Open Source SMT PCB assembly production :)


We deal with electronic boards design and assembly for more than 25 years. During this time we got lot of experience and passed through many technologies and equipment so we know the + and – in all these approaches to produce. In other hand most of the people who work in the SMT production area are not quite willing to share their knowledge, sure there is money behind the production, so everyone would love to “consult” you for a nice amount of money, in most of the cases you got nothing for your money or far less than you expected.

We had to go through this path by our own and to learn how things work the hard way. Sure there are lot of internet resources and books about SMT manufacturing and troubleshooting, but at least in Bulgaria people who do PCB assembly do not like to share, as they think they will lost their advantage or will grow up competition.  Once you learn things you see that this is not rocket science, but if you have to work on this road alone you can waste lot of time. Now we do our SMT equipment installation, service, calibration, maintenance by our own. In the rare cases we needed SMT equipment manufacturer-distributor-service advice on problems we had to wait months and usually they suggest replace with new this or that while later we found this was not the problem at all and not necessary.

We believe that knowledge sharing is good, this rise the competence of the people around you with which you share, and you both can move forward faster instead to re-invent the wheel again and again.

So here is our proposal: If you want to start your own SMT electronic board assembly and have questions on the technology or about machines you need to set your own production send us email describing what do you want, what is the type of boards you want to assembly, quantities and your rough budget and we can advise you if this is possible and eventually what equipment you will need to accomplish this.

On our wiki there is dedicated page with more information.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lucio De Re
    Jun 25, 2015 @ 18:54:08

    That is very generous of you. I always believed that more socially minded thinking would have to come from beyond the Iron Curtain. Let’s hope others see the value of your offer.


  2. nelsonlombardo
    Jun 25, 2015 @ 19:14:01

    It’s awesome. I’m very glad with this offer that you makes. I think we have some points in common, I don’t have the big experience that you have but I assume we have the same issues in Bulgaria and Argentina. I hope their work keep growing.


  3. anonima
    Jun 25, 2015 @ 20:36:40



  4. Pieter Van Gils
    Jun 26, 2015 @ 14:38:34

    very nice initiative!


  5. teh_maker
    Jun 30, 2015 @ 11:23:04

    I think there should be more opensource machines for pick-and-place, etc. Technically these are very close to 3D printers or other CNC things: from purely technical side all you really need is 2D movement + a bit of Z axis. This is enough to pick components and place them on board and I really fail to understand what could be so special about that which would need “consulting”.

    An interesting idea could be some universal machine which can do both drilling, milling, 3D printing and SMD pick-and-place by using same 3D chassis but replaceable “heads”. So it could be enough to own just one machine and then make neat 2-layer PCBs with reasonable quality.

    Btw, I guess for hobby ppl it is possible to make solder paste templates by just etching something like aluminum sheet, using “standard” approaches, like “direct toner transfer” or photolitography and then etching it if FeCl3 or so, just like some custom PCB. As far as I know, some people already attempted it and it generally works. Of course aluminum template far less durable than stainless steel but on other hand one does not needs to have lasers to cut it, etc.

    And on side note, SMT is cool. Even for hobbysts, as long as they can learn “direct toner transfer” or “photolytography” methods, which are actually very easy. From hobbyst’s view, with SMT it is possible to reduce or even almost eliminate drilliing, create very small and dense PCBs and then use mass-mounting techniques similar to these used on real factories, which is damn fast and convenient compared to soldering all crap with soldering iron. Not to mention you can easily solder QFN and somesuch. That’s where one may want some little pick-and-place machine, of course :). This way DIY people can manufacture all small/easy custom bords in place. Bot of course, you have to use “real” factory for smth big and complicated, like 4-layer PCBs.


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