Electronics Assembly

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Contributors: Nate
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The Steps

SparkFun has some very unorthodox methods for assembling electronics. We’ve compiled some of the steps and the lessons we’ve learned over the past decade of DIY PCBA (printed circuit board assembly). We’ve grown to a point where some of this doesn’t make sense to do in the basement of your house, but if you’re wondering how we do what we do (build over 80,000 widgets a month), read on.

We are going to start at the front of production. This means the design has already been vetted, prototyped, reviewed, and ‘gone to red boards’ (once a green colored prototype is ready for production we have the PCB made in red). Now we just have to build the thing!

If you’re completely new to electronics, you might want to checkout PCB Basics.

An electronic assembly at SparkFun typically goes through seven steps:

  • Paste Stenciling
  • Placement
  • Reflow
  • Manual Assembly
  • Inspection and Testing
  • Washing
  • Packaging

Here’s a quick video to show you all the steps in one, awesomely silly, video:

Now let’s go through each step…