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Stenciling Class - November 17th, 2010

Here at SparkFun everything we do on a large scale can be done by all you tinkerers and inventors at home in the comfort of your garage, basement, or mad scientist lab. For this reason we regularly teach classes on various aspects of electrical engineering and physical computing that go beyond simple circuits and “if” statements. We realize that many of you are regular solder jockeys and whiz bang programmers, so we would love to offer you an opportunity to play with solder paste and stencils.

At SparkFun, stenciling is a regular part of our surface mount production process so we would love to share the technique with you. With stencils it is possible to populate your boards with very fine pitch components (very, very tiny) and not drive yourself bonkers in the process. Developers at home can use the skills learned in the class to setup their own reflow oven, or reflow skillet, and move beyond some of the restrictions of the soldering iron.

The class will start with a presentation on stenciling techniques and tips by our stenciling specialists. Students will learn in small groups how to use stencils, solder paste, place SMD components and test the finished product to make sure it works. Everyone will create a panel of Arduino Pro (5V/16MHz) and take one home to use as they please.

**Prerequisites: **Rework may be required. Even the best of us can make a mistake with stenciling, so it would be best if you at least have a basic understanding of soldering and rework techniques.

**What to bring: **Maybe a bite to eat. The class can run to 7:30 or 8PM. SparkFun will provide all the tools.

Date: November 17, 2010
Time: 6:00PM to around 7:30PM
Instructors: Bob, Tyler, Justice, Nick, and Lindsay


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  • hopefully the class teaches you how to make a stencil WITHOUT a laser engraver?

  • Super geeking out about getting to do this, I'm just getting into the electronics gig but this is gonna be awesome.

  • Great hands-on class with a little something to take home. But...<br />
    <br />
    Were the class notes ever made available? Like sources for solder paste and stencil makers?

  • Thanks for a great class, guys. The Arduino Pro was perfect for this: relatively few components but a nice variety.

  • I see how some people send out for stencils if Kicad or some program has a gerber layour for solder mask and I had a 3d plastic printer could I print a sheet and use that then order a pc board with some of the board files anded together for a placement stencil?

  • Hi,
    This seems to be very useful to us. But since we are from Sri Lanka, we cannot participate to this. So it will be a great help, if you can arrange a full DIY kit kind of a thing for this. So that, we can purchase online & follow the instructions at home.

  • Please webcast this. I wish you offered this class in Virginia!

    • webcast would be great for people from Europe.

      • Ditto.... maybe sell a kit of components for the class ahead of time, so we could all watch the webcast and do the class at the same time.

        • Sure, we'll through together a reflow oven, some paste, stencils raw boards...
          We are working on getting the classes online, but hands-on instruction is really helpful.

  • costume? is this a costume party?

  • you say that many people are wiz bang programmers, but also many are not, could sparkfun offer a class on programming?(not summerschool)

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