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Questions about the BatchPCB service

Moderator: robacarp

By Caffeine
I received my full panel worth of PCB's from SparkFun this week, and I must say that blue soldermask is far sexier than green!

By Steve
I'll tell you a funny story about blue solder mask.

The company I work for always had blue solder mask as an option, but very few customers actually ordered it. But one customer did, basically to differentiate versions of his product.

Anyway, he ordered one lot, and was quite happy with them.

Then a month or so later, he ordered some more.

In the meantime, we had started using a different brand of FR4. The new FR4 was better for us, because the fibreglass was coloured yellow to filter out UV light. (UV light is used for imaging the panels, and the idea of filtering is to prevent the light from one side of the board from passing through the fibreglass and imaging the other side).

This guy's boards weren't too heavily covered with copper, so the blue solder mask was applied to mostly bare yellow FR4.

What happens when you mix yellow and blue?

Yes, the boards came out green :) They looked almost exactly like the green solder mask we normally used.

He was local, so he came to visit us, with a sample.

He said, "I ordered blue boards!"

We said, "But they ARE blue. We used blue ink."

He said, "But they're NOT blue.. They're GREEN"

We said... "No, really.. they're blue!"


He did accept them in the end. And we started buying different solder mask ink that works with yellow FR4.

Blue looks cool. Green is so cliche. Is there any way I could get red boards!? RED WOULD RULE ALL.
By upand_at_them
How do you get blue? Do you just ask for it?

By Zac
Sparky had a topic about it - basically you have to order a whole panel (or have enough like requests to fill a whole panel) Then you can get red, blue, or black...and different thicknesses and what-not...look through the threads and you'll find it...
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By sparky
I'm down with running a special color some week. It's a $30 extra charge on us. We could do a $2.75 per square inch special for a week.
By moorejl
Does this mean the price is back to 2.50/sq in? :D
By Steve
Blue looks cool. Green is so cliche. Is there any way I could get red boards!? RED WOULD RULE ALL.
Solder mask ink comes in various colours, including red, yellow, black, white...

Boards with white soldermask and black overlay really stand out!

Some of our customers actually get boards made just to serve as front panels. They define holes and routed areas for various knobs and switches to poke through, then get black solder mask with white overlay printing on top of boards with all the copper etched off.

PCB shops typically charge a fee for different colours. The ink is epoxy and doesn't keep once it's mixed. If you're the only customer with a different colour on any particular day, they have go to some trouble to mix a special batch just for you and throw away what they don't use.

By moorejl
I did see that one, but you mentioned an alternate color at $2.75/in sq and the post was more recent than the one about the price increase.

I just got my 850D hot air station today and its really cool (I mean hot?). Thanks guys.

User avatar
By sparky
The $2.50 is still available to customers who have sucessfully completed an order. It's in the post...