Silkscreen is usually white and human readable letters. used to identify components, test points, PCB and PCBA part numbers. warning symbols, company logos, date codes. and manufacturer marks.
Silk-screening requires formulated inks. The standard colour is white, but you can also select red, blue, black, yellow, etc.
At one time, PCB CAD software allowed for a few standard fonts to used in silkscreen layers. Now, many packages allow for all available system fonts to used. Be careful when choosing your font. It may seem interesting to pick a “Showcard Gothic” font but remember someone needs to read it later. the people assembling your boards, quality inspectors, etc.
PCB manufacturers required by IPC to provide both a manufacturer’s mark. and an identifier which will allow for lot tracing should problems occur. Although there are no strict standards for where these markings appear. manufacturers will generally try to place them in non-critical areas. But because you know the board will also double. as a backlit equipment faceplate with your company logo doesn’t mean your. PCB manufacturer will. If you need these markings to placed in a specific area or omitted, you need to specify it in the PCB readme.txt file. in a fabrication drawing or in your communications with the manufacturer.
Circuit Boards Prototyping Services all come standard with green solder mask. and white silkscreen on both PCB sides. We do have a minimum size of 8 mil (0.008”) line width for all lettering and graphics. If you have a need for Prototype Services we invite you to put us to the test.
Screen-printing done when the boards are still panelized. before the application of the final finish or routing/v-scoring.
Conventional silk-screening requires polyester screens stretched across aluminum frames. Solvent resistant emulsions used to coat the screens before imaging. Both the screen and panel must registered to ensure proper alignment. This method of screening requires the following equipment. Laser photo plotter to produce the initial film, UV printer. spray developer and curing ovens. Screens can cleaned and reclaimed to used again. although not for jobs which need high resolutions.
Currently three methods are available for applying the “Silk screen or Ident” to the PCB.
-Manual screen-printing can utilized when line widths are greater than 7 mil (0.007”). and the registration tolerance is 5 mil.
-LPI (Liquid Photo Imaging) provides more accuracy. and legibility than manual screening and employed. when line widths are greater than 4mil.
-DLP (Direct Legend Printing) is the most accurate. and legible of the 3 processes but also has the highest cost for consumables.
The art of manual silk-screening takes time to develop. At Omni, our master craftspeople have been practicing their art for over 20 years. Some of the parameters to considered. include the viscosity of the ink, room temperature, humidity, age of the ink. and hardener and line resolution.
From these variables the correct amount and distribution of ink. the stroke force and angle derived. as they will impact the final outcome.
PCB layout designers sometimes forget to double-check their silk screen layers. before sending designs to PCB fabrication. Designers should avoid putting ident over component pads. they should avoid using tiny text and should allow for registration tolerances.
pcb silk screening application
Silkscreen is a layer of ink traces used to identify components. test points, parts of the PCB, warning symbols, logos. and marks etc. This silkscreen is usually applied on the component side. but using silkscreen on the solder side is also not uncommon. But this may increase the cost. a detailed PCB silkscreen can help both the manufacturer. and the engineer to locate and identify all the components.
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The ink is a non-conductive epoxy ink. The ink used for these markings formulated. The standard colors we see are black, white and yellow. PCB software also uses standard fonts in silkscreen layers. but you can choose other fonts from the system too. For traditional silk-screening. you need a polyester screen stretched on aluminum frames, a laser photo plotter. spray developer and curing ovens.
The silkscreen coating contains priceless information for PCB assembly. This level consists of information about the positioning of components and their polarity. this info are crucial for the proper positioning and orientation of components. The silkscreen coating also includes important identification information like identifiers. component labels and logos. For your silkscreen to work and useful, it must be legible with readable fonts. The ultimate way to ensure legibility. and clarity is to ask your agreement manufacturer (CM) to work with you in utilizing. good silkscreen PCB design recommendations in your DFM. The need for the silkscreen PCB level to your table design. can be best comprehended by analyzing its effect on assembly and screening.
Need for the Silkscreen PCB Coating to Assembly
Years back, the primary approach to silkscreen creation included utilizing a stencil. to straight apply ink to the panel surface. Today. the most typical silkscreen PCB printing techniques are Water Picture Imaging (LPI). and Direct Legend Printing (DLP).
1.LPI is the most time-intensive strategy. but produces the best quality of images and textual content. The process is comparable to the technique used to use solder mask. and entails exposing an imageable film to ultraviolet (UV) light.
2.DLP is faster than LPI. Because of this method. an inkjet printer utilized to print the silkscreen on the plank with acrylic ink.
Although silkscreen PCB software conducted during table fabrication. it can used for the production steps of the PCB assembly process. the steps that involve putting or installation components. The silkscreen markings used to place components are the following:
Reference signals - these identify the component type from the BOM.
Pin 1 sign - this means that which pins hook up to what pads of the footprint.
Polarity indications - these supply the orientation of polarized components.
Component summarize - this, with the landing design. indicates where in fact the element should positioned.
For components with small amounts of pads. or simple designs, the lack of the element describe may be. suitable for general positioning. But, there still is present the probability of asymmetrical positioning. which may business lead to problems during soldering, such as tombstoning. The lack of reference, pin 1 and polarity signals can lead to wrong component orientation. or positioning, that could impact device features. Silkscreen PCB design accuracy is vital for panel assembly as well as tests.
Need for the Silkscreen PCB to Testing
Another important use of the silkscreen PCB design. is informing the engineer or specialist of the positioning. where measurements should studied during assessment or troubleshooting. Along with element manufacturer suggestions. these may used to verify device performance or help identify potential failing causes. Silkscreen PCB markings used for examining and troubleshooting can include:
Test factors - they dedicated locations on the plank. where in fact the desired ideals are usually known. making them useful as first indications of issues with table operation.
Warning icons - these enable you to show high voltages or other guidelines that needs to avoided. or need special treatment.
Part figures - they are helpful if device information. like datasheets, is not available.
Methods for Silkscreen PCB Design
As discussed before, utilizing a silkscreen PCB design. is an essential need of panel design rather than. including it can cause serious problems for PCB assembly and screening. The silkscreen is also used for labeling, which might include producer information. testing qualifications, model or serial amounts. To become effective and useful. the silkscreen will need to have readable textual content. provide enough image quality and, most of all. be accurate. Here are some tips to help you make sure that your silkscreen PCB design can utilized. because of its important functions in PCB assembly, tests and identification:
Suggestion 1: Only use fonts approved by your CM as some fonts. although created in software, are difficult to create during board produce.
Suggestion 2: Use black or white. rather than other colors to supply the best comparison with your board’s solder mask color.
Suggestion 3: Be sure to follow your CM’s clearance and dimension recommendations. This will make sure. that your silkscreen items don't get included in components and are often visible.
How to assembly silkscreen in PCB
The silkscreen layer contains invaluable information for PCB assembly. This layer contains information about the location of components and their polarity. these details are critical for the proper placement and orientation of components. The silkscreen layer also contains important identification information like identifiers. component labels and logos. For your silkscreen to be effective and useful, it must be legible with readable fonts. The best way to ensure legibility and clarity is to ask your contract manufacturer (CM) to assist you. in employing good silkscreen PCB design guidelines as part of your DFM. The importance of the silkscreen PCB layer to your board design. can be best understood by examining its impact on assembly and testing.
In years past, the primary method of silkscreen creation involved using a stencil to. apply ink to the board surface. Today, the most common silkscreen PCB printing techniques are Liquid Photo Imaging (LPI). and Direct Legend Printing (DLP).
LPI is the most time-intensive approach, but yields the best resolution of images and text. The process is like the method used to apply solder mask. and involves exposing an imageable film to ultraviolet (UV) light.
DLP is faster than LPI. For this method, an inkjet printer used to print the silkscreen on the board with acrylic ink.
Although silkscreen PCB application performed during board fabrication. it used for the manufacturing steps of the PCB assembly process. the steps that involve placing or mounting components. The silkscreen markings used to place components include the following:
Reference indicators – these identify the component type from the BOM.
Pin 1 indicator – this indicates which pins connect to what pads of the footprint.
Polarity indicators – these provide the orientation of polarized components.
Component outline – this. in conjunction with the landing pattern, indicates where the component should placed.
For components with small numbers of pads or simple shapes. the absence of the component outline. may be acceptable for general placement. but, there still exists the possibility of asymmetrical placement. which may lead to problems during soldering. such as tombstoning. The absence of reference, pin 1 and polarity indicators. may lead to incorrect component orientation. or placement. which could affect device functionality. Silkscreen PCB layout accuracy is very important for board assembly. as well as testing.
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