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Old 30th May 2005, 06:49 PM   #1
Magura is offline Magura  Denmark
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Default DIY solder mask

Anyone made a DIY solder mask? if yes, how??


Cheers

Magura
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Old 30th May 2005, 10:44 PM   #2
Elkaid is offline Elkaid  Canada
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Hi !

I used 2 methods :

Option 1:
If you only need to make your PCB green (or any color), you can try acrylic inks used to paint on glass.
The one I found needs to be cured by heating it in the oven and is manufactured by PEBEO. It can be found at Mal-Wart.
(Make sure that the one you try isn't electrically conductive). When applied with foam applicator, it gives pretty nice results.

Option 2:
If you need a real solder mask, you'll need to deal with serigraphy stuff. You can find photo-serigraphy starter kit here by example: http://www.dharmatrading.com/html/eng/1940565-AA.shtml

The process involves a lot of time in silkscreen preparation and is not really recommended for single parts. The process becomes interesting in large scale production.

For me, the most complicated part was to find inks and solder paste. I used to order "samples" from PCB manufacturing plants. 500ml will last forever.

I hope this helps !
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Old 30th May 2005, 10:56 PM   #3
Elkaid is offline Elkaid  Canada
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OH, I forgot to mention :

If you go for option #1, you can cover your soldering pads with clear sticky film used to protect books and shelves. When curing the ink in the oven, the plastic film will shrink and/or burn. When soldering, the use of "flux" allows a clean job.
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Old 6th June 2005, 01:42 AM   #4
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Elkaid,

Is this the pebeo stuff that you use?

http://www.theartshop.com.au/category497_1.htm

Also, I assume you are using FR-4 type PC boards and they withstand this heat without problems? Do you put it into the oven for the recommended time and temperature?


Thanks.
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Old 6th June 2005, 08:04 AM   #5
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Is that pebeo stuff solder-resist? which one is non-conductive?
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Old 6th June 2005, 10:06 AM   #6
Magura is offline Magura  Denmark
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I took contact to the Danish importer of Pebeo, I got adviced to try Vitrea 160.

I will make a few experiments with that in the nearest future an make a report.

Magura
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Old 6th June 2005, 10:51 PM   #7
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Thanks Magura, I look forward to the results.
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Old 9th June 2005, 06:43 AM   #8
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If you are going to use the Pebeo Vitrea paint, you will need to ensure that the PCB you are going to use can support the temperatures required to set the paint (160C).

I've done a search and for FR-4 PCB's, the glass transition temperature can range from 120C to 180C.

Does anyone have a source of high temp FR-4 PCB's? (Other than going to FR-5).
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Old 9th June 2005, 12:20 PM   #9
Elkaid is offline Elkaid  Canada
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Hi guys,

Sorry for the delay !

Quote:
Is this the pebeo stuff that you use?
Hmmm, the link wasn't working this morning. However, I'm using PEBEO Vitrea paint.

By personal experience, you don't absolutely need to heat the PCB to 160C for the suggested period of time. It gave me good results when heating the PCB until the paint is doesn't transfer on your finger when touching it. Then, I simply lay the PCB at room temperature.

However, I'm really looking forward to hear about your experience with Vitrea paint.

Have a nice day
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Old 9th June 2005, 06:18 PM   #10
Magura is offline Magura  Denmark
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I just got my hands on some of that vitrea stuff, it seems to be available just about everywhere. I found it in a small hobby and crafts shop in a small town

I'll see if I can find some time for playing around with it during the weekend.

Magura
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