The availability of low-cost, insanely high-quality PCBs has actually modified how we do electronics. Here at Hackaday we see individuals ditching residence fabrication with growing frequency, and going to small-run fab for his or her prototypes and tasks. Today you may get a take a look at the kinds of manufacturing facility processes that make that attainable. [Scotty Allen] simply printed a (sponsored) tour of a PCB fab house that exhibits off the unimaginable machine instruments and chemical baths which can be by no means contemplated by the world’s electronics shoppers. If you may have an appreciation PCBs, it’s a pleasure to observe a design via the method so take your espresso break and let this video roll.
Several components of this shall be very acquainted. The photo-resist and etching course of for 2-layer boards is kind of the identical as it could be in your personal workshop. Of course the panels are a lot bigger than you’d ever attempt at residence, they usually’re not utilizing a meals storage container and home made etchant. In truth the processes are by and enormous automated which is smart contemplating the quantity a manufacturing facility like that is churning via. Even transferring stacks of boards across the manufacturing facility is present with automated trolleys.
What we discover most attention-grabbing about this tour is the multi-layer board course of, the drilling machines, and the solder masks utility. For boards that use greater than two layers, the designs are constructed from the within out, including substrate and copper foil layers as they go. It’s neat to look at however we’re nonetheless left questioning how the inside layers are aligned with the outer. If you may have perception on this please pontificate within the feedback beneath.
The drilling course of isn’t a lot a shock as it’s a marvel to see large machines with six drill heads engaged on a number of boards at one time. It positive beats a Dremel drill press. The solder masks course of is one which we don’t usually see proven off. The ink for the masks is utilized to the complete board and baked simply to make it cheesy. A photograph course of is then utilized which works a lot in the identical method photoresist works for copper etching. Transparent movie with patterns printed on it cures the solder masks that ought to keep, whereas the remaining is washed away within the subsequent step.
Boards proceed via the method to get silk display screen, floor remedy, and routing to separate particular person boards from panels. Electrical testing is carried out and the
sweet making PCB fab course of is full. From begin to end, seeing the consistency and velocity of every step may be very satisfying.
Looking to do an enormous run of boards? You could discover [Brian Benchoff’s] panelization guide of curiosity.