PCBs from Seeed Studio

Background

During the past couple of months, I have been working on a new project that I call Razzler: POV LED Top. The final product is a toy top that one can spin, like the old-time toys. This top detects spinning and plays little animation patterns on it’s line of LEDs, creating a persistence-of-vision (POV) display.

Since I wanted the Razzler to be small and compact, I needed to design a PCB on which to mount all my SMD components. This PCB wasn’t too complicated: just a two layer board with 6/6 mil clearances. I spent many hours of many nights laying out my first PCB for this project. Finally, I was satisfied with my design. I needed to get it produced.

Why Seeed Studio?

10 fresh new PCBs arrive from Seeed Studio

I chose Seeed Studio (seeedstudio.com) to manufacture my newly designed PCB since it was affordable and had an easy-to-use website that seemed modern and trustworthy. I had also seen them recommended on other websites, like this blog.

Seeed Studio’s web interface is very similar to other places, but just seems cleaner and better. I uploaded my gerber files and hit go. Only $4.90 for 10 boards!!! Amazing!

PCBs arrive in a shrinked plastic wrap

Results

After waiting a few weeks, the boards showed up. A close inspection of all 10 revealed nothing wrong! I wasn’t really pushing limits in this project, as I adhered to all their design rules, but they delivered good clean boards.

Newly assembled Razzler board

I really don’t have anything to complain about… I have assembled multiple and they all work perfectly. The quality of the PCB is high enough that it doesn’t affect my circuit; it just works.

I had read many things about cheap PCB houses creating poor looking silkscreens, but the silkscreens on my boards look just fine. No dotting like some places seem to produce.

Overall, I am impressed by Seeed Studio’s cheap PCB service. The quality is very nice for the price ($5!!!). I will be ordering revision two of the Razzler from them soon.

Razzler Pictures

Razzler PCB in wooden top housing
Animations playing while still
Animations playing while spinning