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"Fab for Free" Program
"Fab for Free" Program

Get free prototypes of your Quilter-generated circuit boards

Updated over a week ago

Description

Quilter's "Fab for Free" program is designed to support new and existing Quilter users in building Quilter-designed circuit board prototypes with no out-of-pocket expense.

Send us a new or existing design that you generated with Quilter along with your shipping information, and we'll review, order, and ship raw PCB prototypes to your specified delivery address, free of charge (terms and conditions apply).

Note that the scope of this fabrication program covers prototype quantities (3-10 units) of raw PCBs. This program does not cover schematic reviews, parts procurement, assembly, bringup, or testing.

Who is eligible?

  • All first-time Quilter users receive one "Fab for Free" Credit upon signup.

  • Returning Quilter users who share a writeup of their previous "Fab for Free" project to our community forums (use our "Fab for Free" project share template) are eligible to earn another "Fab for Free" credit that they can use to build additional Quilter-designed board prototypes.

If you have any questions about eligibility, feel free to send us a note via our widget on the bottom-right hand side of our website and app.

How it works

  1. Familiarize yourself with our program details on our website and here in this help center article

  2. Use Quilter to generate your PCB design. It's OK to use Quilter to design the entire board, or to pre-place and route some components manually ahead of time and finishing your design with Quilter. Note that generated designs should conform to our current Quilter board guidelines, which include support for signals up to 500MHz, and currents up to 4A.

  3. Download and review your Quilter design. It's OK to touch up or modify the board if you'd like, and it's helpful to us to know what kind of changes you ended up making.

  4. Fill out a "Fab for Free" request, which is linked from our "Fab for Free" landing page. The direct link to the request form is available here. Well ask a number of questions about your submission to verify your eligibility for the program, and to learn more about the PCB design that you're submitting for fabrication. We'll also ask for shipping information.

  5. We'll review your request. We may reach out to ask some follow-up questions about your submission related to your design and fabrication instructions, as well as any issues we detect in our design review (we're looking primarily at fabrication readiness, not design quality).

  6. We'll submit it for fabrication. Once your request is approved, we'll select a vendor and submit it for fabrication. Please note that we cannot guarantee that we'll submit the prototypes to your preferred vendor, or at any specific turnaround time. It is not a good idea to leverage this program for time-sensitive prototypes.

  7. We'll keep you updated along the way. You'll receive emails with updates on the status of your fabrication order as it progresses. If you ever have questions or concerns about your order, send us an email at [email protected] or using our widget in the bottom-right hand side of our website and app.

  8. Receive your PCB prototypes. We'll let you know when shipping indicates that your order has been fulfilled. Note that at this time we have limited-to-no ability to provide support for fulfillment issues including changing addresses or engaging with logistics services to resolve delivery problems.

  9. Post your "Project Share" to earn more credits! As stated above, completing and posting a "Fab for Free" project share template in our community forums may qualify you for an additional Fab for Free credit that you can redeem with your next fabrication request form.

"Fab for Free" program FAQs

Which vendor will you use to produce my circuit board?

Quilter may use any one of a number of PCB fabricators to build your board, depending on the minimum supported manufacturing specifications and cost of service. We commonly submit boards to OSH Park, JLCPCB, and PCB Way.

When will my "Fab for Free" order arrive?

We want to get you your boards as quickly as possible. Provided that there is a “swift” or “fast turn” service available for the board you wish to fabricate, we’ll frequently be happy to pay for the upgrade. That said, we’ll use our discretion to find the best match for your design, and cannot guarantee any specific fabricator or service speed. We do not recommend using our “Fab for Free” program for time-sensitive orders.

What if my circuit board has unique fabrication requirements?

Upon submission, please let us know if your circuit board has any unique fabrication requirements that we should be aware of. If we cannot accommodate your request, we will let you know and you can redeem your “Free to Fab” credit for another design.

Are there any restrictions on my designs?

We recommend that boards submitted to our "Fab for Free" program conform to our current Quilter board guidelines, which include support for signals up to 500MHz, and currents up to 4A.

Regarding IP restrictions – Quilter’s design agent is not trained on any customer or IP-sensitive materials, and designs that Quilter generates do not come with any warranty or restrictions on personal or commercial use. For more information on our terms of use, click here.

What if my board doesn't work when I receive it?

While has been historically uncommon, it is possible for Quilter-designed prototypes to be nonfunctional due to a variety of reasons including schematic errors, manufacturing issues, or layout design flaws. If you believe your board is nonfunctional due to a Quilter-contributed design flaw, please let us know by sending us a note at [email protected] so we can remedy the situation.

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