the silkscreen that this boardhouse guarantees?

Do you add "dirty numbers" on these boards like on the protopacks?

Re: Mystery Custom Color PCB Group Buy 3 Copies $0.75/cm2

Reply #2
Specs are the same, but the tolerances are amazing. The silk is actually a second soldermask layer and has super fine details.

We've done three panels and I think that is going to be the last one. We can't come to a reasonable price for out panel with the board house. They charge each board on the panel as an individual process. First panel (clear soldermask, black silk) took in about $200 (most from Stijn and I, I think) and cost over $700 to make. The second panel (arrived today!) took in about $100 and cost $500 to make.
Got a question? Please ask in the forum for the fastest answers.