Author Topic: PCB: silk screen and solder mask  (Read 11068 times)

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Offline jsmokerTopic starter

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PCB: silk screen and solder mask
« on: February 28, 2007, 10:47:16 AM »
I'm trying to get some PCBs made.  Are there large advantages to silk screen printing and solder masks?  It costs more, but is it worth it?

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Re: PCB: silk screen and solder mask
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2007, 11:08:23 AM »
How many PCBs? The reason I ask is because its all subject to economies of scale . . .

I would say its not worth it, but it really depends on the quality of circuit you require.

Solder masking: "The main purpose of masking is to prevent solder bridging of pads and traces during mass production. There is also an esthetic value to consider. When using surface mount devices it is often necessary to provide a solder mask layer for both the Top and Bottom of the board as there will be differences in pad locations between sides where SMT devices have been added."

If you design your board well, or you arent doing that many boards and can test each pin for accidental connections, you wont need masking.

I dont know much about silk screening, but I think it is good for protecting really thin traces during the etching process. Someone correct me if Im wrong. Probably not needed if your traces are thick.

Offline jsmokerTopic starter

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Re: PCB: silk screen and solder mask
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2007, 11:26:06 AM »
i'm purchasing about 14 boards.  I only gonna use 10, but I wanted to keep a couple extra incase something happens.  This is for a university research project.  The cost of the 14 with the solder mask and silk screening is around $300 while without it it's only around $140.


Offline hgordon

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Re: PCB: silk screen and solder mask
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2007, 11:46:03 AM »
Take a look at http://www.pcborder.com  -  there's no charge for the solder mask on prototype orders.  I'm pleased with their service.
Surveyor Corporation
  www.surveyor.com

Offline jsmokerTopic starter

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Re: PCB: silk screen and solder mask
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2007, 11:49:01 AM »
how do you submit your design?  The company I used has their own software and you just order the part through the software.


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Offline hgordon

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Re: PCB: silk screen and solder mask
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2007, 12:08:26 PM »
You have to send them Gerber files, so you need your own PCB software.  I have a designer who does the PCB layout for me, so I don't use the layout software. 

Typically we'll do a prototype run of 10 boards, and if that checks out, we do a production run with the solder mask ($250). 

Surveyor Corporation
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Offline jsmokerTopic starter

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Re: PCB: silk screen and solder mask
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2007, 12:13:42 PM »
Excellent, Thanks!

 


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