FAQ

PCB FAQ

Gerber file, Eagle file(.brd) and Altium file(.PCBdoc). We highly recommend Gerber file. 
Please refer to the RoHS certification for the PCB material.
RoHS test report.pdf
Different trace widths have different impedance, you can download the file to calculate.

V-cut/ V-groove
a) Define the v-cut line in outline layer (.GKO/ .GML). e.g. layer 46 in Eagle.
b) The whole board size should be greater than 7cm*7cm, and the sub-board size should be greater than 1.5*1.5cm.
c) You can leave no space between subboards, or you can leave 2-3mm space.

Panel template.rar

2.03mm spacing panel template.rar Milling/Slot
a) Define the milling/slot line in outline layer (.GKO/ .GML). e.g. layer 46 in Eagle.
b) The minimum width for the inner milling is 1.6mm.


You can choose to send us the single board design, we can panelize the board for you.

Yes, you can panelize different boards together in one big panel.
Normally, the depth of the v-cut this 1/3 thickness of the board.

Pad Space size should be greater than 0.352mm, otherwise there is no solder mask between the pads. it happened for most of the fine pitch IC pads, usually there is no solder mask bridge between the fine pitch IC pads, but it will not effect the PCB Assembling process.

The minimum width is 0.8mm for the non-plated milling slo, 0.65mm for plated slot.

1) Please select EXCELLON instead of Gerber_RS274X when choosing the Device for DrillsHoles, it will help you eliminate the size problem.

2) If you use Altium, .TXT & .DRL are both acceptable.

The minimum drill size is 0.3mm and the maximum drill hole size is 6.3mm.

Usually solder mask, drill hole, silkscreen is needed for PCB production, without them we need to contact with you to confirm if there is something wrong, but for some Art PCB design, if you don't have one of them, please leave a message "There is no solder mask/ drill hole/ silkscreen" when you check out. So that we don't need to waste your and ours time to confirm again.

Any boards have the production number, it is used for production record and can be traced if there is quality problem.
But you can assign the position (Top or Bottom). Please add the comment "production number on the Top (bottom) layer" when you check out.

Here is the general thickness per layer in a typical 4 layer stackup

Final Thickness

0.8 mm

1.2 mm

1.6 mm

Solder Mask

0.010 mm

Copper Plating

0.025 mm

 Copper foil (layer 1)

0.035mm

PrePreg

0.12 mm

Copper foil (layer 2)

0.0175mm

Core

0.4 mm

0.8 mm

1.2 mm

Copper foil (layer 3)

0.0175 mm

PrePreg

0.12 mm

Copper foil (layer 4)

0.035 mm

Copper plating

0.025 mm

Solder Mask

0.10 mm

 

8x8cm.

So if you need to penelize small PCBs, make sure the final big panel's dimension is not smaller than 8x8cm. If there are too many small board in the panel, we will charge you certain additional fee for the V-cut process.

You can use layer 46 (Mechanical layer) and add a note.
The production time is the manufacturing time, it does not include the production file checking time, packing time and shipping time.


ITEMSPRODUCTION CAPABILITYDESCRIPTION

Max. Layer

16 LayersFR4 accept 1 - 16 layers
Aluminium Base PCB: 1 layer
Flexible PCB: 1-2 layers
Rigid-Flexible PCB: 4 + 2 layers
Material Type4 typesFR-4, Aluminium Base PCB, Flexible PCB, Rigid-Flexible PCB
Max. Dimension500 x 500 mmThe online quotation system only accepts up to 500 x 500 mm. If you require a bigger dimension, please contact us
Min. Line Width / Space4/4 mil4/4 mil, 5/5 mil, 6/6 mil (finished copper thickness 1 oz), 10/10 mil (finished copper thickness 2 oz), 15/15 mil (finished copper thickness 3 oz). We strongly suggest increasing the trace width and spacing for 2 and 3 oz. copper thickness
Min. Hole Size0.2 mmMinimum mechanical via diameter is 0.25 mm. Minimum laser via diameter is 0.20 mm
Hole Tolerance (Mechanical Drilling)±0.07 mm 
Hole Tolerance (Laser Drilling)±0.01 mmThe tolerance of laser drilling hole is ±0.01mm
Via Single-side Annular Ring3milMinimum via is 4 mil. Minimum Components Hole is 6 mil. Increasing via annular ring is good for over current
Finished External Copper Thickness35 - 105umThe thickness of the board including External plating and finishes
Finished Internal Copper Thickness17 - 70umThe thickness of the board including internal plating and finishes. Only applies for multiple layers
Soldermask TypePhotosensitive inkWhite, Black, Blue, Green, Yellow, Red, Purple, Matt Green and Matt Black
Min. Silkcreen Letter Width≥6 milIf the minimum silkscreen letter width is less than 0.15 mm, the letters on the boards may not be clear
Min. Letter Height≥1mmIf the minimum silkscreen letter is less than 1 mm, the letters on the boards may not be clear due to the design
Surface Finish HASL, HASL Lead free, ENIG and OSP
PCB Thickness0.1 - 2.4 mmFR4 material PCB thickness: 0.4/0.6/0.8/1.0/1.2/1.6/2.0/2.4 mm;
Aluminium Base PCB thickness: 1.0/1.2/1.6 mm;
Flexible PCB thickness: 0.1/0.15 mm
Board Thickness Tolerance± 10% 
Min. Slot Milling Width0.5mm to 0.85mm0.5mm for Plated Slot, 0.85mm for Non-Plated Slot
Space between Routing and Outline≥0.25 mm (10mil) 
Min. Cutted Hole diameter0.6 mm 
Panelize by V-cut space0 - 0.2 mm spaceIf you want to separate the panel board by V-cut, keep the space between 0 - 0.2 mm
Panelize by Milling space1.6 mmIf you want to separate the panel board by Milling, make sure the milling width is over 1.6 mm
Impedance control Tolerance±10% 
Impedance control Bridging≥5mil 
Yes, we are able to produce and do PCBA for flexible circuit boards (FPCB). And even for Rigid-Flexible PCB.

First of all, you should check the file carefully before you check out the order, because we will proceed the order as soon as we receive your order. However, if you found the mistake very quickly, and send us an email asap, you will have high chance to avoid the loss.

So, here are the ways you can inform us after you found the mistake (only need to do one of them):

  • Send an email to shop@smart-prototyping.com, tell us your order ID.
  • Send an online message via online chat at the left-top.
  • Send a message via contact us page


Once we receive your message from above channels, we will stop proceeding your PCB order if they are still not on manufacturing line, and replace the file with the correct file you send to us on email.

Please don’t open a charge back case in this case, or cancel the order if you only need to change the file.

The worse case is, it is too late to inform us your PCB file is wrong, as you know, once the PCB is put on fully PCB automatic manufacturing line, there is no way to cancel the order and get refund. So, be careful! That is the most important feature for an electronic engineer!

If I have an order that is not shipped yet, can I place a new order and ship with the first order to save shipping cost?

Yes, you can! We are happy to combine the two orders into one shipment to save shipping cost for you, we will recalculate the total shipping cost, only charge you the difference.

You can choose to place another order separately, pay the shipping cost first, then inform us you want this order ship with another order, we will review your request, then refund the shipping cost difference.

For any other requirements, please contact us via this page https://www.smart-prototyping.com/contact.

The dielectric constant is 4.2 to 4.7 for FR4.


About the trace width of different impedance, please download the tool from this link



If your PCB needs impedance control, please make sure to attach a document of the impedance control trace and target impedance.


We will modify the stack-up and trace width accordingly to meet the impedance requirements.

Yes, we can manufacture special/ irregular shape/outline PCB.

Normally there will be no extra cost for irregular shape, like rectangle shape, round shape, or star shape. However, of the shape is very complex and will increase a lot of milling processing time, we may charge you extra cost. 

Here is one of our irregular product: https://www.smart-prototyping.com/Shooting-Star-Learn-To-Solder-Kit

You can download the invoice from the user backend.

1. Go to "View your order history"

2. Then click the downloading invoice icon.


PCB Assembling

Assembly OptionsSMT (Surface Mount Technology)
THT (Through Hole Technology)
SMT and THT mixed
Single Side Assembly
Double Side Assembly
Manual Assembly (Without Stencil)
Manual with Stencil Assembly
Automatic Assembly (Pick and Place machine)
Solder TypesLeaded
Lead Free (ROHS Compliant)
No-Clean Flux is standard
VolumeOur minimum order quantity for PCBA is 1.
We are capable to handle up to 1 million pcs PCBA.
Part TypesPassive Components as small as 0201 package
BGA (Ball Grid Arrays) 0.3mm Pitch with X-ray Testing
Fine Pitch Components as small as 0.3mm pitch
All THT componrnts
Accessories like cable, machine parts
Component PackagingWe accept parts in Reel, Cut Tape, Tube, Tray, Loose Parts and Bulk.
Short-Run Prototype cut tape must be continuous and 12 in. or longer.
Board DimensionMin Board Size (L x W x H): 50mm x 40mm x 0.38mm
Max Board Size (L x W x H): 600mm x 400mm x 4.2mm
Assembled as single unit or panels (PCBs with sizes smaller than 50mm*40mm will be assembled as panels)
Board ShapeRectangular
Round
Slots and Cut outs
Complex and Irregular (You need panelize the boards in an array and add break-away rails on the longer paralleled edges)
PCB Types for AssemblyRigid PCB
Aluminum PCB
Flex PCB
Rigid-Flex PCBs
Lead TimeFrom 8 hours to 48 hours when PCBs, components and relevant files (PCB files, Centroid file, BOM, PCBA Placement Drawing) are ready.
Test TypesMOI (Manual Optical Inspection)
AOI (Automated Optical Inspection)
X-ray Inspection
Short Circuit Testing
Power On Testing
Functional Testing
Design/Build Tester
Supported File FormatsODB++, CAD ASCII, IPC-2581
BOM: .xls, .csv, .xlsx
Gerber (RS-274X)
Centroid (XY, Pick-n-Place)

BOM (Bill of Materials) as an Excel, CSV or OpenOffice table with clear defined identifiers for all parts (please download our BOM format)

  • Gerber files
  • Parts placement drawing
  • Centroid data file (This is the machine file which should include X, Y, Theta (Rotation), Side of Board (top or bottom), and Reference Designator. This is sometimes called XYRS data (X,Y, Rotation, Side), pick and place data, or simply XY data. .XLS or .CSV formats are preferred. )
  • Other requirements or assembly instructions if applicable

Our minimum PCB Assembly order quantity is 1. However, our minimum PCB manufacturing quantity is 5, which means you need to order at least 5 PCBs even if you only need 1 PCB to be assembled. We will delivery assembled PCBs, unused bare PCBs and unused components to you.
The final lead time is PCB/Stencil manufacturing time + parts delivery time + PCBA time + firmware flashing time (if requested) + functional test time (if requested). Our sales person estimates the lead time for you while preparing an official and detailed quotation. If you need expedited PCBA service, please inform us your expected date to receive your order.
We do visual inspection, basic short circuit test and power-on test (input voltage and expected current need to be offered by clients). We strongly recommend you to offer functional test procedures to ensure quality before shipment.
Yes, we can solder BGAs; we can also do X-Ray tests for BGA soldering.
Yes, we can. But the cost will be slight higher than single side assembling.
Firstly, we source components from our local reliable vendors or distributors to get reasonable prices, guaranteed quality and lead time. If some of the components have to be ordered abroad, we will source and order components from DigiKey, Mouser, Future, Master or Farnell through our licensed agent.
Yes, we would like to do this for you if you accept alternative parts from different manufacturers. Please clearly mark them in the BOM and inform our sales person. Besides, additional cost might be charged after we evaluate the workload.
Yes. However, before you send them to us, please contact us with full details of shipping information, quantities and part numbers of components and declared value for our import customs.
We return all unused parts to you whether you supply parts or we supply parts. We can also keep all unused parts for you to repeat orders in the future.
Yes, if you request. We can also keep the stencil for you for maximum 6 months. After 6 months, we will clear the stencils out of our storehouse.