[sdiy] PCB Panels

Tim Ressel timr at circuitabbey.com
Wed Apr 25 00:52:19 CEST 2018

I have, and its a mixed bag. The biggest issue is the silkscreen process 
for PCBs is meant to provide nomenclature and is not super high quality. 
If you're just doing text and aren't too picky and find a decent board 
house then its fine. But if you try to flood half the board with white 
space chances are you'll see some blemishes.

I use Eagle and importing BMPs is pretty easy once you figure it all 
out. getting the artwork to export from your graphics tool and hold on 
to the aspect ratio can be a challenge. Another challenge is resolution 
in the silk screen process. If your lines are too fine then they may not 
show up on the board. I saw one board house completely blank the 
silkscreen because the lines were too fine.

There are options besides MPC. You can make metal panels and have then 
powder coated and silk screened. You can laser etch the panels and fill 
the etched areas with paint. I heard a rumor that you can get metal 
panels in China.


On 4/24/2018 3:39 PM, Chris McDowell wrote:
> Has anyone here tried doing panels with PCBs? I've had metalphoto screw up enough orders that I'm ready to try something else! They're not -terrible- but they can't guarantee a tight tolerance and it always bugs me at least, drives me nuts at the most.
> If you've given it a shot, where has it worked out for you?
> Cheers,
> Chris
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--Tim Ressel
Circuit Abbey
timr at circuitabbey.com

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