Find out more about PCB design, manufacturing, pricing and administration in our frequently asked questions. SMT Stencil - General
- What is PCB Stencil?
Please refer: Stencil, its technology and other aspects
- What is the advantage of having PCBs and solder paste stencils made at the same place?
If you are making a solder paste stencil elsewhere, you will need to supply panelized gerber data every time you place a PCB production order.
Once the data is with the stencil maker, they need to import it into their CAM system. Not all PCB and stencil manufacturers use same the CAM software so the data may be manipulated while exporting or importing. Some stencil manufacturers have no idea about PCB design and may not be able to identify obvious design problems.
Also, knowing your PCB design, we can do effective pad reduction if required. We can also identify possible assembly problems and suggest solutions while preparing data for stencil making.
What information I need to give you so that you can manufacture my PCB Stencil?
You need to provide us with:
• Solder paste gerber files; preferably in 274x format
• Stencil type (Framed, Frameless, Laser cut Electropolished Stainless Steel or Chemically Etched brass)
• Pad reduction requirement
• Assembly Type (leaded or lead-free)
What is the difference between frameless and framed stencil?
Fameless stencils are nothing but a piece of 5mil thick stainless steel foil. The biggest disadvantage is its alignment process as the operator needs to be extra careful for each cycle.
Framed stencils are “pre-stretched” and, therefore, provide ease in alignment. With a framed stencil, your stencil is securely mounted to either a cast or extruded aluminium stencil frame using a mesh border. This keeps the stencil foil taut, allowing for complete control. Our glue-in stencils are permanently bonded using an exclusive border treatment which, when combined with our epoxy process, creates a bond so strong it will not fail.