For many years Seeedstudio is known as a development forge and store of all kinds of fine electronic gadgets and accessories, which makes the Maker heart beat faster. For some time now, they have also been offering a board service. This is what my little test is about.
Recently I was asked by Seeedstudio if I would like to test their PCB service. Of course I accepted this invitation with thanks.
The order page presents itself tidy and functional, as with most other service providers.
As usual, you first upload the ZIP file with the Gerber files. Then you can enter various parameters, such as the number of layers, color, platinum thickness, etc.
What I missed at this point is the possibility to choose so-called sawed-off Goldfingers, i.e. the possibility to bevel the contact strip for plug-in cards in order to plug them into the corresponding slot more easily.
There is only the hint to contact the Advanced Service for further features. Unfortunately, the boards are also much more expensive there, since this is more aimed at the commercial sector.
An order is quickly made. The price of $4.90 for 10 boards is also within the usual range, although other colors and some features are not reflected in a higher price here.
However, the shipping costs are rather in the middle range. For 10 boards in the format 70x50x1.6mm, the cheapest shipping, in this case Singapore Post, is 11.86 dollars.
However, faster shipping methods, such as DHL Express, are also available, which are then naturally reflected in an extreme surcharge. In addition, import sales tax is then due for the shipping costs alone, and DHL Express then also gladly collects a template commission of 12.50 euros at the door.
But the goods will be here in about 3 days, not including the production time of the boards.
You can pay via PayPal, as well as with a credit card. The ordering process is very easy and everything is very clear.
After ordering, you can see a status in your online account, but it is very sparse compared to other service providers. You can’t see how far the boards are and what is being done. Surely one is somewhat spoiled here by some other manufacturers.
Not the fastest…
Advertised with a manufacturing time of about 3 days. In addition to the test order, for which I had received a voucher, I also made a completely regular order as a second test.
I had ordered the boards on September 22, 2018. I also received an email shortly afterwards that the boards had been put into production.
However, these were shipped only on September 30, so a whole 8 days later. My second order was also much longer in production, 10 days, than the stated 3 days.
So anyone who urgently needs the boards will have to be patient accordingly. In addition, the first order, which was dispatched on September 30, was not actually received by the carrier until October 5.
So, from the order to the real shipment, a whole 2 weeks have passed. That is a pretty sad record so far. On average, all orders with other service providers were on the way after a week at the latest, apart from Aisler, which took a good 3 weeks for my last orders.
The actual shipping time was 14 days, which is quite normal for standard shipping. A tracking number is displayed in the online account, so you can always keep track of where the package is.
The boards are delivered shrink-wrapped in foil. Additionally wrapped in plenty of bubble wrap and packed in a sturdy thick cardboard box. So nothing can happen on the long transport route. The stencil is additionally packed between two sturdy cardboard plates, so that also nothing can be bent or bent.
I had ordered both boards in SMD technology, as well as normal THT construction for the usual components. In addition, I have also ordered a stencil.
There is nothing to criticize about the manufacturing execution. The solder mask is applied cleanly and absolutely congruent. The contacts and drill holes are also without any blemish.
Auch der Stencil ist absolut deckungsgleich zur Platine. Auch dieser wurde sehr sauber hergestellt. Auch die von mir bestückten und gelöteteten Platinen wiesen keinen Fehler auf,
All in all, there is no criticism of the boards and they can be ordered without hesitation.
Even if the manufacturing process, including handover to the carrier has already taken an exceptionally long time, so I can not find anything negative about the actual boards. They are manufactured on a very good level and are also priced in the midfield.
The only thing I have to criticize is the status and duration.
- Clear order process
- Many features are already included in the standard price of $4.90
- Shipping costs are in the middle range, even if you order a stencil as well
- Boards and stencil are cleanly and accurately made
- Goods are packed very well protected
- Production time, or until handover to shipping takes place
- Only very simple status