SMD Stencils

We all love solder paste reflow soldering. Of course we do: its the fastest way to solder boards and can also be used to produce more than one of them. But getting stencils has been a pain: smtstencil.co.uk sells them for 20€ and a week of waiting. A bit too much for playing around. And I broke couple of school's endmills trying to mill out stencils so no more of that.

A week ago Kalle showed me a blog post about cutting stencils with plotter. So I have a plotting machine now. Cuts pretty stencils from polyester sheets. KiCad exports SVG files that is useable with minimal modification. Polyester stencils are transparent - aligning is easy even without aligning holes. It is strong enough so I can use it more times than I ever will. Also it it soft enough to modify it with scalpel.

Poking first stencil from plotter with scalpel.

Poking first stencil from plotter with scalpel.

Board with polyester stencil.

Board with polyester stencil.

Applying solder paste to the board.

Applying solder paste to the board.

Board with solder paste.

Board with solder paste.

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