I am considering getting the PCB printed from a manufacturer and do the SMT via a machine my self. Do you think it is good idea?

The reason i an planning to do is i need 50-100 circuits boards every few weeks and the cost of PCB printing is less but PCBA SMT is huge. As manufacturer charges around $400 for any new design. So i thought of getting a machine so i can do it my self. I have no experience in doing that so would like to get some opinions.

We strongly suggest you concentrate on your strengths (presumably designing and marketing) and leave the grunt work to someone else. Source around.

Let us look into this idea.

  • Heavy and expensive. You may need thirty to one hundred dollars and three-phase power. You will also need a decent oven (the batch type ones are not great, especially for Pb-free) and a decent stencil printer. You will have to keep all the various chemicals in stock and fresh
  • Setup time.
  • Process Control. You still have to manually inspect the boards and do any necessary rework, you are responsible for controlling the processes, maintaining the machines and ordering spare parts etc.. Often there will be parts that have to be manually attached later because they are incompatible with some part of the process (too tall to go through the conveyor oven, through-hole for mechanical or cost reasons etc.)

So consider these problems before deciding to do the SMT by yourself. Good luck.

#PCB Assembly

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Oliver Smith

Oliver is an experienced electronics engineer skilled in PCB design, analog circuits, embedded systems, and prototyping. His deep knowledge spans schematic capture, firmware coding, simulation, layout, testing, and troubleshooting. Oliver excels at taking projects from concept to mass production using his electrical design talents and mechanical aptitude.
Picture of Oliver Smith

Oliver Smith

Oliver is an experienced electronics engineer skilled in PCB design, analog circuits, embedded systems, and prototyping. His deep knowledge spans schematic capture, firmware coding, simulation, layout, testing, and troubleshooting. Oliver excels at taking projects from concept to mass production using his electrical design talents and mechanical aptitude.

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