Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are an essential component of modern electronics. As products continue getting more complex and feature-rich, the demand for high-quality PCBs with fast turnarounds has increased significantly. For companies developing new electronic products, having a reliable PCB manufacturer who can deliver prototyping and small-batch orders quickly is crucial for meeting development targets and getting to market faster.

This article will discuss key considerations when selecting a PCB manufacturer capable of fast turnarounds, provide an overview of leading providers in this space, and offer actionable tips for finding the right partner for your project’s needs.

Key Factors When Selecting a Fast Turnaround PCB Manufacturer

Turnaround Time

The most critical specification when looking for a fast turnaround PCB shop is how quickly they can fabricate your boards. The best providers can deliver in as fast as 24 hours for prototyping services. When researching manufacturers, pay close attention to their standard lead times.

  • For prototyping orders, 1-5 day turnarounds are common among the fastest shops.
  • For small production batches, 5-10 day turns are typical.

Also, consider asking potential vendors about their “expedited” services for even faster delivery when needed.

Quality & Reliability

Speed is useless if the PCB quality is poor. You want a manufacturer that can maintain high standards for fabrication and assembly despite tight deadlines. Evaluate their processes, certifications (e.g. ISO 9001), and reviews from past customers. The best fast turn shops produce boards with excellent yield rates, even on super-quick turns.

Capabilities & Scalability

Your ideal PCB partner should be able to handle anything from simple single-sided boards to complex, high-density designs using the latest PCB technologies. They should also have experience supporting projects from prototype through mass production. Check capabilities like:

  • Layer count – Up to 20+ layers
  • PCB finishes – HASL, immersion silver, ENIG, etc.
  • Materials – FR-4, Rogers, polyimide, etc.
  • Compliance testing – IPC standards, UL, etc.

Customer Service

With fast turnarounds, you need a responsive, experienced team to ensure your project stays on schedule. Quality PCB partners provide engineering support, manufacturing updates, and timely responses to questions. This level of service is critical when dealing with tight deadlines.


For fastest possible turnarounds, working with a PCB company located in your region is advantageous. When units aren’t subject to long shipping times, it’s easier to hit 1-3 day prototyping targets. While not always practical, a local provider is ideal.


With expedited manufacturing, cost is higher compared to standard turn times. However, price should still be competitive among leading fast-turn PCB shops. Get quotes from several manufacturers to compare pricing. Be wary of options that seem too cheap, as quality may suffer.

Overview of Top Fast Turnaround PCB Manufacturers

Many PCB manufacturers claim to offer quick turn services. However, relatively few have the technical capabilities and processes truly optimized for fast delivery.

Here are several leading options known for both rapid fabrication and consistent quality:

Advanced Circuits

  • Location: Aurora, CO, USA
  • Turnaround Time: 24 hours (expedited)
  • Capabilities: Quick-turn PCB prototyping and assembly, 4-14 layer count

Advanced Circuits is one of the largest American PCB manufacturers, offering 24-hour fabrication services. They have over 500 employees and operate 3 domestic factories, allowing for very fast shipping across the US.

They are experts at fast PCB prototyping builds, with advanced DFM analysis and domestic sourcing of materials to avoid delays. Their “Same Day Turn” service delivers boards shipped the same day if orders are placed by 11AM.


  • Location: China
  • Turnaround Time: 24-72 hours expedited
  • Capabilities: Prototyping & production, HDI PCBs, 12 day standard turn

PCBWay has factories in China optimized for high mix, fast turn manufacturing. They offer 24-48 hour rush services for prototype boards and have 12 day standard turns for production.

With stiff competition among Chinese PCB fabs, PCBWay maintains agressive pricing, high quality, and good engineering support. They fabricate complex designs reliably and can scale from prototyping to high-volume production smoothly.

Sunstone Circuits

  • Location: Mulino, OR, USA
  • Turnaround Time: 48 hours
  • Capabilities: Quick-turn prototyping, flexible & rigid-flex boards

Based in Oregon, Sunstone specializes in fast PCB prototyping with a 48 hour turnaround on all orders. They are experts at flexible PCB fabrication and can build rigid-flex boards with embedded components in 2 days.

Sunstone has worked with many top hardware startups and understands the needs for iterating PCB designs quickly. They offer design-for-manufacturing (DFM) services to help optimize boards for fabrication.

Osh Park

  • Location: USA
  • Turnaround Time: 3 days standard
  • Capabilities: Small-run 3-layer boards, open-source community friendly

Osh Park has gained a loyal following among open-source hardware developers and makers. They offer high-quality 3-layer boards with ENIG (gold) finish starting at just $5 per square inch.

Their online ordering and shared-panel manufacturing process enables low costs. While max board size is limited, their 3 day standard turnaround has made them a popular prototyping service.

Sierra Circuits

  • Location: Sunnyvale, CA, USA
  • Turnaround Time: 10 days expedited
  • Capabilities: Complex PCBs up to 22 layers

Sierra specializes in fabrication of high-complexity and high-reliability designs, like aerospace, defense, and medical products. They build PCBs in the USA up to 22 layers and are known for quality.

Their expedited prototyping service delivers lead times as fast as 10 days. Their engineering team works closely with customers on DFM and has expertise in HDI technology.

Würth Elektronik eiSos

  • Location: Germany
  • Turnaround Time: 4 days expedited
  • Capabilities: Quick-turn prototyping in Europe

Würth Elektronik eiSos runs multiple PCB and electronic component factories in Germany. Their printed circuit board shop offers 4 day expedited turns for customers needing fast prototyping in Europe.

They can fabricate multilayer boards and support a range of finishes and materials. For those located in Europe, they are a solid option over Asian board houses when rapid delivery is critical.

How to Find the Best Option for Your Project

The optimal fast turn PCB partner depends on your specific project’s needs and specifications. Here are tips on selecting the right match:

  • Define your requirements – Layer count, board dimensions, quantities, design complexity, etc. This helps match capabilities.
  • Get quotes from multiple vendors – Contact 3-5 solid options, share your specifications, and have them provide official quotes for comparison.
  • Ask detailed questions – How is their rapid prototyping process optimized? Can they meet your exact deadline? How do they ensure quality on fast turns?
  • Review recent customer feedback – Check reviews on third-party sites to see if previous buyers were satisfied with the vendor’s fast turn performance.
  • Leverage their engineering assistance – For the tightest deadlines, use the manufacturer’s DFM services to optimize the design for manufacturability and ensure you get boards back as fast as possible.
  • Discuss contingency options – If your deadline is extremely tight, talk with the vendor about options like paying extra for prioritized fabrication, air shipping, sending staff to inspect in person, etc.
  • Build relationship for future projects – Finding the right long term PCB partner you can trust with your tight-timeline projects provides great value over the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some examples of lead times for fast turnaround manufacturing?

For PCB prototyping, one can expect the following typical lead times from quick-turn manufacturers:

  • 24-48 hour expedited service
  • 3-5 day rush build
  • 10 day accelerated production

With the fastest options, you can get fabricated boards shipped as soon as next day if you meet order cutoff times.

Is quality impacted by how fast PCBs are manufactured?

With quick-turn services, you may expect some reduction in quality relative to standard lead times. However, leading fast-turn manufacturers have processes refined to maintain consistent fabrication quality and reliable performance, even on super-expedited orders.

Key factors that help them keep quality high with fast manufacturing are:

  • Advanced DFM analysis
  • Tight process controls
  • Testing and QA procedures optimized for speed
  • High-speed equipment
  • Skilled staff well-versed in fast-turn methods

The best fast-turn vendors also offer warranties on rapid services, showing they stand behind their work.

How much more does faster PCB manufacturing typically cost?

Expedited services for PCB fabrication typically incur the following premiums over normal lead times:

  • 24-48 hour prototyping: ~30-60% higher cost
  • 5 day expedited production: ~20% higher cost
  • 10-12 day accelerated: ~10% higher cost

Faster shipping options will also increase costs. However, for critical projects the benefits of getting boards back sooner can outweigh the pricing premium.

What are key considerations when placing fast turn orders?

To get your PCBs fabricated as fast as possible, keep these tips in mind:

  • Place order as early as possible, and before cutoff times
  • Use the manufacturer’s online ordering & design review tools for errors
  • Optimize the design for manufacturability. Use their DFM / DRC services.
  • Provide complete & accurate order information upfront
  • Pay for any expedited services or shipping upfront
  • Communicate with sales reps and respond quickly if they have questions
  • Have contingencies for replacement components if needed

Can fast turnaround services scale to high-volume production?

The best fast-turn PCB manufacturers have services and processes capable of scaling from prototyping to volume production. They have systems in place to take a validated design from low-volume prototype straight into mass production with little lead time.

Look for providers that offer:

  • Seamless transfer between departments
  • Consistent fabrication methods across runs
  • Established supply chain for materials
  • Flexible equipment for scaling build sizes
  • Experience with complex higher-layer designs


Finding a PCB manufacturer capable of delivering high-quality boards with fast turnaround times can accelerate development of new electronics products. Partnering with an experienced quick-turn shop helps hardware companies and engineers meet tight deadlines, test designs rapidly, and ultimately bring innovations to market faster. Use the guidelines in this article to match your rapid prototyping or production needs with the right PCB fabrication expert.

Categories: PCBA


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