After some substantial planning, we're happy to release a set of new accessories for sale that help you prototype the PCB board that you need right here and now. Over the past years we have gotten questions about how to cut a complete print out of a piece of FR4 and how one could solder to the traces. Cutting with scissors or a knife was difficult, simply because the flexing of the board could pop off parts, and the only way you could connect a trace to a wire or part was via conductive glue, and placing through-hole parts was possible but messy.
PCB Rivet Toolpress
Plated Through-holes are typically created by drilling then chemical treatment of a PCB board. This dangerous method was not an option for us, so we opted to look into alternative methods. PCB riveting is a common approach, and proved to be very effective. To our surprise, we found that Squink-printed traces are typically very resistant to drilling, mechanical plating and soldering. This is great news as soldering to inkjet printed traces has been difficult to do, yet plating seems to protect the surrounding ink by drawing excessive heat from the thin silver traces. That being said, we recommend you follow the directions in our tutorials page regarding plating before purchasing your PCB Rivet Toolpress.
We will be selling each toolpress with 30 mil (0.8 mm) rivets and matching head. In addition, we will have toolheads and rivets for 24 mil (0.6 mm), 40 mil (1 mm) and 47 mil (1.2 mm) sizes which are sold separately and can be swapped out as need be.
We've been using our shears in the office and we love them - they are the perfect addition for your Squink. Typically PCBs fabricated in factories are depaneled by milling, but the FR4 dust is carefully disposed of as it is quite hazardous. This is the primary reason why we do not have a milling head on Squink. So for depaneling and shaping your Squink printed and assembled board we recommend getting a part of 8" or 12" shears from our website. While it is possible to cut FR4 with scissors or a knife, these shears are excellent at not flexing the substrate so much that the components can pop-off.
Interested in expanding your prototyping capabilities?
Get your accessories separately, or as a complete set!