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Old 22nd April 2007, 12:15 PM   #1
dnsey is offline dnsey  United Kingdom
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Default Printing Circuits

This has to be worth investigating
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Old 23rd April 2007, 02:06 AM   #2
Leolabs is offline Leolabs  Malaysia
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Old 23rd April 2007, 02:18 AM   #3
BWRX is offline BWRX  United States
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Very cool idea! Unfortunately, it will be a while before that catches up with current PCB manufacturing capabilities. That would be DIYer's dream though - design a layout in your favorite program, hit print, and out pops your PCB.
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Old 23rd April 2007, 12:21 PM   #4
OzMikeH is offline OzMikeH  Australia
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I read how to do it with a laser printer. I haven't tried it yet

Wind the density up high, enough so you can just feel the printing with a fingernail. keep the tracks fairly wide.
print out the PCB tracks onto normal paper as they would look from the component side.

Put the printout with the toner against a very clean copper board.

use a clothes iron to transfer the toner onto the board.

put the board into some water (PH neutral is better, Distilled water works fine, your tap water might be ok.)

soak it for a while to really soften the paper, I'm talking mushy here..
once it is very soft: Very, very GENTLY wipe most of the paper off with your finger. don't go overboard.

check for any accidents or scratches with a magnifying glass. Small hairs and bits of fluff really make a mess of it.
It can be touched up with very gentle dabs with a DALO pen.

Etch with ferric chloride.
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Old 23rd April 2007, 02:32 PM   #5
kscharf is offline kscharf  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by OzMikeH
I read how to do it with a laser printer. I haven't tried it yet

Wind the density up high, enough so you can just feel the printing with a fingernail. keep the tracks fairly wide.
print out the PCB tracks onto normal paper as they would look from the component side.

Put the printout with the toner against a very clean copper board.

use a clothes iron to transfer the toner onto the board.

put the board into some water (PH neutral is better, Distilled water works fine, your tap water might be ok.)

soak it for a while to really soften the paper, I'm talking mushy here..
once it is very soft: Very, very GENTLY wipe most of the paper off with your finger. don't go overboard.

check for any accidents or scratches with a magnifying glass. Small hairs and bits of fluff really make a mess of it.
It can be touched up with very gentle dabs with a DALO pen.

Etch with ferric chloride.
There are commerical transfer materials made especially for this process. They do a much better job than plain paper Look here:
http://www.techniks.com/

I've used the press and peel blue with excellent results!
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Old 23rd April 2007, 06:18 PM   #6
Fenris is online now Fenris  United States
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Yeah, Tom Gootee on this board has an excellent write up on his web site. And you should use inkjet photo paper - it releases the toner much easier.

All in all it would be much easier to directly make the PCB rather than go through all the transfer steps and etching.
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Old 23rd April 2007, 11:04 PM   #7
gootee is offline gootee  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fenris
Yeah, Tom Gootee on this board has an excellent write up on his web site. And you should use inkjet photo paper - it releases the toner much easier.

All in all it would be much easier to directly make the PCB rather than go through all the transfer steps and etching.

Fenris,

Thanks for mentioning my site.

I also posted a "recipe" for a very good homemade etchant, there, fairly recently. It uses very commonly available, very low cost chemicals (Muriatic Acid and Hydrogen Peroxide; the common hardware/paint store and drugstore varieties). It etches a 1 oz board in about five minutes, at room temperature, with mild agitation. And it's almost transparent. And you can tell if it's still good by the color. And you can easily "recharge" it.

It's posted at http://www.fullnet.com/~tomg/gooteepc.htm

Speaking of printing PCBs "directly", there are a couple of guys who frequent the Homebrew_PCBs discussion group, at yahoogroups.com, who have successfully modified some cheap inkjet printers to print etch-resistant ink directly onto copper clad boards. They have websites that show exactly how to do it. Sorry I don't have the URLs handy.

Thanks again.

- Tom Gootee
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