Do you want to design & sell your own effect, but don’t want to learn a CAD program or navigate the complicated world of PCB manufacture? Aion FX offers PCB design services and can supply a custom PCB for your product. There are a few different tiers of service depending on your needs. Contact us if you’d like to inquire about custom services.
Tier 1: White labeling / OEM
We can white-label any of our existing projects, removing the Aion logo and circuit name and adding yours.
Pricing is simple: In quantities of 100, you get a discount of 20% off from the standard price of the project, and 30% in quantities of 500. You can also order them in whatever color you’d like. (White-labeled PCBs must be ordered in quantities of 100, 200, 300 or 500.)
Minor layout tweaks can be made to your specification. These are free as long as the total amount of work is estimated at one hour or less. It is assumed that the project will not require any additional documentation or instructions beyond the documentation of the original Aion project, so no additional time is budgeted for documentation.
Tier 2: Custom PCB design
Do you need a circuit that we don’t already offer, or a different control layout or enclosure size? We can do fully custom PCB layouts as well. Our rate for custom layout work is $80/hr, and all time & material expenses are billable.
Nearly all custom layouts will require that we build a prototype unit to verify that everything goes together as we expect it to. This prototype unit will be mailed to you for approval before we make the production order. Subsequent reorders of the same PCB will not require another prototype to be built. Minor layout tweaks in the future generally will not require prototyping either, but this is at our discretion and depends on the extent of the changes.
How long will it take? This varies widely based on the complexity of the circuit and how far along you are in the product development process, but we’ve done it in as little as 4 hours and as much as 20. Contact us with your project details and we can give you an estimate.
Unless you request otherwise, all custom layouts will be designed with the same specifications and design rules as my existing projects on the site. This means that layouts will utilize 1/4W resistors, 5mm film capacitors and PCB-mounted potentiometers & toggle switches. Footswitch, DC and in/out jacks will be offboard.
A project is complete when the following items have been delivered:
- Verified PCB design
- Parts list & schematic
- Additional build notes, if applicable
- Initial order of PCBs
- Prototype unit, if required
I spent fifteen years working in marketing and branding, and these days I am very immersed in the music gear scene, both DIY and commercial. This means I have a great combination of skills and experiences to help you bring your product to market. If you need assistance beyond just a PCB layout, we can offer this as well. Just bear in mind that it’s billable like everything else.
Can you design using surface-mount components?
Yes, we can. Please let us know which technology you plan on using (e.g. 1206, 0805, etc.) as well as any other requirements.
Can you design the enclosure graphics as well?
We don’t do graphic design, but we will provide the control layout in Adobe Illustrator format and can work with a graphic designer of your choice to get them going in the right direction.
Do I have to order the PCBs from you?
Yes. This is part of the pricing model. Our initial hourly rate would be much higher if we weren’t able to supplement it with the sales of the actual PCBs. However, if for some reason we are not performing up to your standards, and you’ve already paid for the design work, we can release the Gerber files for a fee so that you can get the PCBs manufactured directly.
Can you send me the EAGLE files when you’re finished?
No. This is the “source code” of our designs, and it contains a lot of techniques, library components and other time-saving measures that we use on our main line of projects. We are able to offer what is in truth a very low hourly rate for this type of work, and create layouts much more quickly than most, in part because of all the work we’ve done on other projects. To release the final designs in EAGLE format would be to give away much more than what you are actually paying us for.
Can you design a new effect if I tell you what I want it to sound like?
Our skills are in PCB design, layouts, and build process, not circuit design and experimentation. For custom projects, we need either a full schematic or else a set of changes from an existing schematic. Our ears are not the same as yours, and our guitars and amps are not the same either. If you’ve got a sound in your head and want to turn it into a pedal, the only reliable way to do that is to learn the tools, then roll up your sleeves and make it happen!
Terms / fine print
We will not advertise or promote the fact that we are working with you without your express permission.
We will not sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) because there is nothing in the pedal scene that is innovative enough to warrant this. You’ll just have to trust us that we’re good people and we won’t share anything private that you let us in on.
If your circuit is based off of another classic circuit (in other words, you didn’t invent it from scratch), this does not prohibit Aion FX from releasing a project based on that same classic circuit at some point if we do not already have one.