Laser Cut Solder Stencil

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Laser Cut Solder Stencil

Postby bdring » Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:28 am

I successfully cut (engraved actually) a solder stencil in mylar on my 2.x laser cutter. The whole project took less than a half hour, which was not bad for my first time. It matched perfectly to the PCB. Some of the pads were less than 0.5mm square. I tried a bunch of different power levels and they all were probably acceptable, but the best seemed to be high power that quickly vaporized the mylar without melting close by material.

http://www.buildlog.net/blog/2011/09/di ... diy-laser/

stencil.PNG
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Re: Laser Cut Solder Stencil

Postby lasersafe1 » Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:22 pm

I did reflow for a while. I love my TechFX reflow controller for my toaster oven, but they seem to have disappeared from the web. 63/37 solder was a piece of cake, but when I started experimenting with lead-free, I found there was a hairy edge between solder melting and board epoxy melting. I found out I needed to order "high TC" boards that are good to 170C. This was a couple years back and now I just pay a girl to solder for me. Has anything changed in the last couple years that makes lead-free easier? (lower melting point)?
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Re: Laser Cut Solder Stencil

Postby bdring » Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:46 pm

Most boards are the higher TC now and the finishes, fluxes, etc mean things solder a bit easier. I have even noticed hand soldering lead free is easier than it was a few years back. Maybe I just unknowingly learned a few tricks.

I typically use lead free HASL (hot air surface leveling) or silver plating. I think HASL is easier to solder. I use immersion gold at work, but we do much different type work (day job) like BGAs there.
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