Table of Contents

PCB Stencils

Unless you get a dispenser module add-on, you'll need to silkscreen / screenprint solder paste onto the PCBs. Most PCB stencils are made of stainless steel and last years. Right now we make our stencils out of kapton (polyamide) with a laser cutter

You can also get this done for you as a service from Pololu, or Ohararp It should be $20 or so for a small sheet.


Say you want to make 100 accelerometer boards (using the ADXL335) but you're not keen on buying 2000 pieces that make up a full reel. You could try to go with cut tape (hassle) or you can go with a "digi-reel". This is a service offered by Digikey where they will take a piece of cut tape and add a leader (long piece of 'empty' tape) and footer so that you can mount it on a pick and place. Its kind of brilliant, and costs only $7 on top of parts cost. You can also make your own, of course, by saving old tape.

Sticky tape

Test your parts placement by laying down double-sided sticky tape onto a PCB. It'll keep the parts in place without the mess of paste

Nozzle sizes

Use the biggest nozzle you can to pick up parts. The bigger the nozzle, the less slipping you'll get