TaskDescriptionCommentsCheck
Assign a Part NumberPCB Name/Part Number, including a revision number to clearly identify this part.Use this same name if you are going to place an order later, and also label the data.zip with the same name to prevent any mix up.
No. of Layers1 (Single Sided), 2 (Double Sided), 4,6,8,10, etc. (multi-layer).
Quantity RequiredHow many boards do want?Perhaps submit a quote request for different quantities to get an idea of the best value available.
PCB SizeLength x Width, and specify the units.An approximate size could result in a difference between the quoted price and the invoice. (101mm x 120.5mm is not 100mm x 120mm).
Material RequiredDetermined by the environmental conditions that the PCB is required to operate under, as well as the job it is required to do.PCB manufacturers may not have specialised material in stock and will need time to source it.
Finished Material ThicknessMinimum thickness is 0.2mm (0.0078")
Maximum thickness 2.0mm (0.078")
We also offer Flex and Flex-rigid PCB options.
Multi-Layer BuildMost manufacturers differ slightly in their standard multilayer builds. For high-tech multilayer and impedance control, this is important.Special layer builds may incur extra charges
Finished Copper WeightSpecify the finished copper weight required measured in ounces.The higher the finished Cu weight required, the bigger the min track/gap allowable will be.
Surface FinishVarious options available giving different soldering, operating and longevity. properties.See our PCB Capabilities page for more details.
SoldermaskPrevents oxidation of the PCB and solder bridges between closely spaced solder pads.Various colour options available. High Tg soldermasks are also available on request.
SilkscreenDo you want it on one or both sides?Various colour options available.
Board PanelisationDo you require your boards delivered to you as single units or do you want them delivered in panel format.Options for panel format include scoring or help on pips. Panel details must be supplied with the order.
Electrical TestDo you want your boards to be electrically tested against the Gerber files or netlist that you supply?Additional charge will probably apply. See quote.
ImpedenceDo any lines on your PCB require controlled impedance?If you require impedance control and the manufacturer can produce it, there will be added cost implications.
Min GapsPlease specify the minimum gaps on you board. Pad/Pad, Track/Track and Pad/Track. Again some manufactures are limited by the minimum spacing that can be produced.Could cause unnecessary delays to your project if the manufacturer discovers they cannot produce the boards because they are below their minimum spec.
Min Drill SizeManufactures will have a specified minimum drill size that can be produced conventionally.If they offer a laser drilling service for smaller vias, it will have cost implications.
Blind/Buried ViasOnly a requirement of multi-layer PCBs, these require extra manufacturing processes to the standard through-hole via.This is an important consideration when pricing the PCBs.
Vias CappedVias placed on smd pads are capped and plated over.See the definition section of our PCB Capabilities page for more details.
PeelablemaskProvides protection to special areas during surface finish or soldering processes.See our PCB Capabilities page for more details.
Plated Slots / CutoutsDefine these clearly in the board outline layer.May incur extra charges.
Plated Board EdgesOften required in RF circuits and otherwise know as castellations the top and bottom are connected by plating on the board edge.Not all manufacturers can produce boards with plated edges. If you require them, please specify at the quotation stage as some design alterations may be required.
Gold Plated Edge connectorHard gold is is often required on the contact fingers of a plug in device.May incur extra charges.
Carbon InkOften applied to keypads or push button contacts.
Lead TimeHow fast do you want your boards?We aim to have any engineering questions (EQs) cleared up within 24 hours, and the working days begin from the time all answers are given. EQs arise when our manufacturers do not have sufficient information from the design files.
Markings Do you require any date code, UL code or other markings such as manufacturer’s logo?If so, please supply details of the location where you want the markings and details of how you want the markings on the PCBs (Copper, Soldermask or Silkscreen).
The DataAs a rule each layer of the PCB requires a separate Gerber file (RS274X format preferably). A separate Gerber file is also required for the soldermask on each side of the board as well as the silkscreen layers, peelable soldermask, etc., as required. Ideally, a separate gerber file of the board outline including any slots or cutouts is also required. Drilling information must be supplied in NC format.If the drill sizes are not included in the NC drill files, then a separate report file with the sizes and plating details must also be sent. Make sure that the hole sizes supplied are the finished hole sizes. For example, if you require a 6 layer PCB with soldermask and silkscreen on top and bottom, then you must supply 11 Gerber files. You must also then supply an NC drill file which will include the plated and non-plated drills and a report specifying which drills are plated and which drills are non-plated.
 Design Rules for Easier Manufacturing
Copper SliversThese are small copper features which are created when a copper area is filled by an aperture which is too small and usually occur in areas where trace and pad clearance intersect. They are normally less than the minimum feature size allowed in the design rules and can break off and move potentially causing shorts during the manufacturing process.
Non-Flashed PadsWhen creating footprints please create all pads using flashed apertures. Do not create pads using drawn traces. This leads to problems and extra work when creating e-test data and can also lead to large data files which are difficult to transfer by email.
Copper Area Created Using Flashed PadsPlease create all copper pour areas using traces and not using flashed pads.
Spacing Violations Within the Same NetThese are often an issue when the tracks have been created using an auto-router and the minimum clearance has not been set for same net connections.
Soldermask BridgesThe minimum soldermask bridge we recommend is 0.15mm. Bridge sizes less than this are normally located around tight pitched components and are caused when the soldermask is expanded to create the minimum clearance required for manufacture. If a soldermask bridge is found to be less than 0.15mm then it is normally removed and this can cause problems later when soldering.
Silkscreen TextWhen creating component foot prints please keep the component names 0.1mm away from the pads. When it comes to manufacturing, the silkscreen is clipped from the soldermask and if any silkscreen text is touching the soldermask pads, it will be removed. This can lead to a silkscreen which illegible and it does not look good cosmetically. Likewise, if the text is smaller than our recommended minimum size, it can also be illegible when printed.

Text on Copper LayersAll manufacturers recommend that some form of text is added to the copper layers; for example a part number or company name. This gives reassurance to the manufacturer that the board is being built correctly. As you look at the board through the top side, the text on the top side must be legible and the text on the bottom side must be illegible.
Creating Gerber / NcDrill OutputsAlways use the same units when outputting Gerber and NcDrill files and do not put any offsets in the outputs. This means that the Gerber files can be loaded into the manufacturers Cam software without rounding errors and with the layers aligned. Make sure that the hole sizes supplied to the manufacturer are the finished hole sizes. Output Gerber files in RS274X format. This format contains all the aperture information embedded in the Gerber file.
NcDrillPlease remove any double drills in same location and overlapping drills before creating the drill output. This can cause drill breakages during manufacturing.
Layer NamesGive your Gerber outputs names that make the function of each layer clear to the manufacturer”Base_1.gbx” and “Base_2.gbx” are not good names because you cannot tell what the layer function is from the name. Whereas “Base_Top.gbx” and “Base_Bottom.gbx” are good names as they provide more information about the layer function.