How to Order Turnkey PCB Boards: A Comprehensive Guide for Hardware Startups

This guide provides hardware startups with a detailed, step-by-step approach to ordering turnkey PCB boards, focusing on essential file types like Gerber files and pick-and-place files for a smooth manufacturing process.

How to Order Turnkey PCB Boards: A Comprehensive Guide for Hardware Startups


Ordering turnkey PCB boards is a crucial step for hardware startups. This guide details the process, emphasizing the importance of various file types such as Gerber files and pick-and-place files, which are essential for a successful PCB manufacturing process.

Step 1: Design and Specifications

Start with a detailed PCB design. Use software like Eagle or Altium to create your board layout. Your design should include specifications like board size, number of layers, and material type.

Essential File Types

  • Gerber Files: These are standard files used to describe the PCB's copper layers, solder mask, and silkscreen. Ensure your design software can export these files.
  • Pick-and-Place Files: These files are crucial for assembly and provide information on the placement and orientation of each component on the board.
  • Drill Files: These files specify where holes need to be drilled in the PCB for component leads or vias.
  • Bill of Materials (BOM): This is a comprehensive list of components, part numbers, and quantities required for the PCB.

Step 2: Choosing the Right Turnkey PCB Supplier

Select a supplier experienced in turnkey solutions, considering factors like production capabilities, lead times, and quality assurance processes. Use ProcureStack to find suppliers who specialize in handling the file types you will provide.

Step 3: Getting a Quote

Request quotes from suppliers, providing all necessary files and specifications. Clarify any additional costs and compare quotes based on quality, price, and delivery time.

Step 4: Prototyping

Get a prototype to test your design. Share all relevant files with the supplier and review the prototype for any adjustments.

Step 5: Review and Approve

Examine the prototype for any manufacturing issues. Ensure all components are correctly placed and the PCB functions as intended.

Step 6: Placing the Final Order

Once satisfied, place your final order. Keep track of the production process using ProcureStack’s dashboard to ensure timely delivery.


Ordering turnkey PCB boards requires precise design and the right file types. By following these steps and understanding the importance of Gerber files, pick-and-place files, and others, hardware startups can efficiently procure high-quality PCBs.