: DO NOT
purchase a Cricut machine! I have been informed (by TheGreatS
) that the Cricut will no longer work with Sure-Cuts-A-Lot or Make-The-Cut as ProvoCraft are not willing to play nice with their customers. I will attempt to get hold of another craft cutter and redo the tutorial.
Use a Cricut
cutting machine and Sure-Cuts-A-Lot
software to create usable solder paste stencils for electronic prototyping purposes.
The quality and precision of the resulting stencils is good enough to prototype 0805 and TQFP (0.8mm pitch) size electronic components.
If you need PCB layout software, I recommend the free and Open Source KiCAD EDA Suite
This Instructable is based on a tutorial I originally posted at Solder Paste Stencils
I would not recommend buying a Cricut just to create Solder Paste Stencils. If, however, you have a friend or relative who owns one, or find a Cricut on sale
or at a Garage Sale, then buying Sure-Cuts-A-Lot software will turn a Cricut into a very useful device. Functionality will then be similar to something like a low-end vinyl/craft cutter such as the Craft Robo