LionCircuits Turnkey PCB Support

What is a SMT Stencil and why is it needed for assembly?

The purpose of an SMT stencil is to transfer solder paste to a bare PCB.

A stainless steel foil is laser cut creating an opening for every surface mount device on the board. Once the stencil is properly aligned on top of the board, solder paste is applied over the openings. When the stainless steel foil is separated from the board, solder paste will remain, and the board is ready for placement of the SMD.

We manufacture two types of Metal Stencils: Framed and Frameless:

Frameless Stencil - frameless stencils also known as foils are low-cost laser cut stencils. These types of stencils are not glued to frame. Frameless stencils are significantly less expensive than framed stencils and provide money-saving storage while still delivering superior quality and performance. These stencils are usually used for low volume stencil printing. This is recommended for short runs/ prototyping.

Frameless stencil

Framed Stencil - Framed stencils are laser-cut stencils designed for high volume screen-printing. These are permanently mounted in a stencil frame with a mesh border tightly stretching the stencil foil. Framed stencils offer the best positional and dimensional accuracy when used under controlled temperature conditions. This is recommended for production runs.

Framed stencil

These stencils are usually used for low volume assembly.

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