Introduction: How to Make a PCB

This is a method of making Printed Circuit Boards called the Peel and Press Method.

Step 1: Printing and Cleaning

Print the board design using a laser printer, on glossy paper. The best type is Staples Photo Basic Gloss. After printing you cut the PCB to the size of the board design. Once you have done that clean PCB with a stainless steel scourer.

Step 2: Ironing

Set iron to the hottest possible setting and turn the steam setting off. Place your board design between iron and the blank PCB that you had cut out. Place iron on board, and push down really hard. Wait for it to cool down. After ironing go over your tracks with an etch resistant pen to fix any possibly damaged tracks. Put under cold water and carefully peel the glossy photo paper off the PCB.

Step 3: Drilling

Drill your holes into the PCB. The component lead thickness will usually be 0.7 mm, so drill using a 0.8mm bit.

Step 4: Ferric Chloride

Place PCB into ferric chloride and wait for the copper around the track you want to totally dissolve. While the board is in the ferric chloride agitate the container. The process can be sped up by putting the ferric chloride container, in a bucket of hot water, to heat up the ferric chloride. After that just rinse your PCB using water to get some of the ferric chloride off. Just in case there is some ferric chloride left, clean the PCB with nail polish remover or acetone.

Step 5: Soldering

Place your components in and solder your components in.


W6LSN (author)2010-05-06

Stainless steel/metal scourer likely too aggressive.  Use plastic scrubby and gently clean it

jwoo2023 (author)W6LSN2011-04-25

i agree. :D

higgzy77 (author)2009-10-24

Where can you obtain ferric chloride?

Great post...but pictures would make it excellent


PARKOUR123 (author)higgzy772009-10-29

 Usually at electronic shops or places like Bunnings Warehouse

erod998 (author)PARKOUR1232010-01-11

or also at radioshack'

higgzy77 (author)PARKOUR1232009-10-31

cheers I'll keep my eye out for it

Re-design (author)2009-09-25

In step 2, you have it out of order just a bit. You peel the paper then repair any damaged tracks. Nice explanation otherwise.

M4industries (author)2009-07-15


PARKOUR123 (author)M4industries2009-07-19

Sorry I'll be getting some soon

M4industries (author)PARKOUR1232009-07-22

Great! Just dont make the mistake that I did on my first instructable and google 3/4 of the pictures! No one liked it that much!

PARKOUR123 (author)M4industries2009-07-25

thats what I did! I took them down because of the comments below

jernax (author)2009-07-06

what happened if the printed gollsy paper is hotted with iron? the printed pcb lay out will transfer its immage to the pcb board? this an ordinary pcb board are you talking about?...

dkopya (author)2009-06-25

also you can try this method with fax paper.

dkopya (author)2009-06-25

hi !! drill after ferric chloride it is much simpler

PARKOUR123 (author)2009-06-24

One of my friends who has more experience than me at PCB making helped me with this and also told me that there are some mistakes with this so he will help me soon.

PARKOUR123 (author)PARKOUR1232009-06-24

Modify I mean

jman 31 (author)2009-06-24

I believe that this is actually called the "Toner transfer method"? The iron settings may vary with the type of iron you use. Mine actually is set to the Polyester setting which is far from the hottest setting. Acetone works well to remove the toner also.

PARKOUR123 (author)jman 312009-06-24

That iron is like mine as well.

jeff-o (author)2009-06-24

A fine high-level overview, but this really needs more detail (and perhaps some pictures you took yourself.) There are lots of tricks and things to know that weren't mentioned here...

PARKOUR123 (author)jeff-o2009-06-24

OK thanks and i know but I'm still doing the basics

uguy (author)jeff-o2009-06-24

I agree, this doesn't show how to "make" the PCB!

PKM (author)uguy2009-06-24

Thirded, you need more detail and your own images- otherwise you are just putting other people's Instructions and pictures from the web together. I've never done this but I know there's more to it than that- you should be printing on the darkest/highest quality setting on your printer, you need to iron with a heavy pressure for much longer than ironing clothes, you need to be careful peeling the paper off because it may pull the toner with it, and so on.

jeff-o (author)PKM2009-06-24

Exactly - those are just a few of many important bits of info that you need for a successful transfer. For the toner transfer step you're describing, you should also place a piece of plain paper between the iron and the photo paper, since many photo papers contain plastic that will melt onto the iron (likely ruining it).

Void Schism (author)2009-06-24

Don't you mean nail polish remover?

Biopyro (author)Void Schism2009-06-24

Yes, nail polish remover is mostly acetone.

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