May 242012
 

PCB designers rejoice, there is new player in town and it’s name is OSH Park. It is yet another batch PCB service that will try to get it’s place under the sun.

Oh, no, wait. This is not a new player. Good old Laen’s PCB Order got a face-lift.

To reiterate a bit. You still get really nice purple boards. You still can have 2-layers with 6/6 mil traces. ENIG finish seems to be a unwritten standard (I don’t recall last board that I got without it). Panels go out every second day. All in all, it is as good as it can get. And all that will cost $5 per square inch for three boards. On PCB side there is hardly any place for improvement (slots, please). Single new thing here is website.

Interface is very simple and that has it’s benefits. If you have single big button named Select a file, there is very small chance of things going wrong. Once zip file gets uploaded, content is analysed and you get nice pictures for all gerbers along with how system recognized them. After approving project, only step that remains is to make an order.

It is definitely not a revolution and there are quite a few PCB manufacturers with such system in place. But it is not worse either.

Web site is very new and there are bugs. There are obviously missing features (e.g. deleting a project). Not even all content is moved from old pages. It will take quite some time to bring everything to a level of service I came to expect from old e-mail based ordering system.

However, my recommendation still stands: If you are hobbyist in search of excellent PCB manufacturer with good price, search no more.

P.S. And purple boards do grow on you. :)

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