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I'm maybe going to use JLCPCB to order a PCB (if I get it finished), but I'm wondering about the minimal distance between the edge and silk screen text.

If I look at the capabilities:

https://jlcpcb.com/capabilities/Capabilities

I find regarding silk screen text:

  • Minimal height (32 mils)
  • Minimal 'line' width (6 mils)

The only item that comes closest is 'edge rails' (3 mm), but I doubt that's related. 3mm seems big.

I'm intending so place small text and close to the border like below. I used several font types, but I am just playing around with it; I like to use the smallest possible.

dge

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What's their copper to board minimum? I neither can find it on their site either. \$\endgroup\$
    – Huisman
    Apr 10, 2020 at 21:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Huisman I believe they are calling that "Trace to Outline" and have it at 0.2 mm. With V-scoring up that to 0.4 mm. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 10, 2020 at 21:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @evildemonic Yes, guess that's it \$\endgroup\$
    – Huisman
    Apr 10, 2020 at 21:38

2 Answers 2

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It depends on the boardhouse, but likely they can go all the way to the edge since routing (the board cutting kind) is done after silkscreen.

I often have silkscreen marks that go past the edge of the board (in the gerbers at least) and the boardhouses I use have no problem with it. The silkscreen goes right to the edge.

That said, if you are doing text, be aware of the tolerance to positioning so you don't end up with partial letters cut off.

Here is a recent example:

enter image description here

This is from PCBWay, a very low-cost Chinese boardhouse. Notice how they stop the silkscreen about 0.1 mm from the edge. They did that themselves, my gerbers have those lines go outside the board-edge.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks ... that's possibly the reason they don't put it as capability ... I assume the tolerance is fairly wrong, and I will keep somewhat distance (like 5 mils or so?) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 10, 2020 at 21:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ 5 mils is about what I'm seeing in the picture I added to my answer, so sounds good. 10 mils would be very safe as I haven't worked with any board house that couldn't do that. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 10, 2020 at 21:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah yes, than I will keep that into account too, thanks. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 10, 2020 at 21:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Than I might use 10 mils (I made my comment after you changed your answer). Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ Apr 10, 2020 at 21:29
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Like the other answer says: it depends on the boardhouse.

Eurocircuits states:

In all cases we will clip away any legend text within 0.200mm (10mil) of the board edge.

Since JLCPCB doesn't mention it on their website, I think the best answer is:

don't speculate how other board houses do it, instead contact JLCPCB

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for that addition, 10 mils I will use. For now I don't contact JLCPCB, since I'm not even sure if I get my board 'ready' for production and I might have (even?) more important questions. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 10, 2020 at 21:49

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