1. Is this really a good price?
You might ask yourself if this really is a good price. The short answer is: for this specialised offer, yes, it is definitely a very good price.
The long answer is that there are many ways to produce PCBs. There are indeed ways to get them cheaper: etch them yourself, have them made in china, or order larger quantities. For the only slightly higher price at Fritzing Fab, you get top quality, as little environmental waste as possible, and it's super-easy to use. Plus, the profit goes directly back into the development of Fritzing.
2. What are the production specs for the PCBs?
All boards are manufactured with the same, high-quality standards:
- double-sided board
- black silkscreen print (top-side only) on a white soldermask board (both sides)
- minimum 7 mil structures, 0.4mm drills and vias
- all holes are drilled and plated through (except those with zero-width rings)
- 35 µm copper layer thickness (see this trace width calculator for current calculations)
- 1mm base material thickness, FR-4 (140°C)
- maximum board size is 55 cm x 33 cm
- HAL lead-free, RoHS compliant
- delivered cut/broken out (not as a panel), also when you order multiples
Should you have special requirements, we will probably be able to accommodate, but only if you order larger quantities (> 500 cm2). Contact us for a quote.
3. Which file formats do you accept?
At the moment we only support Fritzing files (.fzz). We do not yet support Gerber, Eagle, KiCad, geda, or other formats, but might do in the future depending on the demand. So please let us know if you would love that.
4. How can I proof my production files?
As a very last check, you can proof the actual production files (so-called "Gerber files") of your board. This is what the PCB factory technician will see when he gets your order. To export Gerber files in Fritzing, go to File->Export->to Gerber and save the files to a folder somewhere sensible.
Gerber files are standard to the electronics industry the way PDF has become the standard format in the print business. As is the case with PDF, you will need an external viewer application to examine the Gerber files.
- On the PC, you can download gerbv (installation files) or ViewMate for free.
- For the Mac, try the MCN Gerber Viewer.
- Linux users should be able to install gerbv as part of the gEDA package or on its own.
- Alternatively, here is an Online Gerber Viewer
After downloading, open the files together in the viewer application and give them one last intense inspection. Make sure everything looks as good as it did in Fritzing. This is where you may discover things missing if you used a custom or 3rd party part with broken graphics. In that case you will need to fix the part SVGs and try again.
5. Do all the boards have the Fritzing logo on it?
No, your boards will completely look like you designed them! If you like, you can put any logo or illustration on it using the "logo" item from the core parts library. You can find the Fritzing logo there, and those of OSHW and OHANDA, but you can also load your own.
6. Which processing states does my order go through?
Your order will go through four stages, so you're always informed what's going on:
- open -- Your order has not yet been submitted.
- in process -- Your order has been successfully paid for and will be produced in the next production round. You can still make changes to the sketch files, as long as the board sizes do not change.
- in production -- Your order is now in the factory for production. Hold on, it's almost there!
- completed/shipped -- Your order has been produced successfully and has been handed over to the postal service.
If your order has not arrived in due time, please compare the standard shipping times on the pricing page. We can also provide tracking codes on request, and are working on displaying them automatically with your order.
7. What does "RoHS compliant" stand for?
RoHS means "Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive". It restricts the use of toxic elements such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and others and therefore helps the environment. Learn more about RoHS on Wikipedia.
In addition, we are producing locally here in Berlin to reduce emissions necessary for transportation.