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Design Spark No Bottom Solder Mask?

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Anyone messing with Design Spark pcb files? Just getting started with them to get beyond the Diptrace demo limitations. I want to get a board done with no solder mask on the bottom layer of a two layer board. The bottom layer will be all gnd plane, no vias or tracks.

So is there a tick someplace where you can present an empty file, or just offering up an empty file in name only? May have to try a sites drc, to see if they will accept gerbers without the bottom solder mask layer?
 

eTech

Well-Known Member
Anyone messing with Design Spark pcb files? Just getting started with them to get beyond the Diptrace demo limitations. I want to get a board done with no solder mask on the bottom layer of a two layer board. The bottom layer will be all gnd plane, no vias or tracks.

Are there any thru hole components?

So is there a tick someplace where you can present an empty file, or just offering up an empty file in name only? May have to try a sites drc, to see if they will accept gerbers without the bottom solder mask layer?
Hi

I've designed a few boards with DSPCB.
I'm using version 3 on Windows 7 Pro...awesome free PCB design tool.

Anyway...
Open the PCB file, click on Output from the menu bar, then click on "Manufacturing Plots".
On the right side, in the "Plots" pane, you'll see a list of plot output "layers" with check boxes next to each layer.
Just check or uncheck the ones you want generated.

Some options...

1. You can also just ask the fabricator not to use a solder mask on the bottom.

2. Any decent fabricator will usually know whether to use a solder mask or not.
 
Hi

I've designed a few boards with DSPCB.
I'm using version 3 on Windows 7 Pro...awesome free PCB design tool.

Anyway...
Open the PCB file, click on Output from the menu bar, then click on "Manufacturing Plots".
On the right side, in the "Plots" pane, you'll see a list of plot output "layers" with check boxes next to each layer.
Just check or uncheck the ones you want generated.

Some options...

1. You can also just ask the fabricator not to use a solder mask on the bottom.

2. Any decent fabricator will usually know whether to use a solder mask or not.
All surface mount parts. The bare copper is for thermal considerations as it will be mounted to a heat sink.

Thanks for the tips. I will make a note to the fabricator about no bottom solder mask/silkscreen. Especially if the drc kicks me out for no bottom solder mask, or silksreen files.
 

Boncuk

New Member
Hi,

I would appreciate a lot getting a photo of your project.

No solder mask on the bottom normally means there is absolutely no wired component in the design.

PCB manufacturers offer three options about the solder mask: none, top only and bottom only. If you select one of the options the PCB will be manufactured that way.

Boncuk
 
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Hi Boncuk,

Normally I'm am very forthcoming with pics and schematics, but since this is for someone else I have to decline. Wiring is accomplished by soldering to topside only pads, it is flashlight related. I will include a pic of another project of mine. It is for a led desklamp with a buck regulated constant current IC and dimmer.

Having done just a few designs I am still very much a rookie. In addition my choice for pcb manufacture will lean towards budget hobby type boards where their is very little in the way of customer service. They seem to run their scripts with little customer interaction, you get what you pay for.....:)

[/IMG]
 

Boncuk

New Member
Hi nickelflippr,

this is a suggestion:

Instead of making through-hole connector solder pads you can use self created solder pads which have to be on component side, the same as for the LED.

Using solder pads on the component side won't leave any connection on the solder side. You might even find a suitable SMD-LED for your project.

If not you should make your LED design using solder pads (top).

For the input/output pads design pads on the component side.

If you need some help for that job please let me know.

Boncuk
 
Hi Boncuk,

Thanks for the suggestions. Should have made myself more clear, but there was no need in the above image to have bare copper back plane. Also, thanks for the offer of help, but for now, I will stumble on solo.

Their seems be a solution on the OshPark twitter site. To force a large area with no solder mask, just make a large pad to fit the area of exclusion. So in my case that would be to make the whole bottom copper a surface mount pad. Their gerber viewer should confirm if that's the case.
 
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