DIY Double Sided PCB/Circuit Board Etching

Picture of DIY Double Sided PCB/Circuit Board Etching
This is the method I use to etch double sided circuit boards at home. I've been using various methods for the past few months and have settled on this one, which I find to be the most reliable way to get both sides to line up.

What you'll need:
Copper-Clad Board
Iso-Propyl Alcohol (if you've got it)
Ferric Chloride
Liquid Tin
Acetone (nail polish remover)

Rotary Tool (Dremel etc)
Laser Printer

Scrubbing Pads
Sand Paper
Plastic or Glass container
Glossy Magazine
Masking Tape
Brown Tape

Most of this stuff you should have lying around or can borrow from friends/work. The Copper Clad Boards, Alcohol and Liquid Tin is easy to pick up from Maplins or Rapid.
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Step 1: PCB Design

Picture of PCB Design
You can design your PCB in anything you want. A lot of people use EAGLE, but I prefer to do it in Adobe Illustrator. It doesn't matter what you use, these tips should still help.

If you're designing double sided boards you'll want to have a few holes somewhere that you can use to align both sides. I usually add an extra centimeter around the edge and put a small hole in each corner (this also gives room for a bit of error when etching).

You'll want to flip/mirror the front image so it is the right way around when you transfer it onto the copper. If you've done the back as if you were looking straight through then you don't have to flip that side.

The most important thing in my opinion is to fill in all blank areas black. When you're ironing it onto the copper the black areas will stick to the board, making it easier to iron and harder to rip/crease.

Once your design is complete, do a test print on normal paper and check everything is OK, then when you're ready feed a page of the magazine paper through the laser printer and print it out (I find thin, flimsy magazine paper is the best).
xTimKen5 months ago
Are you i see monstas?
Egoran3 years ago
Great instructable! Thanks for the tip about using magazine paper for transfer. I was using ink jet photo paper but this seems even simpler and cheaper. Thanks for the tip!