Ok,I am making this instructable to hopefully win the Epilog laser challenge, if I win I would use it to make my own PCB's and to tinker with.
Ok,so making your own PCB's is not that hard actually,if you have the luxury of a laser cutter,then it is a simple matter. But for people like me,we use,drum role please....a LASER PRINTER!!
There are some great websites that can enplane the whole process very well this one dose a good job though the site is kind of clutterd,http://fullnet.com/~tomg/gooteepc.htm .The good people at Hack a Day made a good one that I loved,the guy used a microscope slide as a PCB.http://hackaday.com/2011/09/12/glass-pcbs/ .this will be one of my projects actually!
in this Inscrutable,there are some chemicals that can hurt you,if you get them on yourself,such as Muriatic Acid and Hydrogen Peroxide,please use the proper safety gear,such as safety goggles and gloves,and read the instructions on the back of the cans.
Ok,so the basic concept is to take a laser printer,print a design onto some paper,iron the paper to the PCB,remove the paper,and etch in the etching solution. Seams simple right? Yes it is!!
When you use the printer,toner(the black stuff)is put on the paper,then when you iron the paper to the PCB,you heat up the toner and it sticks to the board! Then when you etch the board,the toner acts as a barrier agents the etching solution,and you get your design,yup,that simple!
Step 1: Stuff You Will Need.
- Access to a Laser printer.
- A sheet of photo gloss paper.
- PCB.(single sided).
- Muriatic Acid.
- 2% Hydrogen Peroxide.
- A cloths iron.
- Plastic containers.
- 0.8mm 1.0mm and 1.2mm drill bits and a drill.
- A paintbrush.
- A one gallon bucket.
- A hacksaw(if needed).
- A drill(if needed,see step 8).
- Acetone or methylated spirits.
- Some Fine grit sandpaper or a Scotchbrite pad.
Step 2: Design.
Step 3: Print.
Step 4: Iron on the Toner.
Sorry about the lack of photos,it is hard to hold a camera and do this at the same time.
Step 5: Take the Paper Off and Prepare the Etching Solution.
Step 6: Etch.
What is happening in the solution is that the Hydrogen peroxide is oxidizing the copper and the Muriatic acid is eating away at the copper. I have herd that you can re-use this solution,it is used up all the oxygen when it turns a brownish color,but you can add oxygen by way of bubbles or by adding more hydrogen peroxide,but that is diluting the solution some more because it is mostly water.
If I am wrong,please leave a comment and I will fix it.
Step 7: Clean the Board.
Step 8: To Drill or Not to Drill.
If you do decide to use through hole components,then you want to make your component pads like O's rather then rectangles.