Tutorial

Measuring Your Gerber File


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Your solder paste stencil is precision laser cut to the gerber file layout you submit with your order. This photo explains how to measure your gerber file when submitting your stencil order.

Setting The Frame


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The PCB needs to be held firmly in place. Without a frame, you can support around the PCB with material equal in thickness to the PCB being stenciled. With a frame, the stenciling process is considerably faster. First tape the larger frame piece to the table surface. Securely nestle the PCB in the frame's square corner. Then lightly press the lower frame up against the PCB, and tape the frame down. Our "Hold-Tight" Frame System enables your laser cut stencil to be used to squeegee swipe many PCB's during volume production. While your stencil remains firmly taped in place onto the frame, simply lift up the stencil. Replace another fresh PCB between frame parts after stencil printing, and swipe again. Please note: care needs to be taken to accurately position and securely sandwich the PCB between the 2 frame parts.

Accurate Positioning


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Care needs to be taken to accurately position and securely sandwich your PCB between the 2 "Hold-Tight" frame parts.

Attaching The Stencil


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Now hold down the stencil with one hand, positioning aperture holes directly over your PCB's pads. With your other hand, tape the stencil to the frame all the way across the top of the stencil.

Proper Alignment


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Accurate positioning and secure taping is critical, because this upper taping becomes your hinge when raising and lowering the stencil for each solder paste stencil printing. It is very important that the alignment between the stencil holes and PCB pads remain accurate. You are now ready to stencil print numerous PCB's for your volume production needs. Simply lift your stencil, place another PCB inside your frame system, and re-apply solder paste.

Stencil Positioning


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This photograph shows accurate stencil positioning over the PCB. All flexible circuit stencils with which we supply you, are see through. This advantage over steel stencils allows for much easier hole positioning.

Solder Paste


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Spread ample amount of solder paste across the entire upper length of the stencil.

Squeegee Angle


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The angle of your squeegee is important when swiping solder paste over your laser cut stencil.

Paste Thickness


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Accurate amount of solder paste deposit on each pad is important for seating components properly. We use .005 thick material with a finished laser cut thickness (at hole edges) of .006 . We find this works well for most stencil applications. If you need thinner amounts of solder paste on your pads, let us know when you order your stencil so we can offer you thinner material with a finished thickness of .004

Placing Components


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This photo shows a full set of components placed on the PCB. When placing your components, it is usually helpful to give a very slight tap onto the freshly solder pasted pads to help hold them in place before heating in toaster oven.

Reflowing Your Board


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Bake your PCB in an open oven.

Finished Product


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Your finished board is completed! We hope your diligent design, board fabrication, SMT stencil printing, and component assembly is a great success for you! And remember to contact us with any solder paste application questions you may have.