Cutting mylar stencils with a silohuette cameo

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Re: Cutting mylar stencils with a silohuette cameo

Postby mondalaci » Sat May 18, 2013 3:32 pm

@2blmaster: I haven't encountered with any of such errors, so far my stencils were perfect (not that I created that many). Maybe you could fine-tune the behavior of gerber2graphtec through its parameters.

@xl97: I'm afraid you won't go too far on Windows because the script uses Unix device filenames. Linux surely cuts it (pun intended) and maybe Mac OS, too.
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Re: Cutting mylar stencils with a silohuette cameo

Postby xl97 » Sat May 18, 2013 4:02 pm

Im confused..

were the last several posts DONE through Windows??

the "SUCCESS" post above?

and all the links to the Windows versions of the apps to get?


So now the stance is this is NOT Windows compatible?

</confused>


moving on:

Also.. looking at the errors again.. I think its erring out on GerbV now? (which makes me think Python is working ok.. if you dont use >> instead of / slashes in the paths..

Question:

Where you choose the Gerber file you are trying to 'cut'? It needs to be in the command line somewhere?

is that test.gbr file you change to be your own? and then you have to have it in a 'certain' directory? Which one?


Also Im on Windows XP (not Windows 7)..

are these truly the correct edits to be making to the gerbertographtec.py script?

os.system("\"C:/Program Files (x86)/gerbv-2.6.0/bin/gerbv\" --export=pdf --output=%s --border=0 %s" % (temp_pdf,input_filename))
os.system("\"C:/Program Files/pstoedit/pstoedit\" -q -f pic %s %s" % (temp_pdf,temp_pic))


I dont have a C:/Program Files (x86)

only a C:/Program Files/

part of the error?




update: if I DONT use > in the paths and use / instead I get to the NEXT step (error)

& and I changed C:/Program Files(x86)/ to be: C:/Program Files/

it no longer gives me the GerbV error..



this is what I get now:

seems to be a pstoedit eror:

This application failed to start because CORE_RL_Magik++_.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem.

thanks!
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Re: Cutting mylar stencils with a silohuette cameo

Postby xl97 » Sat May 18, 2013 5:59 pm

ok.. update:

OS: Windows XP Pro

All apps installed:

Ghostscript
pstoedit
Gerbv
Python 2.7.5
Gerbertographtec (in root of C: drive)


Edits to Gerbertographtec:

* add .py file extension to the gerber2graphtec file
* Edit gerber2graphtec.py lines:

#original lines:
#os.system("gerbv --export=pdf --output=%s --border=0 %s" % (temp_pdf,input_filename))
#os.system("pstoedit -f pic %s %s 2>/dev/null" % (temp_pdf,temp_pic))

#new lines:
os.system("\"C:/Program Files/gerbv-2.6.0/bin/gerbv\" --export=pdf --output=%s --border=0 %s" % (temp_pdf,input_filename))
os.system("\"C:/Program Files/pstoedit/pstoedit\" -q -f pic %s %s" % (temp_pdf,temp_pic))


*** in original post it was stated to use this: C:/Program Files (x86) this DOES NOT WORK?FIT with Windows XP pathing ***

This will get Python and GerbV running without any errors being given..


pstoedit changes:

Everytime I would run the command lines given above.. I would get error about the image_magik_.dll file.. and things would crash.

Problem during opening of pstoedit driver plugin: C:\Program Files\pstoedit\drvm
agick.dll. This is no problem as long the driver in this library is not needed.
Possibly you need to install further libraries and/or extend the LD_LIBRARY_PATH
(*nix) or PATH (Windows) environment variables.
Could not open file _tmp_gerber.pdf for input
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "C:\gerber2graphtec-master\gerber2graphtec.py", line 105, in <module>
strokes = pic.read_pic(temp_pic)
File "C:\gerber2graphtec-master\pic.py", line 5, in read_pic
f = open(filename,"r")
IOError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: '_tmp_gerber.pic'




*still not sure how to handle this.. but a google search returned a post from an INKSCAPE forum member with same errors... removed the .dll from the directory.. and no longer getting the error.. (is it needed?)


**note:

it looks like the script is looking for a .gbr file (I think it needs to be int he GerbtoGraphtec root directory...)

Based on your pcb design software.. (I use Eagle).. the CAM script you use will export and control the names of the gerber files (make sure you get a .gbr file exported)

I took my file.. changed extension from .gts to be .gbr.. and put in the root gerbertographtec folder in my C: drive..

called board.gbr


anyways.. moving forward.. I gave it a shot, using this as my command line..

C:\>C:\gerber2graphtec-master\gerber2graphtec.py board.gbr > result.txt

When I try it.. GerbV.exe crashes... (send error report..etc)

this is the error I am given in the CMD prompt box:

C:\>C:\gerber2graphtec-master\gerber2graphtec.py board.gbr > result.txt
Could not open file _tmp_gerber.pdf for input
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "C:\gerber2graphtec-master\gerber2graphtec.py", line 105, in <module>
strokes = pic.read_pic(temp_pic)
File "C:\gerber2graphtec-master\pic.py", line 5, in read_pic
f = open(filename,"r")
IOError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: '_tmp_gerber.pic'



At this point Im not sure WHAT else I can do? I see other Windows user are having success! (I want to be part of that club too!) LOL

Am I missing something? Something not configured correctly? anything?


thanks!
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Re: Cutting mylar stencils with a silohuette cameo

Postby timb » Sat May 18, 2013 8:28 pm

Anyone tried this with a CraftRobo Pro? I picked one up a few years back to do die cut decals with and actually thought about cutting solder masks a few weeks ago but got discouraged by some guys on another forum (it'll never be precise enough, you have to use a laser cutter, etc). Now that I see this thread I think I'll give it a go.

The CraftRobo Pro is Graphtec's higher end cutting tool. It has a bigger cutting area, higher cutting force and the ability to feed from rolls, along with the standard features of reading registration marks and speaking the Graphtec language.

My fiancé has both a Cameo and SD as well and said I could try it with the SD but the Cameo was off limits (scrapbooker's are protective of their tools, god forbid you ever use their scissors).

Where do you guys get the plastic at?
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Re: Cutting mylar stencils with a silohuette cameo

Postby xl97 » Sat May 18, 2013 8:47 pm

It wouldnt harm the Cameo in ANY way shape or form.. (but I understand.. it is what it is!) LOL

you can order mylar or kapton on line..

for the transparencies they are talking about.. I have seen them at my local Office Depot (the Apollo write-on ones)

Are you on a Windows platform? or a Mac/Linux based machine?

I'm still having trouble with the whole thing on Windows..(XP)

whatever this means.. is where Im stuck at for now:

C:\>C:\gerber2graphtec-master\gerber2graphtec.py board.gbr > result.txt
Could not open file _tmp_gerber.pdf for input
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "C:\gerber2graphtec-master\gerber2graphtec.py", line 105, in <module>
strokes = pic.read_pic(temp_pic)
File "C:\gerber2graphtec-master\pic.py", line 5, in read_pic
f = open(filename,"r")
IOError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: '_tmp_gerber.pic'
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Re: Cutting mylar stencils with a silohuette cameo

Postby timb » Sat May 18, 2013 9:16 pm

Yeah, I know it won't hurt it, but that's her baby, I'm sure you know how that is. She got a Cameo to upgrade from her SD a few months back. If I can do this with her old SD I'd rather use that than my CraftRobo Pro, since I just don't have the space to keep the latter on my desk all the time, but the SD is small enough I can make a spot for it.

I'm on OS X, but can use Linux (via VM or my R.Pi) or Windows (VM or old laptop) if I need to.

I've already got lots of those transparencies and various types of vinyl, I was just curious about specific places to get Kapton.
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Re: Cutting mylar stencils with a silohuette cameo

Postby xl97 » Sat May 18, 2013 9:28 pm

I'll have to check out the kapton sources I have saved..

but IMHO.. kapton is used for LASER cutters because it withstands the heat better than mylar (less edge/melting/curling..etc)

not sure it really applies here for cutters? (but maybe the way it cuts is diff/better?)

If yo 'do' work out some sort of Windows solution.. I'd LOVE a step-by-step..


I've still be googling and trying different things.. (including installing GraphicsMagik as well as copying .dlls to the pstoedit directory).

I have currently REMOVED the drvmagik.dll file..

and tried the command line again..

NO MATTER I TRY (adding/removing files using different/alt command lines..etc)..

GerbV also 'crashes'.. I get huge pop-up that Gerbv has crashed.. and do I want to send error report..etc..

then in the CMD prompt/window I get this:

C:\>gerber2graphtec-master\gerber2graphtec.py board.gbr > result.txt
Could not open file _tmp_gerber.pdf for input
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "C:\gerber2graphtec-master\gerber2graphtec.py", line 105, in <module>
strokes = pic.read_pic(temp_pic)
File "C:\gerber2graphtec-master\pic.py", line 5, in read_pic
f = open(filename,"r")
IOError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: '_tmp_gerber.pic'



or any of the other error message posted above too..

but each and every time.. GerbV crashes? WTF!?


searching around I found this:
http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?func=de ... tid=409538

not sure if it applies to me/us.. (I always have problems with this unix/linux/mac conversion stuff) =(

nm.. seems it was only a bug on NON-enligh versions of windows.. (back to square 1 again) :)



anybody?


thanks! :)
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Re: Cutting mylar stencils with a silohuette cameo

Postby timb » Sat May 18, 2013 10:18 pm

Let me start with a fresh Windows XP VM tonight and see if I can get it working that way. If I do, I suppose I can share the VM and you can run it in VMWare Player?
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Re: Cutting mylar stencils with a silohuette cameo

Postby xl97 » Sat May 18, 2013 10:58 pm

That would be great..

although Im not clear on VM player is?

Im hoping its just some setting or path/default in one of the see files along the way here.. LOL

but yeah anything you find out & can share is appreciated.

I bought this Cameo for 'this' reason... kind of a bummer if I can get it to perform. :(

take care.

thanks!
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Re: Cutting mylar stencils with a silohuette cameo

Postby teletypeguy » Sun May 19, 2013 2:37 am

Hey Jerry:

If you followed the instructions that jesuscf provided previously, you should be able to get it running. I have it on a win7 latptop and it works well. A couple of things:

When you open up a command window, you will probably not be in the directory with your gerber2graphtec executable. So you need to cd to the proper directory first (it say not recognized since it won't be in your path, but will run fine from its directory).

The > character shows up in a couple of places, first as the prompt just before the cursor, as in C:\windows-sucks>

Also, it is used to "redirect" output from stdout (the screen) to a file or to be the input to another program, as in DIR > pud.txt

The > characters in the example have nothing to do with directory slashes.

Here is what I did: I have a folder C:\gerber-files-to-cut and in there I have another folder, gerber2graphtec, which has the py stuff. I copy the file I wish to cut (xyz.SPT -- my eagle cam is set to use .spt for solderpaste-top) into this folder. I created a simple batch file which I just double-click and then type in xyz.spt and hit return -- then I go have lunch (my last stencil took 2 hours to cut, but it was perfect). I also set eagle to shrink the paste layer by 2-mils and it all worked great. Fryed up a new proto pcb on my cheap walmart skillet with paste that expired a year ago -- worked great. Here is my batch file:

@echo off
rem This is for printer named "Cameo" which must be named and shared in control panel.
rem This is for computer named "i4004"
echo.
echo This script will send gerber file to Cameo for cutting solder stencil.
echo Generates intermediate files .pdf, .pic, and .graphtec.txt
echo.
echo Set your Cameo blade to 1 and turn cutter on.
echo Load mylar sheet (landscape) at upper-left corner of mat.
echo.
set /p filename= Enter filename of gerber (eg: test.spt):
gerber2graphtec\gerber2graphtec.py %filename% > %filename%.graphtec.txt
copy /B %filename%.graphtec.txt \\i4004\Cameo

hope this helps, gil.
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Re: Cutting mylar stencils with a silohuette cameo

Postby xl97 » Sun May 19, 2013 8:53 am

hey Gil-

thanks for the reply/post..

Im not sure what part(s) I am NOT doing correctly then?

let me re-cap to see if you can spot something I didnt do correctly? or am missing?

OS: Windows XP

* I have the same gerbertographtec directory in root on my C: drive..

* I did CD into the C: drive.. and use the command line from there (root of C: where I called the command line.. as shown above in the command lines I posted that I used.. are they NOT correct?

* Printer 'was' seen as Cameo in printer profiles.. (shared it out as 'Cameo' as well)


I have installed:
Python 2.7.5
pstoedit
GerbV
Ghostscript
(GraphicMagik as well)



Edits to Gerbertographtec:

* add .py file extension to the gerber2graphtec file
* Edit gerber2graphtec.py lines:

#original lines:
#os.system("gerbv --export=pdf --output=%s --border=0 %s" % (temp_pdf,input_filename))
#os.system("pstoedit -f pic %s %s 2>/dev/null" % (temp_pdf,temp_pic))

#new lines:
os.system("\"C:/Program Files/gerbv-2.6.0/bin/gerbv\" --export=pdf --output=%s --border=0 %s" % (temp_pdf,input_filename))
os.system("\"C:/Program Files/pstoedit/pstoedit\" -q -f pic %s %s" % (temp_pdf,temp_pic))



**Q1: Is the above correct? I edited out the (x86) portion..



pstoedit changes:

Everytime I would run the command lines given above.. I would get error about the image_magik_.dll file.. and things would crash.

Problem during opening of pstoedit driver plugin: C:\Program Files\pstoedit\drvm
agick.dll. This is no problem as long the driver in this library is not needed.
Possibly you need to install further libraries and/or extend the LD_LIBRARY_PATH
(*nix) or PATH (Windows) environment variables.
Could not open file _tmp_gerber.pdf for input
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "C:\gerber2graphtec-master\gerber2graphtec.py", line 105, in <module>
strokes = pic.read_pic(temp_pic)
File "C:\gerber2graphtec-master\pic.py", line 5, in read_pic
f = open(filename,"r")
IOError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: '_tmp_gerber.pic'


If I take the Image_Magik _.dll file out of the cirectory.. it does NOT give this error/message


**Q2: Do I need to take the .dll out of the directory.. or not?


*GerbV seems to be the problem?

NO MATTER WHAT I TRY (adding/removing files using different/alt command lines..etc)..

GerbV also 'crashes'.. I get huge pop-up that Gerbv has crashed.. and do I want to send error report..etc..

then in the CMD prompt/window I get this:


At this point .. I dont see any differences between our set-ups.. besides that fact you are using a batch script to execute things.. (which I am going to try next)

*Q3: Do you have your .spt file in the gerber-files-to-cut directory? or the gerber-files-to-cut/gerber2graphtec directory?


I did change out the > to slashes in the command line (because with them it threw errors).. so I will go back and leave them in and try again.. (or just try your batch script)

Here is my edited batch file based off yours:

@echo off
rem This is for printer named "Cameo" which must be named and shared in control panel.
rem This is for computer named "hacker"
echo.
echo This script will send gerber file to Cameo for cutting solder stencil.
echo Generates intermediate files .pdf, .pic, and .graphtec.txt
echo.
echo Set your Cameo blade to 1 and turn cutter on.
echo Load mylar sheet (landscape) at upper-left corner of mat.
echo.
set /p filename= Enter filename of gerber (eg: test.spt or board.gbr):
gerber2graphtec\gerber2graphtec.py %filename% > %filename%.graphtec.txt
copy /B %filename%.graphtec.txt \\hacker\Cameo


I have now copied your file structure..

C:\gerber-files-to-cut\
&

C:\gerber-files-to-cut\gerber2graphtec

(dropped the -master portion of the name... and this is where all the .py stuff resides as well)




Update 1: tried it once..

got a 'quick' (I think) message that said file not found or something? closed before I could be sure?

I then moved the .bat file you suggested I create to the: C:\gerber-files-to-cut directory.. and ran it.. (success, as in it prompted for name and did output some files)

at least as far as it 'creating' a file to be used..

I continued to press "OK" to cut.. loaded mat/media.. scanned it in/out for awhile (like it was registering) make some noises like it was cutting.. but quit/stopped quickly...(not more than a minute or two)..

and say UNLOAD (like it was done).. I check the mylar on the mat.. no cuts at all? I tried to open the _tmp_.pdf file.. (0kb..and wont open ..says error or corrupt)

not sure what I can use to view a .pic file (PS says not valid)

the graphtec.txt file actually DOES have some data in it:

Code: Select all
TTFGFW100FC18FY0FN1FE0TB71FAFU5088,5776FM1TB50,1FO5088&100,100,100,\0,0,Z6096,5588,L0,FX8,0!2M2286.000,508.000D3302.000,508.000D3302.000,1524.000D2286.000,1524.000D2286.000,508.000FX30,0!2M2286.000,508.000D3302.000,508.000D3302.000,1524.000D2286.000,1524.000D2286.000,508.000&1,1,1,TB50,0FO0H,


Im doing better now with the batch script.. (no more errors on GerbV)

am I missing something else then?

thanks!!


update 2:

I put BACK the Image_Magik_.dll file into the _root of the pstoedit directory.. (I had previously removed it due to an error)..

re-ran the .bat file again.. entered in name.. hit enter..

BAM!@.. this time I actually cut 'files' with data in them..

.pdf opens and looks like the gerber file
the Cameo 'is' cutting something.. (not done.. so no results yet)

I noticed on the .pdf preview.. the board OUTLINE (dimensions layer) is also there in red... I read this will be cut out?

Do we need to remove the dimensions layer before exporting gerbers then to void the stencil outline from being cut out of the mylar?


Also.. lastly..

I still get this error:
The procedure entry point ?construct@?$allocator@VVPath@Magik@@@std@@QAEXPAVVPath@Magik@@$$QAV34@@Z could not be located in the dynamic CORE_RL_Magik++.dll


* should I copy the .dll's from the Image_Magik installation directory.. (which I did/installed on my own not part as anyone directions during searching for a solution last night) to the pstoedit directory or something?


if it works.. I suppose I can 'live' with the error message.. just curious as to why Im getting it and how to solve it. :)


thanks for all the help so far.. the bat file seems to be the key for me!.


*update 3:

still printing (cutting).. been a long time now 1+ hours Im guessing so far.....

I lifted the cover of the Cameo to ensure it was actually cutting...

it is... (so Im happy I hope it turns out as great as everyone elses!)..

Still have the last ERROR though?


Anyways... what I wanted to ask last was:

my file seems to be cutting at the TOP/CENTER position.. and NOT in the upper LEFT CORNER.. (more 'left' of the top, dead center to be accurate)

Which got me thinking..

how can you place where the cut file is going to be positioned on the Cameo?

if I wanted to put in a 8.5 x 11" piece of mylar (or even lets say a 4" x 4" piece)...

how would I 'center' that? or at east have some control over the placement as to not waste media? (mylar/kapton/transparencies..etc..etc)


thanks!
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Re: Cutting mylar stencils with a silohuette cameo

Postby xl97 » Sun May 19, 2013 3:27 pm

well it was 'still' running...

(so I killed it).......

it had 'missed' the little piece of mylar I placed on the mat anyways..

it 'did not' start cutting in the upper left hand corner.... (like I was expecting)

it instead started cutting just left of DEAD CENTER..??

Is there a way to position the cut starts using this method?

Also.. was/is there any problems with cutting depth? (and can you adjust for that and/or speed at all? maybe a parameter in the .bat file?

thanks!
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Re: Cutting mylar stencils with a silohuette cameo

Postby teletypeguy » Sun May 19, 2013 6:26 pm

Sheesh Jerry, that's a lot of questions :)

I can't help you with the error you are getting -- I just installed the packages with whatever defaults they requested, in whatever directories they desired, and made the minimal tweaks that jesuscf indicated. I try to understand and learn as little as possible about windows; I have hated windows since 3.1. But I can't do everything on macs, so I have win machines around too. One of my win7 machines does not update win-explorer windows -- I can delete a file, but it is still there until I do a view/refresh -- I can change a filename, but need to do a view/refresh. So fricking annoying. Google shows me that many folks have this issue, going back over two years. Hmm, the filesystem is like computer-design-101 guys. Also, why would microsoft ever, ever, ever, ever, think that when I unzip a file, that I would want all files set to today's date -- gotta "unblock" first, whatever that means. Stupid stuff. But I digress.

First, I got gerber2graphtec cutting a little test file (emphasis on little for your first one, like maybe one chip and one resistor). Once I got it running, I just cleaned it up with a top-level directory in which to copy my gerber, and the little batch file that kept it simple. I put the py stuff in a subdir, and tweaked it to keep the intermediate files. Probably only want to keep the pdf.

>>> if you look at the pdf, you see that it only extends to the edges of the furthest cuts -- YOUR BOARD OUTLINE IS NOT INVOLVED. Peter Monta, who wrote gerber2graphtec (google it), told me that the default edge around the cuts is one inch, but it could be changed in his py file (it's pretty easy to see it). I was going to increase it a bit, but then you start to run out of space on your mylar sheet when the board gets bigger.

>>> speaking of the mylar sheet, put a full one in, not a little scrap -- it's cheap stuff. As you found, it does not cut from the upper-left corner as you might think. In fact, your paste file will be rotated 180-degrees, and the 0,0 origin will be in the upper-right. This fact, plus the 1-inch border, probably explains why your stencil did not cut where you expected it.

>>> as for cutting depth, using this office-supply-store overhead transparency film (which I measured to be about 3.5 mil thick), I thought I was initially cutting with a blade depth of 1, but I might have used 2 on my last one. I need to run a couple of tests to be sure. If the depth is too shallow, it may not cut all the way through (though note that gerber2graphtec seems to cut the entire board twice, for good luck). If the blade depth is too deep, you cut into your mat more, and they say that a too-deep blade can get the tip snapped off. You cannot change speed or anything else without digging into peter's code. I end up with a few holes that need the little scrap poked out with an exacto and scraped off, but it's a minor thing.

I will post some pics of my last stencil here shortly.

gil
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Re: Cutting mylar stencils with a silohuette cameo

Postby teletypeguy » Sun May 19, 2013 6:43 pm

My latest stencil (this took two hours to cut, but I'm not complaining, it turned out great).
Click on pics to enlarge.

Stick a mylar overhead-transparency sheet on the mat, load the mat, and cut.
cameo-stencil-1.jpg


Unload the mat and peel stencil off.
cameo-stencil-2.jpg


Nice. Just a few hanging chads to poke out and scrape off with an xacto.
cameo-stencil-3.jpg


Scrape the sticky mat clean when you are done, and put protective sheet back on to keep the cat hair off.
cameo-stencil-4.jpg

Time for a beer.
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Re: Cutting mylar stencils with a silohuette cameo

Postby teletypeguy » Sun May 19, 2013 7:07 pm

Time to use my new stencil:

Make a "nest" with old boards or whatever, align stencil to your board, and tape it down so it hinges.
ctrl-assy-1.jpg


Ready to go -- drop a board into the nest.
ctrl-assy-2.jpg


Stencil drops exactly in place.
ctrl-assy-3.jpg


This solder paste expired a year ago, but after taking it out of the solder fridge (don't put this in with food), letting it warm up for a couple of days, and giving it a good stir, it worked just fine. A bit thick, and I would not even guess what could be used as a solvent to thin it -- it got the job done. This is a $40 250g tub from stencilsunlimited.com, which has an air-exclusion inner cup -- get the leaded no-clean stuff (water-soluble flux needs to be cleaned, and I am too lazy to run it through the dishwasher and get out the air compressor). Lead-free needs a higher reflow temp, and unless you have a good oven (and are using a high-temp laminate like HR370 as well), you will have more problems. Using lead-free on cheap proto FR4 and cranking up the heat may leave you with a board that is partly de-laminated. Just use lead, even though it is getting harder to find. The tiny 30-ish gram leaded Mechanics paste that is popular is out of stock at sparkfun -- it was cheaper at dx.com anyway, and dx has a replacement or two. There are lots of other places.
ctrl-assy-4.jpg


A little paint scaper works for me as a solderpaste squeegee.
ctrl-assy-5.jpg


Squeegee on the paste.
ctrl-assy-6.jpg


to be continued, as six pics is the maximum...
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teletypeguy
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