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Thread: Creating silkscreen layer for PCBs

  1. #1
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    Default Creating silkscreen layer for PCBs

    Hi

    For my next PICAXE project I'm looking for a slightly more up market appeal so:-

    I wonder if there is a simple method to create the silkscreen layer on home build PCBs.

    The equipment I have includes a UV box so a solution somehow utilising that would be a possibility.

    I was thinking on the lines of spraying/painting on a photosensitive paint then exposing it through a printed transparency and then developing and dissolving the surplus ink/paint.

    I don't know if there's any such thing as photosensitive paint?

    Is there a simple method I've missed?

    Rick

  2. #2
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    Many schools simply laser print onto a clear self adhesive label (or even white label, A4/letter size).
    Then stick it onto the PCB before drilling.
    PICAXE Technical Support

  3. #3
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    Default

    There is UV cure ink that is used in many large printing places, but i have never worked with it to know anymore details.

  4. #4

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    You can also use the toner transfer method and white TRF to get pretty good looking "silk screen" printing on a board. I've not used it, but keep meaning to give it a go one day. You can get green TRF too, so can make a sort of poor mans solder resist layer.

  5. #5
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    Default

    There is also something like this:
    http://batchpcb.com/index.php/Products

    Where you can have small quantities of professional boards made.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Thanks for the ideas so far...

    With the white TRF method how is the white 'ink' silkscreen printed on the TRF film?

    Or have I got it wrong? Does one print in black (or red or Green) on the TRF and then 'laminate'?

    I think the main problem with UV cure ink is that the cured ink would be the part that was exposed to UV and I'd want it the other way around!

    The method of printing the silkscreen on sticky back labels is pretty straightforward but I was looking something a little more 'up market' in appearance.

    I am sure this is a practical solution though.

    Any more ideas would be welcome

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dicky Mint View Post
    Thanks for the ideas so far...

    With the white TRF method how is the white 'ink' silkscreen printed on the TRF film?

    Or have I got it wrong? Does one print in black (or red or Green) on the TRF and then 'laminate'?
    I haven't actually tried it yet, so please take this into account!

    I believe the technique is to print use the laser toner transfer method (laser printing on photo paper, ironing it to the PCB) and then iron on the white TRF. The TRF bonds to the transferred toner, and leaves white lettering on the surface of the board.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dicky Mint View Post
    Thanks for the ideas so far...

    With the white TRF method how is the white 'ink' silkscreen printed on the TRF film?

    Or have I got it wrong? Does one print in black (or red or Green) on the TRF and then 'laminate'?

    I think the main problem with UV cure ink is that the cured ink would be the part that was exposed to UV and I'd want it the other way around!

    The method of printing the silkscreen on sticky back labels is pretty straightforward but I was looking something a little more 'up market' in appearance.

    I am sure this is a practical solution though.

    Any more ideas would be welcome
    Sadly, Ultrakeet have folded as a supplier but their articles still remain on their website.
    Perhaps it may be of some help. You will find reference to silkscreening at the bottom of the page. Many photos..........

    http://ultrakeet.com.au/index.php?id...&name=makepcbs

  9. #9
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    Ultrakeet products will be sold through a new place. http://dfad.com.au/shop.php
    The owner's of Ultrakeet work there so we should still get the excellent service.

    Dave
    Forum's Resident Werewolf..

  10. #10

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    How about a UV LASER style CNC machine that draws onto your board by vector scanning? Articulate the LASER at the back end and use two high-res servos to swing the business end around. Could be a neat Picaxe project. Could also be used to expose the PCB artwork onto sensitized boards.

    Well, you did say "Any more ideas would be welcome "
    War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.

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