Making SMD boards - wither paste stencils?

Mike O'Dell mo at
Mon Nov 15 15:45:59 CST 2010

according to the guys at TechShop, the best way people have found
to use (reasonable-power-level) laser cutters to make PCBs is 
clean the copper-clad and then spray it with two good coats of
flat-black paint. the laser vaporizes the paint and the the
echant does it's usual thing on the exposed metal.

there is a bit of "splash" from the vaporized paint, though,
and the guys i spoke with said it's best to "write" the pattern
twice to clear up any paint that condensed and settled back
onto the board.

i've been looking at CNC mills as well to do PCBs. converting an
inexpensive micro-mill to CNC is a significant project in itself,
and even the "kits" that don't include stepper motors are some
very significant fraction of the cost of the micro-mill. 

NOTE: TechShop is going to be opening a location here in the DC
area in 2011 as part of their 5 city expansion next calendar year.
if you dunno about it,  will tell the story.
"a health-club membership for your brain"  also has info on similar things.
according to the list, there's one in Herndon but 
i haven't sorted out the details.


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