If you search the internet for PCB manufacturing, you will find many companies, houses, and fabs that offer cheap PCB manufacturing and prototyping services. Probably most of them provide quality and affordable services worldwide. However, PCBWay is one company that is always on top of the list when looking for PCB prototyping and assembly services. So, what makes a PCBWay stand out in this very competitive market?
Let’s face that manufacturing prices are at the minimum limit; only high-volume manufacturing can beat the cost. It is hard to maintain this pace without a large and strong community. So, PCBWay is an excellent example of how manufacturers and customers can benefit from each other by building an ecosystem where both sides can share. The company strives to provide excellent services, including cost-effective manufacturing, quality control, fast delivery, and support, while customers provide feedback, public projects, and spread the work. But there is more to that.
Sponsorship for students and hobbyists
PCBWay is always active in sponsoring various electronics projects that are education-related and non-profit. The company has already funded over 1700 projects worth more than $83,000. There is no secret that many great ideas die because of a lack of support and sponsorship. Getting backing is very easy; all you have to do is apply with project detailed description and PCB files and wait for prompt auditions to meet the criteria. After that, you will get coupons to manufacture your prototype for free (at least your first project). Also, you get to share your project on the sponsor page, where you can get even more coupons.
PCBWay pays special attention to students and teachers. Usually, they get 10-15% discounts for future projects, which is handy for PCB classes, clubs, and various student competitions. Do not hesitate to contact [email protected] for more details and ongoing sponsorships.
Crowdfunding is another excellent way of sponsoring cool projects, and this is another way of supporting students and hobbyists. PCBWay assigns at least $50,000 to support crowdfunded projects and give away cash coupons via Twitter. All you need to apply for crowdfunding support is to provide project details via the same email ([email protected]). After the assessment, you will get a cash voucher or discount into your PCBWay account.
Every year PCB organizes a Design contest, where users submit their projects on a specific topic. For instance, the theme was about IoT, connectivity, and home automation last year. By following simple rules, participants submit their designs with descriptions and compete. The prize pool is always rich, and each applicant always gets a participant’s reward gift, no matter if it is on the winning side or not. The prizes of winning participants are always solid. Last design contest awarded 1st winner with $1500 cache + $200 coupon and Raspberry Pi 4G, 2nd place $1000 cache +$100 coupon and raspberry Pi 3B+, third $500 cache + $50 PCBWay coupon and Arduino board. The ten most popular designs were awarded $100 cache + $20 coupon and digital multimeter.
In addition to that, designs are placed on the projects page where customers can purchase your design, where PCBWay will manufacture and assemble at an affordable price. After this, PCBWay will donate 10% to the design author.
The Beans and points system
To encourage community members to share, discuss and answer various questions, PCBWay is using a reward system in points and Beans. Reward points are received when you make purchases ($1 spent = 1 point), answer at “PCBWay answers” (20 points), buy at PCBWay.com (10 points). The more points you collect, the more membership discount you get.
The Beans system is similar; they come from PCBWay points but subtract when purchasing at the gift shop. There are many times when you can earn lots of Beans. Frequently, PCBWay organizes various shopping festivals, contests, and sponsorships where participants and customers are additionally rewarded with beans. Usually, beans are assigned by uploading your designs to the contest – the more informative description is, the more beans are awarded. At least 600 Beans are equivalent to $5, and you can use them to get cache coupons to reduce your purchase costs.
PCBWay community extras
It is hard to cover every aspect of being a PCBWay community member. One is to talk about it and another to be part of it. Even if you are not purchasing or participating right away, I encourage you to sign in and inspect its appearance. There are tons of valuable information available to help you build your first project.
Many informative blog posts and videos will help you get more comfortable with the terminology and the design process. You can study thousands of community projects and maybe find one that will suit you without even starting your own. If you decide to build your prototype, it may be that your first PCB will be nearly free.
The is no doubt that the PCBWay community is a strong side of the company. Special attention to customers, sponsorship, design contests, and giveaways are the key to success. The hobby market is a strong force that can make a significant impact even on a large company. Be sure to check out all services and capabilities they are offering. here you can get all from simple idea to finished product with enclosure and other parts. Be part of it and enjoy the benefits.