Smart Prototyping Reviews

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There are 11 reviews with an average rating of 4.1.  

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Smart Prototyping SKU UPC Model

Speedy, affordable, good enough for me

Oct 22, 2016 by Stuart Longland

This is the first time I've had a PCB manufactured, normally I do it myself. For this bespoke project though, rather than a DIY double-sided board, I opted for a 4-layer board, which would allow me to use smaller SMD parts and have some spares.

The boards themselves went through the processing queue quickly, despite being the cheapest option they were done in 10 days. The quality is far above anything I can achieve with the tools I have here.

Only hiccup was the shipping: I opted for Swiss Post, and at first, it showed the parcel as being destined for Canada not Australia. Turns out this is normal practice, the tracking system shows the transit country rather than the destination.

The parcel took a while, but it did get here on-time (15 days after the "shipping" email arrived, exactly as stated) -- one just needs to be patient. Good things come to those who wait.

Fast, cheap, quality seems OK

Jun 17, 2016 by Rob Pearce

I ordered a batch of simple 2-sided boards for a project to be built by teenagers, so it's a simple board with no hard tolerances. I opted for the cheapest postage - 15-30 working days.

To my surprise, the boards arrived 12 calendar days after I placed the order. They look perfect. I can just see what the other reviewers mean about fuzzy silk screen but it's not a problem. The batch number they added to the silk screen is underneath a connector so will be hidden once assembled.

As I said, this is for teenagers on a summer camp, so I've not actually built any up yet, but everything looks good so far.

Amazing Quality, Fast Service, Great Price

Nov 18, 2015 by Jake Poznanski

I love Smart-Prototyping, especially their PCBA services. You can send them your gerber files and a Mouser/Digikey BOM, and get back completed, populated, tested boards in 2 weeks. Their service is very affordable and the boards are high quality. Be sure to ask for DHL shipping if you want to get the boards fast.

I agree with some of the other reviewers that the silk screen quality is not as good as other manufacturers. However, if you stick with larger font sizes you should be okay. The actual solder mask and copper layers are crisp and clean. Moreover, if you have them do assembly for you, the quality of the silkscreen becomes even less of an issue.

I got quote on November 3rd, and I'm holding the working assembled boards in my hands right now on November 18th 🙂

Excellent quality / price

Jul 28, 2015 by Alex

Ordered a 1.6mm 2-layer board + 0.8mm 2-layer board.
Quality is better than it should be considering you get 10cm-10cm * 10pcs for $12.

Pics or it didn\'t happen:

Timeline :
- I submitted the order on Sunday ( they\'re off on Sunday I think ).
- On Monday around 3:00PM Shenzen time I was contacted about an issue with my design (I put in some 1 mil-spaced traces for testing).
- I sent updated gerbers and my boards were sent off for production within 30-60 min.
- Got a notification next Sunday that my boards were shipped - tracking showed they were shipped on Saturday.
- Boards were delivered Monday morning - 8 days after I placed the order.

- Relatively fast - basically 1 week turn-around using DHL shipping. I had a 0.8mm design in my order so it might have been even faster if I only had the standard 1.6mm.
- I got an extra board + a free PCB ruler
- Communication was great
- All my vias were 12-24 & all turned out great

Heads ups:
- They do silkscreen cleaning - they remove all silkscreen around 3-4 mil of any exposed copper.
- They extended my guard gap from 1 mil to around 3 mil.
- Silkscreen quality is not production quality(see pics).

Fast and acceptable quality

Jul 27, 2015 by Willem

Ordered begin of july got the boards back two weeks later with normal swiss post which makes it the fastest service I experienced till now.
Quality is ok for hobby, not for business but the price is excellent (low).
- via\'s drill are not always aligned, found some boards with 10% shift below so make the pads of the via\'s larger than the standard to be sure.
- the silkscreen text was 32 mil and is very rough (dots visible) not as nice as the ones I had from seeed studio.
-fine boards, with good e-test, work as promised
-stainless steel stencil is excellent quality up to par with pro pcb fabs

Overall very happy with this fab, will use them more often esp. when I need stencils. Won\'t use them for extremely delicate designs.

got back bad boards

Jun 15, 2015 by Adam

I sent the exact same four-layer GERBER package to five different board houses: iTead, smart-prototyping, shenzen2u, seeed studio, and OSH Park.

The smart-prototyping and shenzen2u boards came back bad; soldered up six of them (three each) and the FPGA JTAG was unresponsive on all of them.

For comparison, I soldered up one OSH Park and four iTead boards, all of which worked perfectly.

It's a four-layer board with a BGA, so hunting down the manufacturing mistake is about ten times costlier than the board itself.

I suspect that shenzen2u and smart-prototyping are really two fronts for the same fab; they have the same web UI and when I change my shipping address on one site it shows up changed on the other site! The boards were both of similar quality, significantly lower quality than iTead/OSHPark. Their copper etch is nowhere near as good as iTead or OSHPark.

Fast service and acceptable PCB quality

May 21, 2015 by Wim

My order was for 10pcs 2 layer boards and selected Smart Prototyping based on reviews here.
Ordering process through their website was pretty straightforward. Processing time was an acceptable 5 days. I opted for DHL Express delivery to Belgium. The boards shipped on Thursday and arrived on Monday.
Quality of the boards so far looks to be good for the price.

I did not see any misalignment from the silkscreen on either top or bottom but on 3 out of 10 boards, I found some through holes mis-aligned vs the through hole solder pads. This was very noticeable in the footprints for a number of 2.54mm pitch headers. Silkscreen and through hole solder pads are spaced evenly and correctly but the spacing between holes is very irregular making the holes and pads not concentric. Nothing a little bending of the header pins can\'t fix but still...

Silkscreen terrible quality

May 08, 2015 by John

Had an order of 30 boards done last week - They did ship the boards quickly as advertised, but the bottom side silkscreen was smeared all over. They did manage to get top side silkscreen registered correctly, but they also added text on top side without permission.

Copper thickness was marginally in spec. The drill registration was OK.

Complete lack of craftsmanship, at least on this order.

Smart Prototyping is OK probably for very simple, non critical boards.

Not bad, but not better than other vendors

Jan 21, 2015 by AndyB

I decided to try Smart Prototyping on a small order (25 pieces) because of good reviews and reasonable pricing.
Not very impressed, not better than other board vendors.
They separated my V-cut boards (with prior warning) even their specs allow it. V-cut length must be more than 8cm.???

Silk screen is weak and visibly shifted, solder mask is offset little bit too.
They made stencil for both sides even I clearly asked for a single sided only.
Boards were made in 5 days, but it took almost 10 days to get it in US even I paid for express shipping. Lesson learned: Do not use UPS shipping, use DHL or FedEx.

Overall- 4 stars at best

Good boards, cheap and fast

Oct 24, 2014 by Andy

I like Smart Prototyping because of the following points:
1. The boards are very cheap
2. The production time is quite short compared to other vendors
3. They provide Eagle Design Rule (.dru) files so you can be sure your boards are within the specifications of the fab.
4. The boards are of good quality. I did have one board where there was a small spot where the soldermask was thicker, as if there was contamination where the soldermask collected on. But this was only noticeable at second sight.

On the page of the PCB prototyping service, Smart Prototyping provides a link to a detailed customer review that fits here:

Living in Germany, I had the boards in my hands 11 days after ordering. This is 7 days shorter than what PCBshopper predicted.

I also like Smart Prototyping for the fact that they offer PCB manufacture, part sourcing and assembly under one roof. But I haven't made any experiences with part sourcing and assembly yet.

Great boards for the price

Aug 06, 2014 by John

I used PCBShopper and found Smart Prototyping to be the best value so decided to try them out with a pair of boards. Production time was average but I did find shipping via Swiss post to the US a little slow but with good tracking information. The quality of the boards were very nice, dimensions spot on, and had no issues soldering. The silkscreen on top and bottom was nice and clean even on a few areas with extra small fonts. Overall I will be purchasing from them again.

4.1 5.0 11 11 This is the first time I've had a PCB manufactured, normally I do it myself. For this bespoke project though, rather than a DIY double-sided board, I opted for a 4-layer board, wh Smart Prototyping