New method of soldermask and silkscreen using UV-printing developed in Super FabLab Oulu University

Super Fab Lab Oulu, a research facility at the University of Oulu, has successfully developed a groundbreaking method of soldermask and silkscreen printing on milled PCBs using UV-printing technology.

This innovative technique, which has proven to be heat tolerant up to pastes and solders used for FR4-type circuit boards, has garnered significant attention within the Fab Lab network and has even sparked a study at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to find a low-budget model UV-printer capable of replicating the process. The ultimate goal is to enable over 2500 Fab Labs worldwide to adopt this revolutionary printing method.

The Super Fab Lab Oulu team utilized the state-of-the-art Mimaki UV-printer to achieve results in printing soldermask and silkscreen directly onto milled PCBs. By leveraging this technology, they have opened up new possibilities for adding information to PCBs in a simple and efficient manner. With the ability to print soldermask itself, names, outlines, and component values in a single pass, this method streamlines the production process and enhances overall efficiency. Furthermore, the artistic potential of this technique is limitless, as it allows for the printing of intricate designs, including photographs, to create visually stunning multicolor PCBs.

Jani Ylioja, Director of Fab Lab at the University of Oulu, expressed his excitement about this development, stating, "Super Fab Lab Oulu's successful implementation of the Mimaki UV-printer for soldermask and silkscreen printing has been met with great enthusiasm within the Fab Lab network. The positive reception has prompted MIT to embark on a study to identify an affordable UV-printer model capable of replicating this process. Our aim is to democratize this technology and make it accessible to all Fab Labs worldwide."

The potential impact of this new method is far-reaching. By enabling Fab Labs across the globe to adopt this technique, the Super Fab Lab Oulu team hopes to revolutionize the PCB manufacturing process and empower makers, innovators, and entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to life more efficiently and creatively. This development aligns with the core principles of the Fab Lab network, which aims to democratize access to digital fabrication tools and foster collaboration and innovation.

For more information and detailed instructions on the new method of soldermask and silkscreen printing using UV-printing, please visit this page.

Last updated: 24.5.2024