How to Reduce Costs in Printed Circuit Boards

Before you go ahead and place your PCB order, it is important to know the costs involved in the fabrication process. Your board may require a particular type of fabrication that will involve additional charges. The cost of PCB fabrication varies based on the size of the board, number of layers, components used, surface finish, thickness of the board, and how fast you need it done.

There are some costs which are hidden but are still a part of the manufacturing process, such as the cost of raw materials and the cost of equipment involved in the manufacturing process. A clear understanding on such costs involved is critical to save money on PCB fabrication without compromising on their quality. It is possible to cut back on costs while still maintaining performance through proper outsourcing, and using cheaper materials, among others.

The world of electronics has grown at a rapid pace over the years, and the demand for PCB fabrication is increasing too. However, it is important to make the right choices when it comes to the production of printed circuit boards in order to avoid unnecessary costs and maximize efficiency. Getting a PCB fabricated can be very expensive, but there are ways to reduce the costs involved in PCB fabrication. Reducing costs in printed circuit boards (PCBs) is important for both large-scale production and smaller DIY projects. Here are several tips to help you reduce PCB manufacturing costs:

Design Optimization:

Carefully plan and optimize your PCB layout to minimize board size. Smaller boards typically cost less.

Use single-sided or double-sided PCBs when possible, as they are cheaper than multilayer boards.

Keep components close together to reduce trace lengths and the number of vias.

Component Selection:

Choose components that are readily available and cost-effective. Avoid obsolete or custom parts.

Standardize components to reduce the number of different parts in your design.

Consider using surface-mount components instead of through-hole components, as they are often cheaper.

PCB Material Selection:

Select affordable PCB materials that meet your project’s requirements. FR-4 is a common, cost-effective choice.

If high-frequency performance is not essential, consider using a lower-grade PCB material.


Panelize your PCB designs when ordering in larger quantities. This involves placing multiple copies of your PCB on a single panel to reduce manufacturing costs.

Minimum Trace Width and Spacing:

Use the minimum trace width and spacing required for your design to reduce the amount of copper used.

Via Reduction:

Minimize the number of vias in your design, as each via adds cost to the manufacturing process.

Prototype and Test:

Before committing to a large production run, prototype your PCB to catch any design errors or issues. Correcting mistakes during production can be costly.

Manufacturer Selection:

Obtain quotes from multiple PCB manufacturers to find the most cost-effective option. Consider both local and international manufacturers.

Look for manufacturers that offer discounts for bulk orders.

Lead Time and Shipping:

Plan your production schedule well in advance to avoid rush orders, which can be more expensive.

Opt for longer lead times if possible to reduce manufacturing costs.

Explore different shipping options to minimize shipping costs.

DIY Assembly:

If you have the skills and equipment, consider assembling the PCBs yourself instead of outsourcing assembly.

Design for Manufacturability (DFM):

Consult with your PCB manufacturer during the design phase to ensure your design is optimized for their manufacturing process. This can help avoid costly modifications later.

Efficient Prototyping:

Use rapid prototyping techniques like 3D printing or breadboarding to test your circuit before finalizing the PCB design.

Open Source Components:

Consider using open-source libraries and designs for common components and modules. This can save you time and reduce design costs.

Energy Efficiency:

Design your circuit for energy efficiency to potentially reduce power-related costs over the long term.

Recycle and Reuse:

If you have old PCBs or components that are still functional, consider reusing them in new designs to save on material costs.

Cost Analysis:

Conduct a thorough cost analysis of your project to identify areas where cost reductions can be made without sacrificing quality or performance.

Leading PCB manufacturers will be able to reduce the overall cost of your project as they keep you informed about the hidden costs involved in the PCB fabrication. This helps you plan your budget accordingly and stay within allocated budget. This post ends by letting you know about such a prominent PCB manufacturer, Fubon Precision Electronics, who offers expert guidance on the costs involved before the actual PCB design and assembly process. Get in touch with the team at Fubon Precision and see how cost-effectively you can get done with your next PCB project.