How Much Does a PCB Cost: The Step By Step Guide

What is PCB printed circuit?

Still using printed PCBs every day, have you ever found out what a PCB printed circuit is, where it comes from, how is its structure and most important PCB board price?

The printed circuit board is a piece that has conductive tracks on its surface, which represent the circuit where the electronic components will be fixed. This product is used in several industry segments that demand electronic technology, such as information technology, aerospace, defense (military), telecommunications, medical-hospital, automotive, entertainment and many others. 

When it comes to PCB cost is usually a common question, as usually, the customer believes that this product is not very affordable. However, after researching the printed circuit board how much it costs reveals one of the main benefits of this product.

PCB Board Price and Advantages

When looking for information about the printed circuit board, how much does a circuit board cost, surprises often arise, since this innovative product is sold at very competitive prices? However, when purchasing the printed circuit board how much it costs is not the only factor that should be taken into account.

It is very important to check if the printed circuit board is manufactured with materials of good origin, and it is important that the manufacturer has raw material suppliers, approved in accordance with a strict quality control system.

How to consider PCB board price?

Furthermore, when opting for a printed circuit board, how much it costs is information that must be considered together, with the efficiency of the product and its technical specifications, and the most appropriate model for the desired application must be chosen.

With the PCB board printing cost, in addition to a suitable price, quality and efficiency must always come first.

The Cost of Manufacturing Printed Circuit Boards

Number of layers,
material
1, FR-41, FR-42, FR-42, FR-42, FR-44, FR-41, AL1, AL1, AL1, AL
Thickness,
Top coat
1,0mm 1OZ HAL1,5mm 1OZ HAL1,0mm 1OZ HAL1,5mm 1OZ HAL2,0mm 1OZ HAL1,5mm 1OZ HAL1.0mm 1W1.5mm 1W1.0mm 2W1,5mm 2W
weight, dm 20.0220.0320.0220.0320.040.0420.0260.0380.0260.038
<100 dm 21.621.911.832.142.663.591.451.811.762.17
101-300 dm 21.511.781.712.002.493.351.361.691.642.03
301-500 dm 21.241.401.431.602.002.811.051.251.321.58
501-1000 dm 21.101.221.271.401.772.460.891.041.131.29
1 001-2 000 dm 21.021.131.181.281.602.270.810.961.031.17
2 001-4 000 dm 20.951.051.121.221.522.190.770.920.981.09
4 001-8 000 dm 20.820.961.071.141.382.040.720.860.911.01

How much does a new circuit board cost?

Electronic PCB board price must be considered in order to successfully evaluate the use of rigid printed circuit boards: these consist not only of the production costs of the pure printed circuit boards, but also eg. 

  • costs of product development
  •  assembly
  • testing and logistics

Overall system optimization is only possible through timely coordination between the developers and the circuit manufacturer. An essential aspect here is PCB design services cost.

There are useful averages, custom PCB production can cost anywhere from 50 cents to $ 300 per production, depending on the number of layers, the complexity and what is mounted on them.

Production Costs of Printed Circuits

Cheap Printed Circuit Boards usually costs around $ 600. This assumes the most basic manufacturing process, and if you want a super small board, you need to use more advanced and more expensive processes. 

Most cards require 4 layers. Adding more layers can help reduce the size of the board but at a higher cost. Although the custom PCB production cost decreases as the board size decreases, the number of layers has a much greater impact on costs. 

Hence, larger boards with few layers are cheaper than smaller boards with multiple layers. Advanced PCB technologies, such as blind and underground driveways, can also be used to further reduce the size of the board. 

Hat factors increase PCB board price?

But these technologies will add thousands to your prototyping costs, so only use them if absolutely necessary. Starting with a larger circuit board accomplishes three things. First, it reduces the cost of manufacturing the boards. Second, it reduces the design costs to develop the boards, as a larger board is faster to design and easier to debug. This means fewer engineering hours.

PCB Assembly Costs

For a couple of boards with 30-50 different components, the PCB assembly cost is approximately another $ 750 – $ 1,000. A company called Screaming Circuits is used for assembly (which means soldering all electronic components to PCBs).

Cost of electronic components

In addition to the cost of manufacturing and assembling the board, there is the cost for the electronic components. For most products the cost of components is minimal and is usually less than about one hundred dollars for some boards.

Which is the cheapest PCB board?

Based on the PCB design manual on the basis of the dielectric constant, the materials used to make the PCB foundation and the nature of the construction of electronic circuits on the PCB is for the purpose of transmitting a certain signal or signal processing and transmission.

 Understanding the dielectric constant of a PCB is always a mystery and is probably the most obscure source of information for PCB manufacturers when providing it to buyers, which can be confusing as well as applicable. Incorrect design causes many design deviations, which can lead to mistakes when choosing the type of PCB for the product and increase the cost because choosing too safe.

What kind of PCB you should choose?

Choosing the type of PCB (ie choosing the dielectric constant for the circuit design) is becoming more and more difficult today because the frequency of this digital pulse is higher and there is no sign of stopping.

The constant question is whether the common PCB material FR-4 can meet such high frequency requirements, the answer contained in the next section will shed some light on this issue.

Printed electronic circuits work with 2 main applications:

  1. RF/analog (analog/high frequency engineering)
  2. digital

The two main application areas are high frequency analog and digital engineering. The main difference between these two areas is the ability of the involved circuits to bear the signal loss and complexity of the circuit.

High frequency analog (RF/analog) printed circuit

High frequency analog engineering circuits are usually small signal or precision signal processing circuits. The accuracy with which a circuit will succeed (or the probability of success) is when processing small signals that circuit has the lowest possible signal loss, minimal signal distortion, and less signal noise.

Signal loss occurs due to reflection with variable impedance and from absorption of some signals into dielectric materials, and signal penetration through dielectric layers causes disturbances to the required signal. Handling is not desirable. This is an important factor to consider when choosing a dielectric for this circuit.

Digital printed circuit characteristics

Digital circuits can suffer a little signal loss and still do their job successfully, digital circuits are often quite complex with several or more signals and many different high and low power levels in the system. Multiple layers of printed circuit board PCB.

This makes PCB lamination, drilling or other processing easy and due to the many layers the printed circuit board is quite thick, but soldering components and repairing later can cause a lot of heat/force at the site.

Two main types of dielectric materials of printed circuits

The dielectric materials of today’s printed circuit boards generally come in two main categories based on the strength/stiffness reinforcement embedded in the center of the material.

 It is strength/stiffness reinforcement with fiberglass and the rest; fiberglass is cheaper when laminating PCBs, in manufacturing as well as in processing, because of the amount of glass in the field.

 Woven composites are always less than other materials, so the dielectric constant of printed circuit board PCBs with woven glass fiber is usually higher than other types

Material Properties used for PCB lamination

Some properties Lamination can be important depending on the application of the circuit and most materials have been developed to optimize one or more of these properties. Among these are:

Relative dielectric constant e r Is a property that only affects the insulation of a material with a capacitance value such as an embedded or enclosed conductor. Choosing a low dielectric constant is almost always a better choice.

The relative dielectric constant of most PCB lamination dielectrics varies with frequency and generally decreases with increasing frequency. This shows that on two-way power transmission conductors, the speed of the signal increases with increasing frequency, leading to phase distortion in broadband amplifiers.

Glass Transition Temperature

Most types of PCB lamination materials have a coefficient of expansion with increasing temperature, the glass transition or Tg is the temperature at which thermal expansion occurs. It has an increased value, which is the phase transition of PCBs containing glass fibers.

Moisture permeability of printed circuit boards

All resin families are absorbent and absorb water when exposed to a humid environment. Water has a relative dielectric constant of about 80.1, if a laminating board has a waterlogged dielectric it will create a new dielectric constant that is slightly higher for example slightly higher than the original 4.1 value, resulting in a mismatch of impedance and impedance matching.

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