PCB making in Singapore is a topic I've seen not many people talk about. Being one of the bustling cities in South East Asia one would expect to receive quality PCB making services locally in Singapore. On contrary, PCB making in my experience has not exactly been a honeymoon experience one would hope for. In this post, I will share my experience with making PCB's in Singapore and talk about the pros and cons of making PCB's locally.
I was trying to make a PCB for a school research project last year. More specifically, I was trying to make a Intel Edison based flight controller for a custom drone. Another post will be done detailing the PCB itself. Anyway, because along with the normal SMD connectors the Intel Edison connector cannot be soldered by hand, I required assembly services along with the conventional fabrication requirements.
Because of this limitation, I needed to build it locally to avoid incurring shipping costs and complications of sending the components overseas. This overruled the OSHpark PCB manufacturing option which is usually my goto choice for PCB manufacturing. For lack of a better option, I went out hunting for local PCB manufacturers and to be honest I really didn't find many. I have listed some of them below if anyone needs local manufacturers.
(A quotation from a manufacturer, for five boards, two of which were assembled, for a total of 300SGD, was requested to be removed)
Well, as you can see even from the most economical solution I could find for low volume PCB fabrication AND assembly, the price is still hopelessly steep. I am extremely disappointed with the price of low volume PCB manufacturing in Singapore. There needs to be a more economical solution available and I expect that much from a metropolis like Singapore where Research and Design is a great focus for the general population.
As for the pros of manufacturing PCB's locally in Singapore, it is mostly for the convenience factor. If you want to avoid the mess of shipping around parts during the assembly, this would be a viable solution. Also for large volume manufacturing, the PCB solutions available locally are perfectly fine.
In my case, I personally feel that the cons absolutely outweigh the pros of making a PCB in Singapore. The super steep cost which is greatly rivalled in other countries is simply not an economical price to pay. I'd much rather pay for shipping the PCB and assembly components halfway across the world rather than pay the 200 dollar setup cost available here.
In conclusion, I believe that we need a more economical solution for PCB manufacturing in Singapore for small scale PCB manufacturing especially for hobbyist, enthusiasts and students. If anyone important is reading this, I believe that if major USA small volume PCB manufacturers (like OSHpark) set up here it would be a great help to the community.