Our SMT stencil service offers low-cost, plastic stencils that are an economical alternative to metal stencils or hand soldering for prototypes and low-volume manufacturing runs of PC boards with surface-mounted components. If you need to solder a few dozen or more contacts, these stencils are a great way to do it.
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- Do you sell solder paste or any tools for stencil printing?
- We do not. You might consider Stencils Unlimited.
- Can I order a stencil and some of your stock products together to save on shipping?
- No, but it’s on our list of features that would be nice to implement. If you would like such an option, please let us know (we haven’t heard that many requests for combined orders, but if many customers request it, we can make it a higher priority).
- The apertures in my preview file seem to have changed shape slightly. Is this normal?
Yes. The preview file exists primarily for you to verify that all of your desired apertures are present and that they are at the correct locations. We modify the shapes of the apertures slightly to account for the laser beam shape (kerf) and cutting process. Apertures are shrunk vertically more than they are horizontally, which turns circular apertures into ovals and square apertures into rectangles on the preview file (see the picture below). This modification process ensures that the apertures in the stencil itself will most closely match those in your submitted file.
Example of original apertures (left) compared to their processed, preview-file versions (right).
- Why doesn’t the scale of my printed preview file match that of my submitted files?
- This can be caused by incorrect print settings. Make sure that you set page scaling to “none” in the print dialog (this setting typically defaults to “shrink to printable area”).