DIY PCB Etching – Using inkjet paper in a Laser Printer

Posted on 23.02.07 in the category Electronics

Really informative video showing you how to etch your own circuit boards using inkjet paper in a Laser Printer.

  • Clean the sized pcb with steel wool 000 until it's nice and shiny everywhere (7-10min).
  • Clean the shiny pcb with acetone of lighter fluid to remove all grease and dirt. Keep swithing to new parts of the towel until no more discoloration is shown on the towel.
  • Cut the transfer that printed in mirror image on inkjet picture paper with laser toner (xerox or laser printer). Cut it to exact size or smaller if possible. If the paper come over the borders of the board, this will allow air in without you seeing it clearly.
  • Now punch a lot of whole in all over the tonerless areas in the picture paper. The closer the traces are together, the better they will come out with a hole between them so the air can easily escape there to get good adherence to the copper.
  • Iron one side first, until the transfer sticks. Make sure the transfer doesn't slide over board when ironing it down as this will cause smearing of toner. Don't be lazy, contrary to PNP, this thick paper can take some heat and you will never overheat anything as long as you keep moving the iron. Pay special attention to the corners. Look from the start for air bubbles and iron them out as soon as possible. This is be real easy if you punched like you should in step 4
  • After some decent ironing, toss the pcb with the paper sticking to it in a bowl of boiling water and use the remaing water for a cup of tea. After you've finished you're tea, the paper will have released the pcb, leaving a transfer as perfect as your cleaning, ironing and air bubble removal technique.

If you want to find out more then check out the authors site at http://modman.blogdrive.com/

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