# What effect do different SMT stencil materials have on results?

I have a PCB with 20-mil pitch SMT pads for a QFP-64. I ordered a stencil for it, which is made of some flexible material. I haven't had much luck with it, I suspect because the material is so finicky. I keep getting big globs of paste along the entire side of the package, instead of on each pad. I also find that their recommended setup time for a single board using this flexible stencil is prohibitive, to the point that I'd be better off using my present method of a pneumatic solder paste dispenser and a microscope.

I'm thinking of trying again with a stainless steel stencil. Is this likely to improve precision and production time?

These, of course, use framed stencils, so you'll have a $500 one time cost for the printer, and about$300 NRE for the framed stencil. Storage of the framed stencils may eventually become an issue.