ENIG Plating PCB

A Full Review of the Oshpark PCB

Writing about osh park PCB is exciting because it is widely regarded as one of the most regarded and best known PCB prototyping services out there. Serving as the order aggregator, they help in panelizing many individual orders altogether in order to help in reducing the cost of manufacturing for the osh park boards that are spun via their manufacturing partners based in the United States (USA).

Another important selling point of making use of the Osh Park as the fabrication partner, is its ease of use ordering interface. Also, adding to its Gerber file uploads, you can upload the flexible PCB design files directly from either KiCad and EagleCAD.

Cost of Osh Park Circuit Boards

During the 2019 review of the circuit board manufacturers, the osh park boards were ranked the 5th of all the manufacturers. Its average price for 12 circuit boards is $116.80. This means that for each board, it costs $9.73 with free shipping.

Furthermore, Osh park has a pricing schedule for its rigid circuit boards. For two layer boards, it costs $5 per square inch, while for the four layer boards, it costs $10 per square inch. These prices are for three copies of the design.

Also, you have to place the standard order quantities as multiples of 3. Also, you can place the larger orders making use of the “medium run” form of service. For the four layer boards, this costs $2 per square inch. Also, it requires at least 100 sqin in total and you must order it in multiples of ten.

Ordering from OSH Park

It is a simple process when ordering with Osh Park. All you need to do is to upload the KiCAD or EagleCAD design files, as well as the zipped up Gerbers. Also, you will give a name to your design and describe it. This description will appear in the order invoice. Also, you review the previews of your board and then pay using either PayPal or credit card.

There are limited ordering options, and this is the only option for the 2 layer board orders. Furthermore, you can choose the 2oz copper than the copper service having the standard 1oz thickness. However, the delivery time for your order will change to two to three weeks instead of the usual 12 days. Also, if the 1oz copper is okay for you, you may choose the option – “Super Swift Fab” to ensure that your circuit board will be shipped in 5 days.

The boards with four layers usually ship within nine to twelve calendar days. However, these are limited to just 1oz copper on the layers. Note that you cannot get the Super Swift Fab service (faster service) for the 4 layer boards.

For all board types, fabrication will be done from FR4 stackup, the chosen copper weight, with the purple soldermask. This gives perfect purple PCBs. Furthermore, all the exposed copper will have an ENIG finish. The only free delivery is through the First Class of the US Postal Service. For the options of express shipping, you can choose one at the checkout, if you desire some overnight shipping.

The storing of the board designs is usually done using your account on your osh park site to ensure that reordering boards come easy. You can also share your designs with the osh park community.

Fulfillment

For the standard shipping, be sure to get your shipping notification or order status about seven days after placing your order.This is still within the usual 12 days they work with.

One issue you may face here is that Osh park’s packaging disappoints, due to the fact that these boards are usually placed loose inside the padded envelope. It is preferable to vacuum seal the orders. This prevents them from sliding against themselves and banging around while in transit.

Customer Service of Osh Park

Once you pay, you will receive the order acknowledgement via mail which you submitted while ordering. However, don’t expect to find the invoice attached. Visit the Osh Park website and then check the order status so as to download it.

You will get a status email only when the board has been included to the panel, or the panel has been sent onto the fab, or Osh Park has received your order from their manufacturing partners, or when the order ships.

Note that on the services page of Osh Park, you will see the design rules well spelt out. In addition, they feature an extensive content that assist customers to apply all the design rules the right way. It also helps them to cover the mistakes that may appear, like not filling the copper pours before you upload the files.

It is also easy to find the support address, and the emailing of the request was done for the order status. Expect nothing less when you work with Osh Park for the production and prototype work. For those searching for a way to contact them through skype of phone number, none of this was seen on their site.

Furthermore, navigating the website is also easy and it is easy to understand how to place your order. However, it will be best if they could provide more information on customer’s account page with details regarding the progress of your order.

Visual Inspection of the Osh Park Circuit Board

Your first impression of their boards will strike you in two different ways. Also, the deep purple color of your solder mask, as well as the sharpness of your ENIG surface finish. The separation of the boards is done by the snapping of mouth bites instead of v-groove.

The via drills were also on target with just few exceptions. The milled slot is fabricated properly as well. For reasons well known to them, plating was done for the mechanical holes.

What are the PCB Dimensions of their Boards?

pcb automotive

The measurement of the dimensions was done within tolerance. Also, the board edges were a bit oversized by about 0.1mm. The mechanical holes were also a bit undersized. The internal slot present around its heat sink was around 0.01 mm of the specified dimensions present in the design files.

Also, the trace width was either directly to the spec or it is measured with I mil beneath, with the tolerance even of the 6 mil trace.

What is the Quality of the Copper Layer?

The OSH park circuit board’s copper quality is completely stellar with the ENIG finish that is applied universally. This surface finish shows the minuscule pads footprint properly. The reproduction of the passive footprints was done properly and had thorough ENIG deposition. Also, the QFP and QFN footprints all look very planar, clean, and stellar.

You can be rest assured that you will get what you spent your money for. That’s good quality and in the long run, you’ll have high PCB quality.

What is the Quality of the Solder Mask?

The quality of the solder mask is great. However, there are some flaws. The surface of some of the boards had some contamination. Also, it seemed that some strange patterns impressed in others when fabrication was on.

The solder mask that was applied over the area of the heat sink was great. Also, it was properly executed with a nice consistent and thick mask layer over via stitching. Furthermore, there was no serious sinking or wicking to talk about.

Quality of the Silk Screen

The application of the silk screen was done via the low cost print method. This seems to have been printed at a fairly low resolution. Also, across its surface, it is applied evenly with no quality change. There are legible reference designators, which includes the area pf the test print.

Solderability

The soldering of the QFP32 and Micro USB components was done to the footprints. Furthermore, with the ENIG plating, aligning the pins became easy as the contrast in color between the pad and pin ensures easy viewing. Also, the pads’ uniform surface allows the solid sitting of the component on footprint during soldering.

In addition, all through the rework process, it was a robust QFP32 footprint. The solder mask experienced little erosion and the pads didn’t get any damage at all. The solder wick’s flux had issues and after the initial rework, we had to apply it many times to ensure the padsare properly cleaned. However, this didn’t have any visible effect.

While working with my micro USB connector, soldering was easy and only little amounts of erosion of the solder mask happened after the two rework cycles. This shows that the solder mask’s durability is one of the best out there.

After the completion of the rework, our silkscreen was fully unscathed, despite the repeated washing, heating, and drying.

Conclusion

After reading through our review, you will agree with us that Osh Park offers great PCB services. Majority of their work and products was done with high quality and they also offer quick delivery services. Do you need answers to your questions? Please inform us.

5/5 - (4 votes)

Leave a Comment