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PCB Assembly. Soldering. SMT. Thru hole. Stencils. Paste. Equipment. Tools. HOWTOs.
This documents free software and open source hardware manufacturing of PCBAs (Printed Circuit Board Assemblies).
Focus is particularly on tools that can be used with hackerspace- level technology.
Various Free Software (as defined by FSF) applications available for the creation of PCBAs.
The below packages are in Debian Buster. Note, even though it is in
Debian, you may want to build some of these packages from scratch
since the version in Debian is old. Debian
an up to date KiCAD.
The following Debian packages are in use in the current production toolchain:
freecad --- Visualization of PCBAs and more. 3D CAD application.
inkscape --- vector-based drawing program.
kicad --- Electronic schematic and PCB design software.
The following Debian packages are NOT in use:
electronics-pcb --- Debian packages for PCB development (meta package).
fritzing --- Easy-to-use electronic design software.
geda --- GPL EDA -- Electronics design software.
gerbv --- Gerber file viewer.
lepton-eda --- Lepton Electronic Design Automation.
pcb --- printed circuit board (pcb) design program.
pcb2gcode --- command-line tool for engraving PCBs using CNCs.
pcb-rnd - Modular Printed Circuit Board layout tool.
visolate - tool for engraving PCBs using CNCs.
Other PCBA software available under Free Software licenses.
J-Tech Photonics LASER Inkscape Plugin.
raster2gcode --- Inkscape Plugin.
InteractiveHtmlBom --- Interactive HTML BOM generation plugin for KiCad
OpenPNP --- Pick and Place software.
flatcam --- Free and Open-source PCB CAM.
FlatCAM lets you take your designs to a CNC router. You can open Gerber, Excellon or G-code, edit it or create from scatch, and output G-Code. Isolation routing is one of many tasks that FlatCAM is perfect for.
To design PCBs, KiCAD is used. Export Gerber files for manufacturing.
You can make your own PCB or have them made by numerous suppliers. Recommended suppliers (amongst many):
OSHPark --- Strong FLO supporters, high quality, quick turn, USA.
DirtyPCBs --- Lowest possible cost out of Shenzhen, China.
ProtoExpress -- Quick turn, high quality, high cost, USA.
Many others that also support KiCAD!
FR1, FR4, etc.
RoHS (no lead).
cf. NASA Standards.
You can have a board assembled by a house such as ProtoExpress, or you can assemble it yourself. There is an endless variety of DIY approaches to this. This you have the PCB finished. You need to:
The many ways to place a part...
Pick and Place.
What method is used depends on the type and size of the part and what equipment is available. We'll be working with SMT, BGA, and through hole parts.
To solder SMT parts to PCB.
CHIPQUIK SMD291SNL50T3, 50g jar.
Zeph ZeroLead, 96.5Sn / 3Ag /.5Cu, 10cc syringe.
Kester K1000D, no clean, no lead, 0.8mm.
Kester Sn96.5Ag3.0Cu0.5, no clean, no lead, 0.8mm.
But you just put flux on...
To desolder, perchance.
Solder wick, aka desoldering wire.
In use: variety sizes.
You need to melt that solder...
Hot air pencil.
Hot air bath.
Working with PCBs and components:
HOWTO solder through hole components to a PCB with soldering.
HOWTO Solder SMT components with soldering iron.
HOWTO Solder SMT components with hot air.
HOWTO Solder SMT components with oven.
HOWTO Solder SMT components with skillet.
HOWTO Solder BGA components.
HOWTO Rework through hole components.
HOWTO Rework SMT components.
HOWTO Rework BGA components.
HOWTO Create solder paste stencil.
HOWTO Apply solder paste with solder paste mask.
HOWTO Apply solder paste with syringe.
HOWTO Apply solder paste with electronic syringe.
HOWTO Use a solder pot.
The equipment considered is what is generally available to hackerspaces. This leaves out industrial gear like large wave solder machines.
LASERS can serve a few purposes in manufacturing PCBAs. Inexpensive LASER cutters are available at many hackerspaces. Inexpensive LASERs can be retrofit to RepRap 3D printers.
Cut solder paste stencils.
Etch paint, which is then chemically etched.
Board marking, such as serialization.
Large CNCs are overkill for PCBA assembly. Very small CNCs can be used. CNCs are available at many hackerspaces. CNCs can be used to:
Drill PCB holes.
RepRap 3D printers are available at many hackerspaces. 3D printers can be used to:
Make CNC fixtures.
Make board holding fixtures.
Make other tools, etc.
Solder station tools:
Hot air pencil.
Hot air bath.
Solder paste dispenser.
A variety of free software compatible and open source hardware pick and place machines are available.
LitePlacer. Note, works with Free Software OpenPNP, but is non-commercial design licensed hardware. Manufacturer supplies proprietary application.
Boards manufactured or slated to be manufactured.
Trellisboard --- Ultimate ECP5 board. https://code.forksand.com/forksand/fs-TrellisBoard
ULX3X --- ECP5 board. https://code.forksand.com/forksand/fs-ulx3s
This document is available here: https://code.forksand.com/forksand/pcba/src/branch/master/README.md
License: CC By SA 4.0 International and/or GPLv3+ at your discretion. Other code licensed under their own respective licenses.
Copyright © 2019, Fork Sand, Inc.