Electronics Assembly Knowledge, Vision & Wisdom
Stencil Manufacturing and Impact on Precision
Stencil Manufacturing and Impact on Precision
Stencil positional accuracy is a function of the manufacturing process. The various parameters that influence positional accuracy are covered.
Production Floor

Authored By:
Ahne Oosterhof
Oosterhof Consulting, Hillsboro, OR, USA

Stephan Schmidt
LPKF Laser & Electronics, Tualatin, OR, USA
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Stencil positional accuracy is a function of the manufacturing process (Machines, Methods, Materials and Men).

In this paper the various parameters that influence positional accuracy are discussed. These include laser systems, various metals and processes, temperature variations and the effect of mounting a stencil in a frame.

The total effect is shown with measurement results from a number of stencils made according to today's practices using available laser systems and processes.

For a stencil with optimum aperture positioning accuracy this paper concludes that it is critical to choose the best manufacturing method based on three main factors:

1. Laser cutting shows better results than photo based processes.

2. Stencils cut in a frame show very little distortion.

3. Stencils cut on modern lasers showed significantly better positioning accuracy.
Initially Published in the SMTA Proceedings
Reader Comment

Well maintained fiber diode lasers, superior metal, and nano coating produce incredibly accurate stencils with improved paste release. However, experienced stencil designers shouldn't be discounted! All the best equipment and materials is useless without experience on the front end.

Mark Devereaux, Photo Etch Technology
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