DFRobot PCB Service Question


I read that sentence in the descriptions section of dfrobots PCB service.

Does it mean that I’m not allowed to copy my layout until it fits the pcb size?

I mean, if I have a PCB that is 5cmx1cm. Is it not allowed to copy it 5 times and generate a gerber file from it to fit in the 5cmx5cm PCB?

Or what do they mean?


I would also be interested to know the answer to this. I would think that if you are prepared to cut the PCB up into 5 pieces yourself after it arrives, then it would be ok as it was still just one PCB and they cannot really consider it as separate PCB’s.

You can ask them directly on their forums, but yes you can’t do what you are thinking. What they’re actually saying is that you can’t have perimeter CUT lines for those individual pieces. You can merge your board as many times as you like, and use silkscreen marking to allow you to know where to cut, but you can only have one perimeter to cut - even v-scoring is not permitted. If you look at their 10cm x 10cm offering you can see they have a “copies per board” option which means you can have a 5x10 or a 3x10 board and replicate it multiple times which is allowed.

Thank you for the very helpful explanation Brett.
So it seems that for very small modules like the Button Module or Breakout Module, DFRobot is not the best choice.
Does anyone know a pcb manufacturer that is as cheap as dfrobot and supports cutting out multiple smaller pcbs out of a bigger one?

personally, if you’re worried about cost then the best scenario (I think) is OSHPark.com. They only charge based on your size - so small boards are cheap ! If you have larger boards then the price becomes less competitive, but it’s tailored to be able to offer any size board when you want it. The other thing you lose is flexibility, there’s basically very few choices - you get put onto a big panel with everyone else and everyone gets the same.

If you expect to make a lot then don’t use a prototyping service, just go to someone and get direct quotes on doing this.

OSHPark.com sounds good, thank you!

Well, they do have a version of what you are asking about at DFRobot… for example a qty 10 of their 2 layer 10cm x 10cm boards is $23 (plus options and shipping). They also have a PCB Copy dropbox where you can select 2 copies in 1 PCB (+$15) and 3 copies in 1 PCB (+$30).

So this means if you could fit 3 of your boards in a 10cm x 10cm area, you could get 30 PCBs made for $53.90, plus options and shipping. I’m not sure I understand fully, but I think you just provide the gerbers for one copy and they fit 3 into the space themselves… but I’d email them on that one or maybe someone else here will know.

I had a great experience on my order, and Justin from the forums gave me a bunch of help on the ins and outs of DFRobot. You can check out the thread where I got help here: https://www.ghielectronics.com/community/forum/topic?id=11673

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Out of curiosity, is your PCB actually 5cm x 1cm?

They don’t do multiples on the 5cm by 5cm boards… but even if you just pay for 10 copies of yours under that package it is still going to be a couple bucks per print after shipping(or less in larger quantity). Seems like a decent price to me… especially for quick turnaround.

edit Just saw you actually replied in my thread I linked above. Well, either way I had a good experience with them :slight_smile:

Well no my module will not be 5x1cm :smiley:
But it will be small…I think about a quarter of a 5x5cm board.
So I was interrested if this is possible.
I think I’ll compare other manufacturers first. Theres no stress, the module is just a vision in my head at the moment :smiley: