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Instant PCB Quote: Getting the best PCB/PCBA quotation instantly.

Getting your PCB project to manufacturing can take a lot of work. There are many PCB and PCBA manufacturers and component distributors to buy from. Designing your custom PCB and ordering it can be long and challenging. Sometimes it requires days of waiting for a PCB quote and the seller’s response. Well, not anymore. Today, we will explain instant online pcb quote and how it can provide your project with estimated pricing within seconds.



Conventional PCB quote process


Over the years, as technology and automation moved forward, so did the PCB and PCBA quotation process. Some facilities require the customers to attend physical meetings at the manufacturing or PCB fabrication facility. The traditional way was to call someone over the phone to understand the project specs and requirements. Later, manufacturers requested to email attachments to give quotations.

Those methods are time-wasting and difficult to archive. Mainly when the customers and the PCB and PCBA fabrication facilities are located in different countries.

Conventional PCB quotation has long been considered inefficient, time-wasting, and tedious. Luckily, PCB and PCBA manufacturers devised a solution: an instant PCB and PCBA quote.



How does instant PCB quote work


Instant PCB accrues when a customer submits his PCB fabrication files (Gerber, BOM, and other necessary production files). During this process, the intelligent online system will open the files and estimate the price based on various aspects, such as the number of components, pads, layers, and special requirements. The result will be very close to the final PCBA and PCB quote service price at the end of the quotation process. The automated PCB quotation process is deemed very reliable.


Requirements for PCB instant quote

To get an instant quotation, the customer should submit multiple files through the instant quotation platform:

  • Gerber files – required for fabrication of a circuit printed board. Also needed for the SMT and PCBA fabrication.
  • BOM files – required for SMT and PCBA. The BOM file will allow the manufacturer to know which and how many components to use.
  • Drilling files and others (depending on the fabrication facility)

In case the fabrication process contains specific tests, the manufacturer might require additional instructions to perform. Those instructions will estimate the time needed for a single PCB/PCBA board to be made and thus offer a better instant PCB quote.


The benefits of instant PCB and PCBA quotation

What are the benefits of instant PCB quotes over conventional quotation methods? Here are some of the benefits we could think of:

  1. Instantly (obviously) – forget wasting time and waiting for email replies or waiting hours by the phone line.
  2. Reliable PCB quotation – With all the parameters available to play with, you could choose different PCB colors and solder masks and see what causes the price increase in production.
  3. Easy to use – Online PCB quotation designed to be drag-and-drop, attach the Gerber and BOM files and let the cloud system take care of the rest.
  4. Saves time – No need to handle different files, components, and excels.
  5. Suitable for prototyping and mass production. Offers better PCB quotation and pricing for large quantities.
  6. Precise pricing methods – no surprises. The price offered in the instant online PCB quotation is final.
  7. Tracking and tracing – Easy to understand where the project is standing. A website that offers online quotations will also provide an online PCB production tracker.



Avoiding traditional PCB quotation methods

Some manufacturers will claim they provide an instant PCB quote for your project needs, but do they?

You should pay attention to red alerts, especially when a PCB company claims to offer an instant PCB without the “instant” aspect.

  • The fabrication facility requires you to submit an email with the fabrication files.
  • The manufacturers require you to give them a call so they can understand your project needs better.
  • The PCB and PCBA fabrication facility doesn’t ask for files to provide an instant PCB quote.
  • The manufacturer doesn’t provide prototypes instant PCB quotes (small batches), only for big orders.
  • The facility requires you to provide the welding materials to them before working on your project.
  • After setting an order online, ask you to wait 24-48 hours to get your PCB and PCBA project quote.

All those warning signs are things you should be aware of to avoid when setting an online quotation. PCB and PCBA quotations should be instant, fast, and without unreasonable requirements.

Asking to deliver components for evaluation and other unreasonable demands could cause significant loss and pain.



Ensuring you get the quotation smoothly.

There are a few things to note when asking for an instant PCB quote. For example, sometimes the upload will fail due to damaged files. The quotation system fails to extract the files to offer a reliable quotation. To avoid that, ensure the Gerber file is zipped properly in “.zip” format. Then, upload the files according to the website instructions.

Some instant PCB quote systems include an online Gerber viewer. Once the files are uploaded successfully, a “Gerber viewer” should open up and show you how the PCB will look after the fabrication.

Gerber files are most often extracted using CAM jobs in the PCB design CAD software. If the online quotation system fails to recognize your Gerber file and offers an instant PCB quote, ensure the PCB CAM job was correctly executed.



The best place to get an online instant PCB quote

After reading all this, looking for the best place to receive an instant trustworthy PCB and PCBA quote? At PCBasic, we offer all this and more. We designed our custom in-house online quotation systems with over 15 years of production and pcb fabrication experience.

We provide customers with a reliable way to receive an instant PCB quote within seconds. Once the order has been set, you can choose from various payment methods, including PayPal, bank transfer, and more.

We offer 24/7 access to a real-time project tracker, enabling you to know where your project is standing at all times.

At PCBasic, we pride ourselves on being able to support PCB and PCBA projects from prototype to mass production, offering a reliable, fast, online instant PCB quote for all.

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