I-extruder solder paste dispenser

I just ordered an i-extruder solder paste dispenser (https://www.i-extruder.com).

Based on the videos, it seems suitable for 0402 size pads. I think I can tweak it for 0201 and BGA. I will make a review video of the device and my attempts to tweak it.

Even if I can’t succeed, it will still be useful for my larger boards that use 0402. It seems like a much more convenient tool than pneumatic desktop systems, especially given that I don’t make prototype PCBs all that frequently (maybe once a month).

Interesting! I have a handhold extruder but rarely use it (it’s a pump action one akin to a caulk gun). Any reason for one of these over stencils? Are you using it for rework as well? I could see that as a definite use case, for adding components after initial assembly.

I don’t have enough control with just the hand-operated one for the small-size boards I do, so I thought this was worth a try.

For rework, it might be slightly useful, but rework I do 99% with hot air and existing solder.

The main use-case is because I just don’t like stencils for prototype work. Stencils are nice when I need to stuff a panel of PCBs (did I mention I tend to work on very small PCBs?). For single PCB, I need to build a jig for the PCB, get alignment just right, etc, and it isn’t very fast.

Honestly, what works more easily than a stencil for my prototyping is just to:

  1. mix paste and flux 50/50, lay it down sloppy
  2. reflow it without components
  3. clean the PCB
  4. flux it, and place components
  5. reflow it again, with components

So, I think the i-extruder can improve this process.