I wanted to avoid using a soldered usb plug, and add copper pads directly onto my board to act as a usb plug.


Now I wanted to know how thick the board should be, in order to have a snug fit in any USB port.

  • \$\begingroup\$ 1.6mm (standard PCB thickness) works fine. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 6, 2017 at 15:30
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ 2mm will be better. 1.6 will mostly float in A receptacle. Theorical height of plug from outer shield to contacts is 2.235mm. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nipo
    Jan 6, 2017 at 15:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you do find it is too loose, you can always shim the reverse side with some thin plastic to built it up. Cheaper than getting a 2mm board made. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 6, 2017 at 15:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hmmm, but bare copper will not last very long. The standard gold plating is very thin and doesn't help much. "real" contacts are plated with a thicker layer of hard metal plus gold. But if you don't expect the connector to last as long as a usual, it's OK. \$\endgroup\$
    – sweber
    Jan 6, 2017 at 15:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Design the back to support a shim glued on and you won't be much worse than some of today's "reputable" products - I was disappointed to a find a SanDisk flash drive using the PCB as the contact, inset into a little plastic tray, with the surrounding "shell" made of plastic. It does look like the PCB traces might be a bit thicker than usual. It is also true, however, that the USB connector to PCB joint can be a point of failure on things put in pockets, etc. I don't think the USB specification envisioned "A" connectors projecting directly off products, but rather only imagined them on cables. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 6, 2017 at 16:41

1 Answer 1


I have a commercial version of what you are trying to build:

enter image description here

I measured the thickness at the end where the pads are with a pair of digital calipers, and it is 2.20 mm. The blue and black sections of plastic are flush with each other, there is no lip although there appears to be one in the photo.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Caliber is for bullet size. You probably mean caliper. \$\endgroup\$
    – user110971
    Jan 7, 2017 at 19:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user110971 thx \$\endgroup\$
    – tcrosley
    Jan 7, 2017 at 21:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ thanks man! All i gotta do is add some sort of back plate that makes it thick enough. \$\endgroup\$
    – agillbraun
    Jan 9, 2017 at 17:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @agillbraun you'll probably want to print contacts on both sides of the board if possible. Even creating them by hand using, say copper clad tape can help. \$\endgroup\$
    – futurebird
    Feb 1, 2020 at 15:00

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