Welcome - Please Read

Welcome. I wanted to provide stripboard layouts I've made to help people new to electronics and even the more experienced get into different aspects of electronics.

I verify the layouts before I post them.

My Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/StripboardLayouts - Please Add For Updates!
My Twitter Thing: @InSonicBloom

Thursday, 10 November 2011

iTeadstudio Review

iTeadstudio 
I came across this website when trying to source a cheap way in which to get small quantity of PCBs (Printed Circuit Board) manufactured for the purpose of prototyping new designs. I heard about iStore which has the subsidiary "iTeadStudio" who advertise the manufacture of PCBs at an extremely low cost.10$ for 10 2 x 2" boards. 25$ for 10 5 x 5" boards and so on.

I wanted to really put them through their paces as a company by acting as though I didn't know what I was doing, the reason being that I would primarily recommend a service like this to hobbyists and people new to the field of PCB design who may have difficulty in just getting a design to manufacture. 
      To start the ball rolling I purchased 10 5 x 5" boards which came to about 30$ and as per instruction I then emailed my Gerber files in a .zip to the email address they provide on the itead website. I submitted a Gerber that I knew to be in the wrong format and missing the drill files. *
I few days later I received an email from iTead to explain that I hadn't sent all the files needed for the components specified by the CAD program ie the drill files were missing.
       I then exported the drill files but this time I changed the unit of measurement so that it wouldn't line up correctly with the board they already had the Gerbers for and resubmitted that to iTead.
A few more days passed when I got an email from them to say there was a further problem and at no extra cost, if I sent them the source files they would sort it out for me so I sent them the source files.
5 days later my boards arrived in the post - they had even given me 2 extra boards.

so after all this great customer relations and willingness to help me, you might say, "were the PCB's any good?" well the short answer is Yes. tThe traces/pads/ground planes all matched up to my design perfectly. the 0.01mm traces were also perfect, no shorts between close proximity component pins which is often a worry I have personally.
Once the actual circuit was built up, it worked as expected.

conclusion
I can certainly recommend this company to people starting out in PCB design and indeed professionals needing a small run of PCBs to test out a design because it is so cheap and the boards are such high quality (they have since added a red option if you want a red PCB)  the staff were courteous and extremely patient with me unlike some much higher priced US/UK manufacturers have been in the past. If you still etch PCBs when there is an option like iTeadStudio out there then honestly, you need your head examining. 

I'd also like to mention that they have a fantastic additional service in which you can agree to open-source the hardware you've submitted and you receive 2 PCBs at random that other people have designed. Specifically they will make 12 PCB's of your design, send 10 of them to you and send the other 2 at random to other people who opt in for the same open-source service which for me is just a brilliant idea.
Keep up the good work iTead.


* Back when I started out I did this accidentally, I wanted to mimic my first errors as someone who was once new to the field-I would also like to add, that was a US manufacturer and they just manufactured the boards with no holes for the through-hole components which rendered the boards useless as they relied on 2 active sides using vias 

6 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for your valuable feedback, we will keep up the good work for users. We just opened a new store iMall for more pcb services: http://imall.iteadstudio.com/open-pcb/pcb-prototyping.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. Useful info. Hope to see more good posts in the future.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for the review! Just what I was looking for, I'm about to send my first ever PCB and it seems like a good deal!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. cool dude, what's your PCB? I've had quite a few done by iTead since I did this review and they've always been spot on.

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete