Where to get a fastest PCB Assembly prototype

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Introduction to PCB Prototyping

PCB (Printed Circuit Board) prototyping is an essential step in the electronic product development process. It allows designers and engineers to test and validate their designs before mass production, saving time and money by catching potential issues early on. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of PCB prototyping, factors to consider when choosing a PCB Prototype service provider, and where to find the fastest PCB assembly prototype services.

What is a PCB Prototype?

A PCB prototype is a physical representation of a circuit board design, used for testing and validation purposes. It is typically a small-scale production run of the final PCB design, allowing designers to assess the functionality, reliability, and manufacturability of their boards before committing to large-scale production.

Why is PCB Prototyping Important?

PCB prototyping offers several key benefits:

  1. Design Validation: Prototypes allow designers to test their PCB layouts and ensure they function as intended.
  2. Error Detection: By physically testing prototypes, designers can identify and fix potential issues early in the development process.
  3. Manufacturability Assessment: Prototyping helps determine if a PCB design is feasible for mass production, considering factors such as component placement and assembly processes.
  4. Cost Savings: Catching and fixing issues during the prototyping phase is much more cost-effective than discovering problems after mass production has begun.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a PCB Prototype Service

When selecting a PCB prototype service provider, consider the following factors:


In the fast-paced world of electronics, time-to-market is critical. Look for a service provider that offers quick turnaround times for PCB prototypes, ensuring you can test and iterate your designs rapidly.


While speed is important, it should not come at the expense of quality. Choose a provider that adheres to strict quality control standards and uses high-quality materials to ensure your prototypes accurately represent your final product.


Consider the capabilities of the PCB prototype service, such as the minimum feature sizes they can accommodate, the number of layers they can produce, and the types of materials they work with. Ensure their capabilities align with your project requirements.


Prototyping costs can vary significantly between providers. While it’s important to find a cost-effective solution, be cautious of services that seem too good to be true. Striking a balance between cost, speed, and quality is key.

Customer Support

Look for a PCB prototype service with responsive and knowledgeable customer support. They should be able to answer your questions, provide guidance, and assist with any issues that may arise during the prototyping process.

Where to Find the Fastest PCB Assembly Prototype Services

Several companies offer fast PCB assembly prototype services, each with their own strengths and specialties. Some top providers include:

1. PCBWay

PCBWay is a leading PCB prototype and manufacturing service, offering a wide range of capabilities and quick turnaround times. They provide the following services:

  • PCB Fabrication
  • PCB Assembly
  • 3D Printing
  • CNC Machining
  • Sheet Metal Fabrication

PCBWay’s online platform makes it easy to upload your design files, select your desired specifications, and receive a quick quote. They offer turnaround times as fast as 24 hours for PCB fabrication and 48 hours for PCB assembly.

Service Turnaround Time
PCB Fabrication 24 hours
PCB Assembly 48 hours
3D Printing 48 hours
CNC Machining 3-5 days
Sheet Metal Fab. 3-5 days


JLCPCB is another popular choice for fast PCB prototyping and low-volume production. They specialize in PCB fabrication and assembly, offering competitive pricing and quick turnaround times. Some of their key features include:

  • Instant online quoting
  • Prototype to production services
  • Wide range of PCB specifications
  • Assembly with various surface mount and through-hole components

JLCPCB offers standard lead times of 2-3 days for PCB fabrication and 3-5 days for assembly, with expedited options available for even faster turnaround.

3. Sierra Circuits

Sierra Circuits is a high-quality PCB prototype and manufacturing service, known for their expertise in complex designs and advanced technologies. They offer:

  • Quick-turn PCB prototyping
  • High-density interconnect (HDI) PCBs
  • Rigid-flex and flex PCBs
  • Advanced PCB Technologies (embedded components, microvias, etc.)

Sierra Circuits provides a range of lead time options, with their fastest prototype service delivering PCBs in just 1-2 days.

4. Sunstone Circuits

Sunstone Circuits is a trusted provider of PCB prototyping services, offering a user-friendly online platform and a commitment to customer satisfaction. Their services include:

  • PCB123, an easy-to-use PCB design tool
  • PCB fabrication with various materials and finishes
  • PCB assembly with through-hole and surface mount components
  • Expedited prototyping options

Sunstone Circuits offers standard lead times of 5-7 days for PCB fabrication and assembly, with faster options available for time-sensitive projects.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. How long does it typically take to receive a PCB prototype?

Turnaround times for PCB prototypes can vary depending on the complexity of the design, the chosen service provider, and the selected lead time option. On average, PCB fabrication can take anywhere from 24 hours to 7 days, while assembly can range from 48 hours to 7 days. Many service providers offer expedited options for faster turnaround.

2. What files do I need to provide for PCB prototyping?

When ordering a PCB prototype, you’ll typically need to provide the following files:

  • Gerber-files-pcb/”>Gerber files: These files contain the information needed for PCB fabrication, including copper layers, solder mask, and silkscreen.
  • Drill files: These files specify the location, size, and type of holes required for your PCB.
  • Assembly files: If you require PCB assembly, you’ll need to provide a bill of materials (BOM) and component placement files (e.g., XY coordinates, rotations).

3. How much does PCB prototyping cost?

The cost of PCB prototyping depends on several factors, such as the size and complexity of the board, the number of layers, the quantity ordered, and the turnaround time. Some service providers offer low-cost prototype options, with prices starting at around $5 per board for small, simple designs. More complex designs or faster turnaround times will generally cost more.

4. Can I get a PCB prototype with a custom shape or cutouts?

Yes, many PCB prototype service providers offer the ability to create custom-shaped boards or include cutouts in your design. You’ll need to specify these requirements in your design files and ensure the service provider can accommodate them. Keep in mind that custom shapes or cutouts may increase the cost and lead time of your prototype.

5. What should I do if I’m not satisfied with my PCB prototype?

If you’re not satisfied with your PCB prototype, the first step is to contact your service provider’s customer support. Most reputable providers will work with you to resolve any issues and ensure your satisfaction. Be prepared to provide detailed information about the problem and, if necessary, share photos or videos to help them understand the issue. In some cases, the service provider may offer a refund or a reprint of your prototype if the issue is due to a manufacturing defect.


PCB prototyping is a critical step in the electronic product development process, allowing designers to test and validate their designs before committing to large-scale production. When choosing a PCB prototype service provider, consider factors such as speed, quality, capabilities, cost, and customer support.

Several companies offer fast PCB assembly prototype services, including PCBWay, JLCPCB, Sierra Circuits, and Sunstone Circuits. Each provider has its own strengths and specialties, so it’s essential to compare their offerings and select the one that best meets your project requirements.

By working with a reliable PCB prototype service provider and carefully reviewing your designs, you can streamline your development process, catch potential issues early, and bring your electronic products to market faster.