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Solder Mask Color Quandry

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Neophyte, Apr 30, 2004.

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  1. Neophyte

    Neophyte Guest

    I working on a retail project which involves a PCB enclosed in an
    acrylic case. We want to turn this PCB in different colors, but we're
    getting a lot of flack from manufacturers that say they only offer
    "green".

    We're interested in turning this project in ... yes ... green, as well
    as yellow, lavender, a raspberry red, some tone of blue, and clear.

    Checking the web, we have found some manufacturers that allow
    different color masks, but none offer all the colors - or the types of
    colors (raspberry red, for example) that will meet the design spec.

    What to do? We've thought of trying to contact soldermask manufactures
    (the people who actually make the mask material) but we don't know who
    we should communicate with.

    Also, the actual PCB needs to retain it's translucency - i.e. the
    color cannot be too opaque. Is the opacity of a solder mask an issue
    of the mask material it self? Or can the thickness of the applied mask
    be specified so we can end up with a product that comes close to the
    color and opacity we're interested in?

    This is my first visit to this group, and I appreciate any and all
    guidance in advance.

    Neophyte
     
  2. sPoNiX

    sPoNiX Guest

    Solder masks are available in a number of colours, for example red is
    fairly common.

    I have also seen PCB's made from black FR4 laminate with a clear
    solder resist. With gold plated pabs the result is stunning.

    sPoNiX
     
  3. sPoNiX

    sPoNiX Guest

    It is also possible to mix solder resist colours:

    http://www.p-m-services.co.uk/solder_resist.htm
     
  4. Tim Mitchell

    Tim Mitchell Guest

    It's only silk screen printing of a masking ink, nothing more technical
    than that. I don't think there is such a thing as a "solder mask
    manufacturer".

    Most PCB manufacturers will print a range of colours; nonstandard ones
    usually costing a bit more. If the one you are talking to can't, keep
    looking.
     
  5. Try these guys:

    http://www.peters.de/index_e.htm
    http://www.taiyo-america.com
    http://www.coates.com/


    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
     
  6. (Neophyte) wrote ...
    One place to look is the Board house list on http://www.cadsoft.de
    (the people who make the Eagle layout program). I know some of those
    board houses offer colors. For example, http://www.avanticircuits.com/
    offers for silkscreen...
    [quoted...]
    Mask Colors: Green, Blue, Red, Clear, Black, White
    Legend Colors: White, Black, Yellow

    So there is one place. Maybe not the raspberry you want, but at least
    they offer colors as a standard, so you might be able to get them to
    custom do other colors for you for a premium.

    Another one, http://www.finelinecircuits.com/capabili.htm doesn't
    specify the actual colors but does say "Different colors available".

    So keep looking and good luck!
    PT
     

  7. I'd been wondering how we were going to generate the equivalent of
    limited-edition colored vinyl LP's in this age of MP3's. Now I know :)
     
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