About Us

DirtyPCBs.com

Honestly, this site started as a joke. A weekend script tossed together to consolidate PCB orders from the Dangerous Prototypes team. It sat quietly and unnoticed until Hack a Day told the world. Turns out people like cheap, no-nonsence PCBs at near-China local prices and no-markup shipping. The original script, not even worthy of the word "store", ran for three years and handled tens of thousands of orders.

Over that time we've hacked together new interfaces to cool services in China, and cobbled them together into this store. It is highly experimental and many things are still a bit rough around the edges! Welcome, the PCBs are cheap and the 3D printing is amazing!

More PCB specs and info

Quality

We sell the lowest-cost services we can find in Shenzhen, China. The price is great and the quality ranges from excellent to usable. We're not shy about sharing limitations. Our services are intended for hackers to do dirt cheap prototyping. We use these services personally for all our stuff and never have problems. If you hate the results we'll refund your money. If there's a problem with the order, we'll replace it or refund your money.

While this site is founded on the "Dirty" concept, it's not so dirty any more. Our original "dirty board" was part of the fab's test of digital silk printing. Since that brief one week test, all silkscreens are applied by hand using an actual screen. The SLA 3D prints are smooth and hand finished. The Lasercuts are impecable.

Check out these quotes from real hackers:

  • Please continue being awesome...arrived sooner than I expected, looked better than I expected, and have had no issues electrically.
  • Got the boards today - they look GREAT! 12 in all. Took 2 weeks from HK to Toronto.
  • The board arrived today. They are really good! Really, not so "dirty" :D The shipment from HK to Italy took 1 month and 3 days.
  • I'm really impressed on the quality vs. price of the PCBs. I got a sample/test board some weeks ago and I'm very happy with the quality.
  • My boards arrived! Great quality! I'm very happy!
  • great job, really nice boards! Keep up the good work!
  • ...the dirtypcbs work is absolutely breathtaking

We aim to give you clear and attentive service with tons of updates so you always know what's happening with your order.

Where are my damn PCBs?

  1. Your Gerbers will be sent to the factory on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10:00am China time. There's no point in doing it sooner because they'll just queue them at the factory... Rush orders are pushed hourly, on the hour.
  2. The factory takes 3-8 days to manufacture the boards. They batch as they please, it's cheapest. If it's a holiday in China we'll let you know before you order!
  3. Boards come back to us, we ship them the same day
  4. Hong Kong Post takes 1 to 8+ weeks, depending on where you are
  5. DHL/FEDEX/UPS take 2-5days, tracking is provided 12-48 hours after shipment

You receive an email update every time the status of your order changes. For shipping times please see Shipping below.

Design Rules and CAM export

DRU rule check and CAM Gerber export files for Cadsoft Eagle are available below:

Order status

  • Order received - PCB files pass basic check, we received your files and payment
  • At board house - PCB files sent to board house for manufacturing
  • Back from board house - PCBs were delivered to us from the manufacturer
  • Shipped - PCBs were shipped to you
  • Trackable - A tracking number is now available
  • Problem - The manufacturer reported a problem. Please see note, correct problems, and send boards
  • Delete - This order was cancelled or deleted, no payment received or payment refunded

You'll receive an email every time your order is updated. You can also check your order status any time using the link in the confirmation email, or using the status page.

Payment

Payment is by PayPal Express Checkout. You may use your PayPal account or a credit card. Paypal makes it really hard to see the credit card option, or it may be disabled for your location.

Shipping

Several options are available, depending on your location. We strive for cheap shipping and never profit from shipping fees. Currently we offer multiple types of airmail and DHL. In the future we plan to add next day and same day service, stay tuned.

Free shipping. Previously shipping was included in the price of PCB 'protopacks', but now it's charged seperatly. Don't worry! The overall cost of your order will always be less than the "free shipping" scheme.

Airmail shipping without tracking is the cheapest option. These are some general time estimates:

  • USA and Canada: 1 to 2 weeks
  • Europe (excluding Italy): 1 to 2 weeks
  • Australia: 1 to 2 weeks

To keep things cheap and sleazy no tracking is available for airmail. We find the *to the Hong Kong border only* tracking of most cheap shipping quite worthless anyhow.

Fast shipping is by UPS, FEDEX, DHL, and SF. The options available for your location are shown at checkout. Packages should arrive in 2-5 business days (next day for SF in Asia), but we are working on same day and next day service as well. We've seen amazing times like 9kg to rural UK in 2 days, but your mileage may vary.

We send the package to a logistics company in Shenzhen, soon after it magically appears in Hong Kong, Malaysia or USA to be transferred to the main carrier. At this point a tracking number is assigned and we will email it to you.

Over a kilo UPS/FEDEX/DHL is almost always cheaper than airmail.

Share and sell your PCBs with DirtyPCBs!

Have a design you want to share or sell, but don't want to keep stock, print labels, stuff envelopes, and walk to the post office? Share your board in our store and get $1 of Dirty Credit or cash for each order. On the order status page click the 'Share/Sell' button and your PCB will be available immediately to all our filthy customers. Add a description and photos, become part of our sleazy affiliate scheme. Credit can be used anytime, cash payouts are made by Paypal at a balance of $10 or more.

This is intended for your own designs only. Subject to laws, taxes, and random tweaks as we figure it out.

Can I have a tax invoice?

Visit the status page for your order and click the invoice link for an EU compliant tax invoice for business customers. That's filthy and corporate-friendly!

Is my design safe?

Your board will go to a cut-rate prototype PCB factory in China. In all likelihood they have too much volume to give a crap about what's on your PCB, but if this is a concern PLEASE FIND ANOTHER SUPPLIER. We intend to make Dirty Boards for open hardware enthusiasts who WANT their designs used and propagated.

Why are you so flippant?

This site was intended for friends and not the public. We'll process your boards, but because most services are offered at-cost we have very little appetite for demanding or difficult people. We really don't care if you want to take your business somewhere else, and it's not worth our time to deal with stupid questions or asshats. Paypal fee reversals, annoying emails and the like will get you banned from the site. It's like Mitch Altman says, don't work with people you don't like.

Common problems

Here are some common problems with uploaded files:

  • No board outline (GML/GBR/GKO) file: you should include the board outline on a layer with one of these file extensions. This is done through the CAM processor of your CAD program.
  • No drill (TXT/DRI) file: a list of drill locations and sizes was not found. It should be included included with one of these extensions.
More PCB specs and info

Fulfilment

We just run the site and support. A fulfilment team at Flylin.co processes and ships the orders. Get in touch with them for order fulfilment, small assembly, and the general getting of stuff done in China.

Attribution

This site uses the following open source tools: