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'[EE] How to remove pcb silk screen?'
2008\08\28@162436 by Andy Tuthill

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Hello,

I just had some circuit boards made and found that I managed to get some of the silk screening wrong.  Rather than throw out the otherwise good boards if I can remove just the lettering that is wrong they can still be used.

Does anyone know of a good method to remove this stuff without damaging the rest of the board?  I'm thinking nail polish remover or some other solvent but I'm not sure what will also take off the solder mask at the same time.

Regards,
Andy

_________________________________________________________________
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2008\08\28@163603 by PAUL James

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Andy,

Instead of removing the silkscreen, you could just white out the bad
callouts using correction fluid.
I have done this a few times, and it works well.  It isn't as good as
not having a callout there, but
it certainly is easier.  And if you're careful, when the stuff dries,
you can write on it.  

Anyway, just a suggestion.  Use it if you like.  If you don't want to,
that's okay too.

If you do decide to remove the silkscreen, once you get it done, let us
know what you did to remove it,
and how it went.  I for one would be interested in knowing for future
reference.


       

       
Regards,

       
Jim

{Original Message removed}

2008\08\28@164852 by Brendan Gillatt

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Andy Tuthill wrote:
> Hello,
>
> I just had some circuit boards made and found that I managed to get some of the silk screening wrong.  Rather than throw out the otherwise good boards if I can remove just the lettering that is wrong they can still be used.
>
> Does anyone know of a good method to remove this stuff without damaging the rest of the board?  I'm thinking nail polish remover or some other solvent but I'm not sure what will also take off the solder mask at the same time.
>
> Regards,
> Andy

The following forum post seems to lead to just scraping it off:
http://seattlewireless.net/pipermail/talk/2004-May/015646.html

It doesn't look too promising!

I would have to say that Paul's idea sounds pretty good. You could also
try sticking a white label over the top.
- --
Brendan Gillatt | GPG Key: 0xBF6A0D94
brendan {a} brendangillatt (dot) co (dot) uk
http://www.brendangillatt.co.uk
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2008\08\28@164945 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
Quoting Andy Tuthill <spam_OUTazandy63TakeThisOuTspamhotmail.com>:

> Hello,
>
> I just had some circuit boards made and found that I managed to get  
> some of the silk screening wrong.  Rather than throw out the  
> otherwise good boards if I can remove just the lettering that is  
> wrong they can still be used.
>
> Does anyone know of a good method to remove this stuff without  
> damaging the rest of the board?  I'm thinking nail polish remover or  
>  some other solvent but I'm not sure what will also take off the  
> solder mask at the same time.
>
> Regards,
> Andy

Usually epoxy paints designed to withstand cleaning with solvents
etc., and similar to the solder mask. I don't think they can be
easily removed other than by scraping, sorry. There are chemicals, but
you won't want to use them, and they'll attack the mask as well, most
likely.

OTOH, you could cover up the bad printing with a block and then print
over that. Silk screening is one method. If you have, say, 100 multilayer
boards, it can be easily subcontracted, and might save you some money.
If you have a few cheap boards, the fixed costs will negate any savings.


Best regards,
Spehro Pefhany
--
"it's the network..."                          "The Journey is the reward"
.....s...KILLspamspam@spam@interlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com


2008\08\28@165323 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On Aug 28, 2008, at 1:24 PM, Andy Tuthill wrote:

> Does anyone know of a good method to remove [silkscreen] without  
> damaging the rest of the board?

As far as I know, the silkscreen is usually the same sort of  
insoluble stuff as the soldermask; I don't think you'll be able to  
remove one and leave the other behind.

BillW

2008\08\28@170803 by Dave Schmidt

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face
I went through this a few years ago.  Ended up using an abrasive loaded
rubber disc on a dremel to 'sand' the silkscreen off.
(customer in the end did NOT want their name on the boards).  MEK,
acetone, naptha, brake cleaner - none of those touched it.  NMP probably
would work but that's nasty stuff.

Didn't look too horrible, but not pristine either.

For another board I mislabeled a connector - used white nail polish to
paint over it but that took several coats to make it illegible.

Dave

2008\08\28@174052 by Djula Djarmati

flavicon
face
> Hello,
>
> I just had some circuit boards made and found that I managed to get some of the silk screening wrong.  Rather than throw out the otherwise good boards if I can remove just the lettering that is wrong they can still be used.
>
> Does anyone know of a good method to remove this stuff without damaging the rest of the board?  I'm thinking nail polish remover or some other solvent but I'm not sure what will also take off the solder mask at the same time.

Good silkscreen is very tough, we had some boards with component
outlines printed on the pads and we couldn't remove it even with solder
iron.

What I did with some success is to use very fine wet sandpaper (I used
1000 grain/mm2) and carefully sand it off. The soldermask is much
thicker and it won't wear off but the white paint will. You also get a
cool looking matte PCB.

Djula

2008\08\28@224050 by Andy Tuthill

picon face
Thanks for the suggestions.  At least my suspicions have been confirmed.

I tried to scrape some off with a small knife but found that the end result wasn't going to be very presentable.  Some of the lettering goes right over some circuit runs which makes me very nervous about damaging the mask layer.  That's when I decided to make the original posting.

I'll go with the correction fluid option for now.  These are production prototypes and otherwise functional so that's why I'm looking for a cheap option to fix this cosmetic error until the next batch is made with the labeling done right.  I'm just glad I only ordered a small batch and discovered the problem after building only 1 board for testing.  

Regards,
Andy

_________________________________________________________________
Be the filmmaker you always wanted to be—learn how to burn a DVD with Windows®.
http://clk.atdmt.com/MRT/go/108588797/direct/01/

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