PCB Order

Instead of a weekly order, 2 layer circuit boards are now sent to the fab when the panel fills up. This means panels are going out 2 to 3 times a week instead of just once a week.


New ordering website! OSH Park!

4 layer orders are now every two weeks. Email "laen@oshpark.com" for the schedule.

I'm planning another beta 2-layer medium-run order on April 1st, 2013 for people that want at least 150 square inches of their boards. Specs are the same as the prototype order. Lead free, stellar quality, purple boards, $1 per square inch. Details here.


Order Status

Keep up to date on the order status updates and to be notified of when the next order will go out:

What is this?

I've been coordinating a group circuit board order. By combining dozens of small boards into large panels, and doing a lot of volume, we're able to get the costs down to levels that are more hobbyist friendly.

It's $5 per square inch for three copies of your two layer design. So, a 2 square inch design would cost $10, and you'll get three copies of your board. Shipping within the US is included, and there are no setup fees.

Your two layer boards will be shipped within about 14 days of the order date.

For four layer designs, it's $10 for three copies. So, a 2 square inch design would cost $20, and you'll get three copies of your board.

Four layer boards will be mailed within 16 days.

Who's eligible

Although this was started primarily for the DorkbotPDX community, it's open to any hobbyist anywhere. Shipping in the US is free, and international mailing is a flat rate of $5USD for standard first class, $15 for USPS Priority Mail, or $35 for USPS Express Mail.

Your order helps us continue doing it!

What you get

  • Three 2-layer boards (see design rules below)
  • Soldermask on both sides
  • Silkscreen on both sides.

The Costs

Two layer: $5 per square inch for three copies of your board.

Four layer: $10 per square inch for three copies of your board.

Board area is rounded down to the hundredth of an inch. If your board is 2.71828183 square inches, your total bill will be $13.55. No setup fee, and domestic shipping by first-class US mail is included. International mailing is a flat rate of $15 for USPS Priority Mail, or $5 for standard first class

Payment is by Paypal or by credit card through Google Checkout.

How to submit your order

First, try uploading the board at OSH Park as either an Eagle .brd or a set of Gerbers.

If you just send a brd file, you'll get the default "Names" and "Place" and "_tsilk" layers on your silkscreen. If you want something else, please use the CAM job below and edit it to your liking.

If you're making Gerbers from Eagle, please use this CAM job.

If you have any problems with the website, feel free to mail me at pcb@laen.org


If any of this is confusing, or you'd just like some help with your board, feel free to drop me an email. I love helping people with their designs.

Design Rules

(Eagle DRU File: http://content.laen.org/pcb/LaenPCBOrder.dru ) The minimums are:

  • 6 mil trace width
  • 6 mil spacing
  • 15 mil clearances from traces to the edge of the board
  • 13 mil minimum drill size.
  • 7 mil minimum annular ring

..That's not to say that you should design for the minimums; it's best to make your traces and spacing as wide as your design will tolerate, but if you need it, we're paying for these minimums so feel free to use them!

Four layer boards have the same minimums and will be made with 1 oz copper for the external layers and 0.5 oz copper internally. No blind/buried vias.

File Format

Although I can deal with a lot of file types, here's what I prefer. Don't sweat it if you don't know what any of this means or you're not sure if your files match up. I'll figure it out. :)

  • If you can just send an Eagle brd, and you're fine with the default of having just the Name, Place and _tsilk/_bsilk layers on the silkscreen, then do that.
  • If you're sending gerbers, make sure they're rs-274x (the default in any modern package), and are "positive layers" (also the default).
  • If you're using something other than Eagle: Set your drill file to 2:4 precision, no zero suppression, absolute positioning, and (if using kicad) "minimal header" and make sure "mirror y axis" is OFF.
  • If you're using DipTrace, it helps me if your filenames have a board name in them ("Board1-Top Layer.gbr" instead of just "Top Layer.gbr").



First, a huge thanks for the service. Our first board design was an isolated gate driver for the EV motor controller we are designing. It's working great, and is far nicer than the hand wired prototype board that we were using before. We just sent in another few board designs this past weekend, including a first draft of a STM32 board with isolated CAN bus and power supply that will evolve to be the smarts of the motor controller, and probably be the instrument cluster controller and battery management. My question is about another set of boards. They are designed to fit around the leads of a power MOSFET. Unlike the common situation, they need to fit flush against the case. The leads have shoulders to set the correct stand-off spacing, which prevents this from happening with round holes. For this set of boards we just made the holes a little larger than usual, and will use a Dremel to widen the holes into slots. Is there a way to use overlapping drill holes to make a slot, or will with fab house disallow this because of the risk of drill breakage? For those interested, these are wiring boards for the power MOSFETs. We solder tinned copper strips to the power device leads, and clamp them directly to the hefty aluminum bus bars with some anti-oxidation grease. The wiring boards provide a better way to hook up the twisted pair wires coming from the gate driver board. And with a circuit board there we can move the gate resistors and TVS protection out next to the MOSFETs, along with having a spot for indicator LEDs so that we know that the gate driver is working. But for this to work well, the circuit board can't take up much space. With up to 190 amps through the leads, you don't want them as short as possible. We also are experimenting with a stand-alone "active rectification" circuit. This will replace the diodes we are currently using with MOSFETs that are turned on at exactly the right time to act as high current, low voltage drop diodes. We can do synchronous rectification in software, but we have to be really conservative to avoid shoot-through or leaving the MOSFET turned on when the current reverses during coasting. A circuit that sits right on the MOSFET leads, monitoring the voltage, can do a better job of turning the gate on and off just above the zero crossing.

Laen: Hope everything is okay? I just sent some gerbers 2 times in last couple of days. Did not hear back from you on that. Just hope everything is okay. I am hoping for the design to make it for the Oct-24th spin. Thanks! -Raj

Hi, I've a concern about, How is the drill step's sequence? 13 18 23 28 33 38 .. 253 258 260 13 15 20 25 30 35 .. 250 255 260 Thanks Laen.

The "drill stepping" thing was with our old fab. Our new one (well, from over a year ago), will do any hole size within 2.5mils, and the hole size you specify is the finished hole size.

Laen, Just wanted to see if something like this: http://blog.screamingcircuits.com/2008/11/castellated-mounting-holes.ht… was allowed on boards. I recall seeing the 'SMDuino' on Hack-A-Day with similar pads, and the creator said they ran the prototype through Dorkbot's PCB service, but I figured I'd make absolutely sure this was doable by the fab, would hate to submit and cause a panel to be delayed because of it. I'm designing a board that has to fit against a pre-existing PCB with 'quick-solder' pads, and internal cutouts, but the cutouts aren't a huge deal-breaker if they're disallowed, I'm more worried about those mounting holes. Thanks. P.S. Assuming I end up with a few different small board designs, what's the minimum area I need to fill on the panel for you not to lose money on fixed costs? These would be multiple designs from around one square inch to two square inches maximum. I wouldn't mind taking delivery of an unbroken sub-panel with all the designs if it makes less work for you not to separate them all by hand.

I've been looking at this group panel buy for some time, and keep hoping to use it, but I never have a good fit of a job. For work, I am about to place a panel order through a supplier that I've been using for some years. My current needs will not fill up the entire panel, and the requirements are enough different than your standard panels that I thought I would put this out to the community. This is a long shot because I have to get things finished by tomorrow morning (2012 April 25 in the AM PDT) I am placing an order where I am already paying for 2 ounce copper, overlapping drill hits (for drills > 0.1" diameter) and arbitrary internal routing. The heavier copper means they only guarantee 6 mil track and space. These would be good for simple boards where you need to handle high current, eg breakout boards for current sensors and such. I can only handle EAGLE files. I can offer the same pricing as the standard PCB buy; $5 per square inch for 3 copies of the board. Since I am unknown to the community, and on a job where I might not get around to shipping things out for a few weeks, I am happy to put boards on a panel and figure out payment when they ship. Contact me here if interested! -Jon

I've used this service a few times and am really happy with the quality (and the purple soldermask). I'm working on a project with a spartan3a, and I would like to use the 256 pin BGA with 1mm pitch. The design rules here are soooo close to being able to fanout the signals normally, is there any possibility of bumping up the specs for 4 layer boards slightly? Maybe a min of 10mil drills, or 5/5 trace/space? Maybe on a request basis where the requester pays the difference (like you used to to with ENIG)?

Very interested in the order you mentioned with 2 oz Cu. I have two boards about 20 sq in. each and one smaller one. Let me know if this is a go, I'm going to try to wrap up my designs this weekend... Thanks! -Mark M.

Is it possible to have internal cutouts in my PCB design? Also, anyone here have any experience with planar magnetics? I was thinking about trying to design a bidirectional non-isolated flyback converter for LiPo battery charging/discharging and I wanted to use planar magnetics to keep the size (and cost?) down. The target application is medium sized robots (think 3pi sized) so space would be an issue...

I just submitted a project to OSH_Park, using gerber files created by FreePCB. The renderings of the various layers looked OK, except that the thermal reliefs for my rectangular surface-mount pads were missing. This may be because FreePCB generates these as macros. Macros are part of the RS274-X standard, supported by all major PCB fabs, so I was wondering if this was just a problem with your gerber rendering software, or if your fab really can't handle these?

Sun, 2012-11-04 01:15    [Permalink]


Is this service actual yet?
Maybe is it possible to start test batch pcb service with higher capabilities to divide setup fee to several persons?

I.e. I'll glad to see:

5/5 mil tracing/spacing
8-10 mil min. drill size
5 mil annual ring
4 to 6 layers

Alexander Buraga