vikas

At home DIY Printed Circuit Board Fabrication

Rating: 5 votes, 4.40 average.
I make prototypes of single sided PCB's at home before i send them over to a PCB maker , So here is a quick Tutorial of what i do ...

Things you need -
1. Ferric Chloride
2. Copper Clad Board
3. Laser Printer
4. Fine sand paper

Step 1. Print layout on glossy paper and cut a Copper Clad PCB accordingly. Use fine sandpaper to clean PCB. Leave extra edges around layout , it helps in transfer.

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Step 2. Use a Hot Press set at for Cotton to transfer the toner to your PCB. Apply pressure while doing so , do it for say 2 - 5 minutes.

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Step 3. Use warm soapwater and soak your PCB with paper in it for 15 minutes.

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Step 4. Now peel of the paper, it should come off easily. Use a tooth brush to clean it well.

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Step 5. Sometimes tracks also get removed. Use a permanent marker to fill in tracks , use multiple strokes to fill in the errors.

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Step 6. Let it soak in Ferric Chloride for a while. Say 15 minutes , also agitate the Ferric Chloride if possible.

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Step 7. Now check it has etched correctly or requires more. You will have something like shown below.

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Step 8. Now use the sand paper again to remove the toner , wash with water.

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Step 9. Now start drilling using a hand drill , use a 1mm drill. Buy branded drill heads as cheap ones dont last and waste time.

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Step 10. You are done now mount the components, and your board is ready.

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Any ideas or techniques to do it better do let me know !!! .

Updated 01-31-2010 at 06:12 AM by vikas

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Comments

  1. shakerobo's Avatar
    hey,
    can u please give some ideas on adding a silkscreen to the pcb?
  2. AVnetics's Avatar
    Net is filled with PCB making tutorials ..

    Dont use Ferric chloride ... it gets damaged easily ..dirty and environmental hazard!
    Use H2o2 and Hcl (harpic etc have it) .
    Refer this http://www.instructables.com/id/Stop...-A-better-etc/

    U can use the same solution again and again...
  3. vikas's Avatar
    @Avenetics - I agree on FECL3 ... But im yet to find a convincing substitute ... .

    Its Fast , dirt cheap , reusable a lot of times ... bad stains on cloth is the only problem i have sometimes.
  4. suryanarayanan's Avatar
    thanks for your valuable info...!
  5. shaunakde's Avatar
    I am going to purchase a laser printer specifically for DIY PCB manufacture. (No more running to the copyshop)
    Any brands I should avoid? Any preferences?
  6. vikas's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by shaunakde
    I am going to purchase a laser printer specifically for DIY PCB manufacture. (No more running to the copyshop)
    Any brands I should avoid? Any preferences?
    Try the lower end Samsung ones , i belive u can get one for around 4k ... they work fine ... i have used them a lot.
  7. shaunakde's Avatar
    Thanks. I think I will go for the ML series.
  8. godslayer's Avatar
    hey vikas. what kind of paper are you using? i see some strange press and peel kind of clear one in the first image.. later i see papers... well this method will work same way with photocopier.. (well i see someone using A cheap Copper cladding with Bakelite )
  9. vikas's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by godslayer
    hey vikas. what kind of paper are you using? i see some strange press and peel kind of clear one in the first image.. later i see papers... well this method will work same way with photocopier.. (well i see someone using A cheap Copper cladding with Bakelite )
    Its a normal glossy paper , use a magazine sheet or a news paper glossy paper.
  10. Coolpratheesh's Avatar
    @vikas: if you pre heat the copper clad board before putting the printed sheet on the toner gets transferred very nicely even .5mm tracks......
  11. vikas's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Coolpratheesh
    @vikas: if you pre heat the copper clad board before putting the printed sheet on the toner gets transferred very nicely even .5mm tracks......
    Thanks for the tip.
  12. vigyanabikshu's Avatar
    Good method for prototype boards
  13. mcufreak's Avatar
    To etch fast, use warm water to make a solution with Ferric Chloride and shake(gently) the clad(by attaching it through a 'Grip' made by a PVC wire) or shake gently the plastic container of solution.
  14. MGear's Avatar
    I made an apparatus for the Etching process with HCl and H2O2 with bubbling facility for oxidation, but after spending good deal o time and money, I see that something is wrong here.Though the process is clean and reusable.But the process which should complete in 10mins or so is taking upto 10 hrs! I used 10M Hcl and 3%H2O2 in 2:1 proportion.
    Any one with prior experience?