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PCB art dithering experiments

Want more detailled PCB artwork on your PCBs? Try dithering!

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I wanted to use dithering for more detailed PCB artwork, but couldn't find any examples online. To experiment with different techniques/ sizes I designed a test PCB and ordered it from @JLCPCB.

Important: Add a remark to keep the small features in the copper layer! JLCPCB removed a 50% 0.1mm check pattern on a recent order where I didn't add a note.

I've annotated each image, scroll down to the file list or open the files tab to read them. If you're just here for the images the gallery works fine, too.

XK6A.dip

diptrace PCB file; this design contains no pins and thus can be opend with the free 300pin version

dip - 9.86 MB - 12/27/2020 at 09:08

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XK6A_2038_gerber.zip

gerber files including order remark

x-zip-compressed - 3.02 MB - 12/27/2020 at 09:07

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dithering source images.zip

This archive contains the images used for the dithering patterns, you can uses this as a reference for your design. The file names match the silk-screen markings on the PCB.

x-zip-compressed - 58.16 kB - 12/27/2020 at 08:27

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1_small.jpg

Each square is 1x1cm, the sizes refer to the smallest feature size and the % is the covered or blank area. The resolution is better than expected, even 0.1mm lines are reproduced correctly.

JPEG Image - 1001.38 kB - 12/18/2020 at 10:54

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2_small.jpg

The checkboard pattern is designed to be a 50/50 ratio, but if you zoom in you can see the copper squares are connected, so it can double as a (bad) ground plane.

JPEG Image - 1.16 MB - 12/18/2020 at 10:54

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Discussions

zst123 wrote 12/27/2020 at 00:22 point

Cool experiment. I have actually seen the dithering method using dots.

(It is also called "halftone" method which the technique used for the newspaper printing press).

Your results look great and I may try the checkboard pattern next time!

I have tried halftoning before with Elecrow PCB. 

I have written a page on it here:

https://hackaday.io/page/8839-elecrow-pcb-review-2020


  Are you sure? yes | no

nqtronix wrote 12/27/2020 at 09:17 point

I've also seen dithering before, but never a controlled experiment like this. What settings did you use for your silkscreen graphics? If you need it, you can now download my original design files (images/ gerber/ diptrace pcb).


Thanks for taking a look and sharing your design

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raphael wrote 12/21/2020 at 13:11 point

nice to know  :)

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ndGarage wrote 12/18/2020 at 19:21 point

interesting. systematic. silkscreen from JLCPCB does not have enough resolution. dots are your best friend. 

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