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Toner transfer with a twist -- anyone tried this?
Toner transfer with a twist -- anyone tried this?
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Old 31st August 2005, 08:24 PM   #11
AudioWizard is offline AudioWizard  France
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Ok... well, all in all, I think that toner transfer isn't so bad. ;-)

I highly recommend Pulsar products (TTS...). Very easy to work with. The thing is to find the right amount of temperature and pressure; I was used to glossy photo paper, and TTS is much thinner, so you have to set your iron to a much lower temp and apply it for only a few seconds (whereas I ironed for like 2 minutes with photo paper). If temperature is too high, the finer toner tracks will get kind of fuzzy.

I don't think that it would be worth the trouble to hack a laser printer and all, unless you made boards in high quantity - but then again, if you did that, you would probably not make them yourself...

On the idea of directly printing on copper - if that's a problem with laser printers because of electrostatic diffusion, I guess we could use an inkjet printer instead, and print on copper sheets. Then we would need resistant ink, but I think I remember that some company actually makes inkjet inks for that purpose... or maybe it was some hack to put some special ink in regular, used cartridges...
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Old 31st August 2005, 09:48 PM   #12
rif is offline rif  United States
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Toner transfer with a twist -- anyone tried this?
Quote:
Originally posted by jackinnj
there aren't many things worse in a workshop than carbon black -- it smudges everything AND conducts electricity.

you can use a plotter to apply waterproof ink directly from pen to copper -- here's the problem -- most of the plotters are programmed in HP/GL (Hewlett Packard Graphics Language) -- you have to get the gerber file and then manipulate it -- great if you remember DOS and how to use a text editor.

i have done this with small boards -- only a few square inches -- it works. with larger boards the inertia of the PCB is such that it is difficult to maintain registration -- at least on the plotter which I used.

Ah -- but how about hacking an inkjet and turning it into something else? A normal inkjet's "axes" are left/right -- the printer head moves back and forth, and feeding the paper around a roller. What if we got rid of the roller, and rigged something to step the PCB or the print head? It's not a plotter since it still only moves one of the axes in one direction -- just changing the mechanics of the axis. It has the benefit of using modern, standard unmodified drivers
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Old 1st September 2005, 01:39 PM   #13
matjans is offline matjans  Netherlands
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Default plotting pcb's

I used a plotter for plotting pcb's. I even made a web page for it some time ago here

Disadvantages are: sometimes the etched pcb came out with jagged edges, when covering larger area's the ink would sometimes etch away a little but that was probably due to the etch-resist pen i used.

All in all a not very satisfactory system. I switched to laser-toner-transfer but that gave more problems due to paper choice. And the jagged edges remained.

The accompanying foto shows the faults in larger ink-area's (pcb backlit with a lamp)
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File Type: jpg etched.jpg (38.7 KB, 217 views)
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Old 1st September 2005, 04:24 PM   #14
AudioWizard is offline AudioWizard  France
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matjans, it's not that bad, really. Probably unacceptable if you sold your boards, but for amateur work, it's ok. Won't make a lot of difference in the final circuit. ;-)
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Old 1st September 2005, 04:40 PM   #15
rif is offline rif  United States
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Toner transfer with a twist -- anyone tried this?
Default Re: plotting pcb's

Quote:
Originally posted by matjans
I used a plotter for plotting pcb's. I even made a web page for it some time ago here

matjans -- that's a really nice website -- did you create it yourself?
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Old 2nd September 2005, 11:22 AM   #16
matjans is offline matjans  Netherlands
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yep, i made it myself.

Audiowizard: all the light spots in the black (copper) bands are etched away right down to the epoxy, around those spots the copper is pretty thin so I discarded them.

On using inkjet printers for "printing" pcbs.: there are inkjet cartridges that contain a sort of wax-based ink. They're used for those iron-on t-shirt prints. The ink dries pretty fast. Maye that would work?
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Old 2nd September 2005, 12:07 PM   #17
cocolino is offline cocolino  Germany
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A quality film is the key in successfully and easily etching good PCBs at home. Once You have a good film the rest is a breeze.

I think I messed with everything what concerns making DIY films for PCB exposure (I started making films by gluing those black tape stripes on clear foil ).

After all I came to the conclusion that ALL of the DIY methods are unsatisfying for high qualtiy results and there is no way around getting films made on a professional film exposure machine that usually works with PostScript files (I don`t know what is the correct notation in English for that kind of machine. In German it`s called "Satzbelichtungsmaschine").

Anyway, ask at Your local print shop, they probably have such a thing or at least they might know where to go. Prices are reasonable, I pay around 1 Euro per 10x10cm highest quality film - black areas absolutely leakproof against light, finest resolution (usually 2400dpi) with razorsharp outlines.
I think that is really worth it.
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Old 7th September 2005, 01:10 AM   #18
mercator is offline mercator  Canada
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I think it is called photomechanical transfer (PMT) in english. Makes excellent quality linework for a low cost.

/Dave
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Old 8th January 2018, 07:09 PM   #19
mondogenerator is online now mondogenerator  England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matjans View Post
yep, i made it myself.

Audiowizard: all the light spots in the black (copper) bands are etched away right down to the epoxy, around those spots the copper is pretty thin so I discarded them.

On using inkjet printers for "printing" pcbs.: there are inkjet cartridges that contain a sort of wax-based ink. They're used for those iron-on t-shirt prints. The ink dries pretty fast. Maye that would work?
I know some roland printers also are capable of cutting film used for heat transfer used in t shirt printing that replace the print head with a cutter and film...
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