I have ordered my prototype PCBs from these two “manufacturers” so I think it would be nice to do some quick comparison.
I have to say that from both you will get superior PCBs with quality on the professional level but which one to choose?
OSH park and PCBs.io are pool PCBs “manufacturers”. Simply they collect a bunch of pcbs to one huge PCB which is sent to a manufacturer. This approach reduces a price to the minimum. Price is defined exactly by PCB’s area for 3 pieces respective 4 pieces in case of PCBs.io Both are located in USA and have a free worldwide shipping!
Web Interface and notifications
Both services have very easy and straight forward interface and you can upload easily your gerber files of Eagle BRD files. Web interface will show a visual preview of your board plus layers like silkscreen, drilling, etc. I have tried Eagle and CircuitMaker files, both without any issues. Super.
While functionality is similar I would say pcbs.io web is much modern and looks simply better.
OSH has much better documentation how to prepare files for manufacture what can and what can’t be done. Alo there available more services like swift mode, where boards are manufactured within 5 working days.
Both allows to share your PCBs with community and in case of PCBs.io you will get 10% credit everytime someone orders your shared board.
Notifications about manufacture phases are OK for both for them but OSH gives you more detail, nice.
I would say that average delivery time to EU is about 3weeks. One OSH upgraded my order to swift service and I got my PCB in one week then.
OSH uses paper envelope for packaging while pcbs.io uses plastic bubble envelope which is theoretically safer for pcbs but I don’t thing that really an issue.
I have had one issue with pcbs.io order where they decided to combine two orders in one package and they declared value of the package even higher than was sum of that two orders. Plus they added two extra boards what is very nice but all this stuff caused that I have had issues with my country customs and a paid a lot more money after all for tax, duty and manipulation service 🙁
Both delivered PCBs in awesome quality. OSH produces PCBs 1.6mm thick while pcbs.io just 1.2mm. For bigger boards, I would prefer 1.6mm but for these small ones I simply don’t care. Silkscreens are hi-res top quality. Aligning of holes is not always 100% but still very good. PCBs.io uses black soldermask and OSH unique purple. Black soldermask is cool but it is hard to follow tracks if you need to. Also cleaning of PCB from residual flux is more complicated. Also OSH’s has sligtly golder parts.
PCB.io uses more holding flaps and in my case on very inconvinient place (RF) connector. Not big issue but more work with cleaning.
5$ per sq inch for 3 pieces = 1.66$ per sq inch
linear pricing from:
4$ per sq inch for 4 pieces = 1$ per sq inch for boards 1 sq inch
3$ per sq inch for 4 pieces = 0.75$ per sq inch for boards above 20 sq inch
Honestly, I quite nicely surprised by PCBs.io quality in comparison to well proven OSH park. I think that OSH has new interesting competition especially because of much lower price for similar quality (except board thickness). Future will show the reliability of pcbs.io service and especially delivering packages to my country without customs issues.