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Scott Deuty

Surface Mount Versus Through Hole, A Retrospect for Prototyping

Scott Deuty
antedeluvian
antedeluvian
4/23/2017 10:15:40 AM
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Printed PCB
A new alternative is the conductive ink printer like the Voltera. I acknowledge that it is pricey for a home/hobby set up, but not so bad if you can treat it as a business acquisition. Watch for my blog the Voltera V-One on embedded.com in May.

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Victor Lorenzo
Victor Lorenzo
4/22/2017 11:02:43 AM
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SMD or through hole
Nice post, Scott,

In my case the selection between SMD or TH for prototyping is driven by several things. For slow circuits with just a few components I often used the breadboard, when noise was a concern or for circuits destined to last more than a few minutes I then used a fragment from a protoboard. In some cases a breakout board comes very handy for small SMD packages.

But in most my current prototypes I go directly to building the PCB in our workshop. The whole process takes in many cases just a couple of hours, including the PCD design. I use one CNC controlled mill (modified BF20L Vario + Mach3). For generating the G-Code from the gerbers I use flatCAM and auto-leveller. It is not difficult to make double sided PCBs this way with track widths down to 0.2mm and isolation of 0.25mm using LPKF 0.2-to-0.5mm bits.

I modifed flatCAM (it is open-source, written in Python) for optimizing the generated output G-Code. With the original code you often want to modify the ouput g-code to make it safer and faster.

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