One of my good friends introduce me to www.oshpark.com. Oshpark collects pcb data around the world and put them in one panel before sending them to fab. Since they put lot of pcbs in one panel price per pcb is very less. Currently Oshpark charges US$5.00 for a square inch of a double sided board. Your also get 3 boards from a single pcb. For me Oshpark has become the number one place for prototype pcbs. Here are some pcbs I’ve done from Oshpark.
Oshpark site documents settings for preparing gerber and nc drill files for some of the popular cad softwares. It is important to get these settings right otherwise you will end up receiving a pcb with anomalies. I was using Altium pcb designer and Oshpark has no documentation regarding the settings of gerber/nc drill file for Altium pcb designer. I had to find the correct settings by trial and error. It was a tedious task as I have to tweak the settings and load it to Oshpark site to see a rendered image of my pcb to check whether it is correct. However, after several iterations I found the correct settings. Below are the settings used for creating gerber/nc drill files. Hopefully other readers who use Altium can upload their gerber/Nc drill files to Oshpark without any guess work 🙂
Settings for General tab of Gerber Setup window.
Settings for advanced tab of Gerber setup window