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What can and can't be done by budget pcb manufacturers
695 1 Dec 14.2019, 11:46:35

I manufacture my board in a PCB manufacturer I have checked the board requirements are compatible with the company I intend to use but I have a few questions.
1. They want the gerber files in zipped form. They can export to 'gerber' and 'gerber X2' among others. Which should I use?
2. Is there anything on the PCB that the pcb manufacturer will be unable to do?
I have a 'T' shaped board which I assume will be fine. I also assume normal mounting holes are fine but what about other shapes or multiple boards with cutouts so you have small tabs to break to separate them. I know you often pay extra for multiple boards on a single pcb.

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Dec 19.2019, 17:55:40

Plated slots, sub boards, and constellations (probably wrong spelling), tend to be what they will refuse or ask more for, 
That is what a number of them refuse to do, 
However you can still ask them to produce things that will piss them off, e.g. hundreds of tiny via's, running the gauntlets and reducing drill annular rings, choosing very small feature sizes on slots or board outline, having a vastly different copper density on either side (board will bend and they don't want you getting upset and asking for a free respin), or making every trace the minimum width / spacing.
Then there are things that may just annoy you, e.g. making sure silkscreen is subtracted from pads, that you account for solder mask expansion so your solder paste doesn't creep through a via,
In simple terms, check your Gerber's carefully before you send it, they will try and reproduce it how you told them to, not how you thought they would. and if you don't need 6/6 trace and spacing, relax it a little, as it will improve its yield.
Oh and for mounting holes, run a ring of via's around where the screws will press, it will greatly reduce how much your board cold flows over time

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