You don’t have to look far to find a PCB fabrication house that offers a free design package as an incentive. On the surface, these packages seem to be a great deal. They boast features that include extensive part libraries, integrated design schematics, and easy-to-use board creation wizards. And instead of paying hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars for your design software, you pay nothing.
Sometimes when you are working so close to something it’s easy to lose sight of the little things that matter. That’s how I felt when I stumbled upon a survey LPKF ran in 2012.
Circulated amongst LPKF in-house PCB prototyping users, 86.5% of the poll’s respondents stated they save four days or more per project when compared to their experiences with outsourced PCB prototyping methods. FOUR days! That’s a lot of time!