Sometimes it may seem that your electronics are just xenoxed. For [Niva_v_kopirce] It was the control board of his nephew’s RC car that used to burn the transistor. In such situations, you can either throw it away, spend your time fixing the problem, hoping to find the error and then try to fix it, or be creative. He chose the latter and designed and engraved a replacement board.
Of course, etching your own PCB is not significant for the average hacked reader, though [Niva_v_kopirce] Crossed extra miles and added a purple solder mask to it, turning stylishness up to 11. Here, too, it becomes interesting, when you think of the solder mask as a complementary layer to the solder paste stencil. Tired of manually applying solder paste, he decided to try a DIY stencil this time – using a beer can.
After opening the can and flattening it, with some sanding, he transferred the cutouts from the solder mask to it and started etching the holes in it. While the result may not be exactly precise, it did work, especially for a home build.
Despite their advantages, stencils are still an exceptional addition for amateurs as they pay very little for one-off projects with limited SMD material usage. But perhaps it was a new inspiration for you now. And if etching metal is out of your comfort zone, plastic cutting may be an option, as well as 3d printing.