blog banner

OshPark PCB Assembly: A Comprehensive Guide

OshPark PCB Assembly: A Comprehensive Guide

May 17, 2024

If you are looking for a reliable and affordable printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturer, you might want to consider Oshpark. Oshpark is a popular PCB manufacturer known for its high-quality PCBs and affordable prices. They also offer a range of services, including PCB design, fabrication, and assembly.

Circuit boards being assembled with precision tools and machinery

One of the most popular services offered by Oshpark is PCB assembly. With Oshpark’s PCB assembly service, you can have your printed circuit boards assembled quickly and easily. They offer a variety of assembly options, including surface mount technology (SMT) and through-hole assembly. Whether you need a few prototypes or a large production run, Oshpark can handle your PCB assembly needs.

Understanding OSH Park PCB Assembly

Components are organized on a workbench, soldering iron is heating up, PCB board is ready for assembly

When it comes to designing and manufacturing printed circuit boards (PCBs), OSH Park is a reliable choice. They offer a comprehensive PCB assembly service that includes PCB fabrication, assembly services, and quality control protocols. In this section, we will discuss each of these aspects in detail.

PCB Fabrication Process

The PCB fabrication process at OSH Park is simple and straightforward. You can easily upload your Gerber files and select the board specifications, such as board thickness, copper weight, and solder mask color. OSH Park’s fabrication process involves a combination of automated and manual processes to ensure high-quality PCBs. They use advanced equipment and techniques to create precise and accurate PCBs that meet your specifications.

Assembly Services

OSH Park offers a comprehensive PCB assembly service that includes the sourcing and placement of SMT components. You can easily upload your BOM (bill of materials) and pick and place files to get started. OSH Park’s experienced technicians will then source and place the components on your PCBs using their state-of-the-art equipment. They also offer reflow soldering and inspection services to ensure that your PCBs are properly assembled and meet your specifications.

Quality Control Protocols

At OSH Park, quality control is a top priority. They have a comprehensive set of quality control protocols in place to ensure that your PCBs meet the highest standards. OSH Park’s technicians perform visual inspections, electrical testing, and functional testing to ensure that your PCBs are free from defects and meet your specifications. They also have strict quality control measures in place for the sourcing and placement of components to ensure that only high-quality components are used in your PCBs.

OSH Park’s PCB assembly service is a reliable and high-quality option for those who need PCBs without having to order large quantities. Their easy-to-use website, experienced technicians, and quick turnaround time make them an excellent choice for PCB assembly needs.

Preparing Your Design for Submission

A designer carefully arranges PCB components on a workbench for submission to Oshpark assembly

Before submitting your design to OSH Park for PCB assembly, there are a few key steps that you should take to ensure that your design is manufacturable and meets OSH Park’s requirements. In this section, we will cover the design file requirements, panelization guidelines, and design for manufacturability.

Design File Requirements

To submit your design to OSH Park, you will need to provide your design files in Gerber format. The following design files are required:

  • Top Copper (GTL)
  • Top Soldermask (GTS)
  • Top Silkscreen (GTO)
  • Bottom Copper (GBL)
  • Bottom Soldermask (GBS)
  • Bottom Silkscreen (GBO)
  • Excellon drill file (TXT)

It is important to note that OSH Park only accepts designs with a maximum of four layers. Additionally, your design should be in units of inches, with a minimum trace width and spacing of 6 mils.

Panelization Guidelines

If you are submitting a panelized design, there are a few guidelines that you should follow to ensure that your design can be manufactured correctly. First, you should provide 0.1 inches between the outlines for each panelized board. Additionally, you should make sure that all of the boards in your panel have the same orientation and that any fiducials are located in the same location on each board.

Design for Manufacturability

To ensure that your design can be manufactured correctly, there are a few design considerations that you should keep in mind. First, you should avoid using small vias or pads, as these can be difficult to manufacture. Additionally, you should make sure that your design has a clear and well-defined board outline, and that all of the components are placed within the board outline.

Finally, you should make sure that all of the components in your design are properly labeled and that any special requirements, such as specific soldering temperatures or component orientation, are clearly indicated in your design files.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your design is manufacturable and meets OSH Park’s requirements for PCB assembly.

Ordering Process and Turnaround Time

Quoting and Pricing

When you are ready to order your PCB assembly from OSH Park, the first step is to obtain a quote and cost estimation for your project. You can do this easily by using the online quote tool available on the OSH Park website. Simply enter your project specifications, and you will receive a quote instantly. You can also select the quantity of PCBs you need, and the quote will adjust accordingly.

Lead Times and Shipping

Once you have received your quote and are ready to place your order, the next step is to select your preferred turnaround time. OSH Park offers a range of turnaround times, from 5 business days to 3-4 weeks, depending on which service you select. The standard turnaround time for their PCB assembly service is 15 business days.

It’s important to note that the turnaround time is the time between when OSH Park ships your order and when you receive it. All PCBs are shipped from Lake Oswego, Oregon, and are fully manufactured in the United States. OSH Park offers free shipping to anywhere in the world.

If you need your PCBs faster, OSH Park also offers expedited turnaround times for an additional fee. You can select 3-day, 5-day, or 10-day turnaround times for an additional fee.

In summary, ordering your PCB assembly from OSH Park is a straightforward process. Simply obtain a quote using the online quote tool, select your preferred turnaround time, and place your order. With their range of turnaround times and free shipping, OSH Park is a reliable and convenient choice for your PCB assembly needs.

Common Challenges and Solutions

Troubleshooting Assembly Issues

Even with careful planning and preparation, assembly issues can still arise during the PCB manufacturing process. Here are some common challenges and solutions to help you troubleshoot assembly issues:

  • Misaligned Components: Misaligned components can cause connectivity issues. To avoid this problem, make sure to use a pick-and-place machine or a stencil to place the components on the board accurately. You can also use a microscope to check the placement of the components.
  • Solder Bridges: Solder bridges occur when two adjacent pins are connected by solder. This can cause short circuits and other connectivity issues. To avoid this problem, use a soldering iron to remove the excess solder or use a solder wick to remove the excess solder.
  • Insufficient Solder: Insufficient solder can cause connectivity issues and can lead to the components falling off the board. To avoid this problem, make sure to use enough solder to create a strong bond between the component and the board.

Component Sourcing Strategies

Sourcing components is an essential part of the PCB assembly process. Here are some strategies to help you source components effectively:

  • Check the Availability of Components: Before you start sourcing components, check the availability of the components you need. Some components may be out of stock or have long lead times.
  • Order Extra Components: Order extra components to avoid delays in the manufacturing process. This will also help you to have extra components in case of defects or errors during assembly.
  • Use Trusted Suppliers: Use trusted suppliers to ensure the quality of the components. Trusted suppliers can also provide you with technical support and advice on the selection of components.

By following these strategies, you can ensure that you have the right components for your PCB assembly project and avoid delays and quality issues.

Support and Resources

When it comes to PCB assembly, OSH Park provides excellent customer service and educational materials to help you along the way. Here are some of the resources available to you:

Customer Service

If you have any questions or concerns about your order, the OSH Park customer service team is available to help. You can contact them by email at or by submitting a support ticket through their website. They are responsive and knowledgeable, and will work with you to resolve any issues that may arise.

Educational Materials

OSH Park provides a wealth of educational materials to help you learn about PCB assembly and design. Their website includes a comprehensive knowledge base with articles on topics such as supported naming patterns, drill specs, and board outlines. They also offer CAD package specific help for software such as Eagle and KiCad. Additionally, they have a blog with articles on various PCB-related topics, including tips and tricks for designing and assembling your boards.

If you’re new to PCB assembly, OSH Park’s educational materials are a great place to start. They provide clear and concise information that is easy to understand, and they cover a wide range of topics. Whether you’re looking to learn the basics of PCB design or you’re an experienced engineer looking for advanced tips, OSH Park has something to offer.

Overall, OSH Park’s customer service and educational materials make them a great choice for your PCB assembly needs. With their help, you can be confident that your boards will be manufactured to the highest standards and that you’ll have the support you need throughout the process.


    white close
    loading icon Loading