If you dont have your own wet-etch system, you’ll need to send pcb’s out to be made by a company
Many companies have a “quick prototyping” option, where you get your board back within the week, but sometimes without soldermask or silkscreen. Most hobbyists use this option to make small runs of boards.
To use European or Chinese based PCB China prototyping services is the question Electronics Lab tries to answer. They order the same PCBs from an European and a Chinese PCB manufacturer, and compare the quality and price differences. Based on their review the quality is the same, while the Chinese board is more than 5 times cheaper.
below is a copy from his blog
I decided to order a prototype PCB for my latest project in a professional fabrication company but i could’ t decide if i should order it in a company in Europe or Asia. I am located in Europe and I wanted fast and quality service so it seemed that ordering from Europe will be the best choice. But i also was curious about the quality of the cheaper Asia manufacturers. So i concluded ordering the same PCB on both an Europian and an Asian PCB manufacturer. I choose the following PCB manufactures
Eurocircuits – based on Belgium
Iteadstudio – based on Shenzhen – China
Eurocircuits – offers a great user experience when ordering a PCB. You place your PCB in shopping basket, you choose PCB details and you get an instant quote for your order (including shipping, excluding VAT). After placing your PCB in shopping cart you are able to review you PCB in PCB Visualizer. PCB Visualizer is a great tool to test you PCB for manufacturability online. My PCB prototype (2 layers, 1.55mm FR4, 1oz copper, green soldermask, white silkscreen, Lead free HASL, 100% E-test, .. more details here) costs calculated at 85 EUR for 2 pieces including UPS shipping.
Iteadstudio – offers a pretty simple billing scheme, you choose from 5 sub-categories based on your max PCB dimensions. Quantity offered for each category is 5-10 pieces and prices are reasonable. I choose the 10x10cm batch offering 10 pieces (2 layers, 1.6mm FR4, 1oz copper, green soldermask, white silkscreen, Lead free HASL, 100% E-test, .. more details here) for a price of 24.90 USD + 25 DHL shipping = 49.90 USD final value.
Order on both manufactures done the same day. Both PCBs come to our door in 10 days. What we got:
Eurocircuits – we received 3 PCBs in 10 days for 85 EUR. PCB quality is great, plating is more thick on bottom than top layer, pcb cut-offs from panel are visible, soldermask has a faded green color, there are marks from E-testing. Packaged on plastic bag (vacuum). Cost per PCB = 28,3 EUR
Iteadstudio – we received 10 PCBs in 10 days for 49.90 USD. PCB quality is great, plating is more thick on bottom than top layer, pcb cut-offs from panel aren’t visible, soldermask is shiny vivid green color, there are marks of E-testing. Packaged on plastic bag (vacuum) + silica gel. Cost per PCB = 4,99 USD
I can’ t figure out any significant quality details between the two PBCs. To me IteadStudio PCBs seems more beautiful and worth the money. So i give +1 to IteadStudio for quality, quantity and processing time!
comment: iteadstudio is the bad quality in PCB China Manufacturer