We allow for first articles to be made before completing the entire run of a project in certain circumstances. But first, let's distinguish the difference between prototypes and first articles.
Prototyping vs First Articles
What’s the difference between a prototype and a first article? Prototypes are a small run of boards that are used to test your design rather than the manufacturing process. If you’re looking to test your design, you can place a prototype run on the platform as normal. The first article process is specifically to test the manufacturing process for your project. You already know your design functions because you’ve built a prototype. Now it’s time to scale up and test that our manufacturing process works at scale.
How do First Articles Work?
When we run first articles, we purchase all of your bare boards and parts at once. We then assemble a small run of boards (typically 1 panel of boards) for you to test. If your testing goes well (hooray!), we already have the remaining bare boards and parts in hand to finish the production run. Once you give us approval of the first articles, we’ll start assembling the remaining boards. If something isn’t working just right, you can reach out to our support team and we’ll work to dial in the manufacturing process for future builds.
How do I get First Articles through CircuitHub?
To get first articles from CircuitHub, you can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for support from the team.
A few things for you to consider:
The first article quantity will be determined by our team depending on the panel size, and if there are any firmware requirements.
The full quantity of bare boards is ordered and fabricated immediately after the order is placed. You will be responsible for these costs if any changes are needed.
The full quantity of parts is ordered immediately after the order is placed. You will be responsible for these costs if any changes are needed.
If you need to revise your PCB, you will need to create a new order. The only refund we will be able to provide will be for any parts that can be carried over to the revised order.
In some instances, we may require that first articles be made, even if you have not requested them. This generally only applies to higher-value projects (approximately greater than $10k) of a board that has not previously been built with us.