SnapMaker as a Stencil Cutter?


#1

Wonder what thoughts are about for using SnapMaker to laser cut solder paste stencils. This would enhance, and be in keeping with the PCB milling capability.

Is the Laser power enough to create the cutouts?


#2

What material are you planning on using? Or what is commonly used?


#3

Probably not. However, the 1.6W laser module Snapmaker has announced can cut through 2mm plywood, so it would probably be suitable.


#4

Thank you Tone,

At https://www.pololu.com/product/446 is a description on the Mylar sheets they use for stencils.


#5

Once I receive my SnapMaker I can take a run at it and how it goes.

Good to know a higher power option is to be about.


#6

Did you ever give this a go? I am trying to do the same thing and was wondering how you got on??


#7

pcbcentral_ug.zip (74.3 KB)

Its a slow burn project of mine to have a CNC based PCB assistance tool. The attached non-real user guide describes ultimate goals. The pick & place I think is unrealistic. Initial work has been with the solder paste process. As of now nothing is functional.

Other requirements have me elsewhere occupied - so little has been done.

But, your comment has primed me - I do have the high power Laser module. And the stencil cutting process is the most easiest one to do, so…


#8

I’ve managed to get it working nicely. High power module at 60% power 220 speed for cut and i use a bit of scrap flat metal underneath the plastic (and yes the laser etches the metal too. I’ve got a nice PCB stencil outline on my snapmaker baseplate to prove it :slight_smile: )

Here is the results Laser cut an outline


#9

Well, I’m impressed - well done - bravo!

Must ask…

What Z distance?
Was sheet material (mylar/vellum)?
What sheet thickness?

I’m guessing one of the pad layouts is for an USB connector. What is the pad pitch?

Your results indicate that PCB stencil cutting is viable. I should now start anew on my project.