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How to etch aluminum panel labels/designs with a reusable acid mix

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Step 2: Print on pnp blue

1.- Create your design in any vector app: Illustrator, Corel Draw, Ink Scape, etc.

2.- Flip the design before printing as you would with pcb etching.

3.- Print the design on regular paper sheet(100% scale), this will work as a guide to print on the pnp sheet.

5.- Cut a piece of pnp-blue just big enough to extend a little bit from the edges of your design on the already printed paper sheet, the extra length will help to print and transfer the design to the aluminum panel.

6.- stick the pnp blue to the printed paper sheet with some tape on each corner, use just enough tape to hold the pnp in place.

7.- Set the laser printer to high quality print, again, 100% scale.

8.- Print again, you should end with something like in the image below.
 
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exlxaxd4 years ago
One thing I don't understand: What's the purpose of printing on regular paper and taping the PNP to it? Can't you just print the design directly to the PNP Blue sheet without the pre-printing and taping? Great instructable, by the way.
sineSurfer (author)  exlxaxd4 years ago
 Hi, is just to save on the pnp sheet, so you can see where the final print will be and use only enough pnp for the job,  no point on wasting it,  of course you can print just a small square or marks as a guide  and then stick the pnp to the paper ;)

airfoil5 years ago
would a photocopy machine work the same on pnp paper instead of a laser printer?
www.techniks.com/information.htm
According to the PNP website you can use a laser printer or photocopier (as long as it uses dry toner which is most of them).  You cannot use an inkjet.
"An image is printed or photocopied onto this film, using a laser printer or photocopier (dry toner based), and subsequently ironed or pressed onto a cleaned copper clad board. "
 


sineSurfer (author)  airfoil5 years ago
It should work, just be sure to use a photocopier with high quality setting, you want enough toner on the pnp to make the transfer easier ;)
skullm5 years ago
I hear somewhere you can use glossy photo paper, like when etching circuit boards. would this work?
sineSurfer (author)  skullm5 years ago
Not as accurate as with the pnp blue, but it can work, let me explain: Once I tried with this paper used to hold stickers (kind of semi transparent paper with wax coating) for a pcb transfer, the transfer went really smooth... but is hard to see if the toner is sticking fine everywhere. With the pnp blue sheets you can clearly see when the toner is transfered as the toner turns darker when it sticks good into the aluminum
elabz5 years ago
Guys, I'm missing the important bit of info: what's a "pnp blue"? Is it a transfer paper of sorts?
That refers to "Press-N-Peel Blue," a product for transferring a resist onto metal. It's used for making circuit boards

It comes in sheets. You print your design onto the Press-N-Peel using a laser printer or copier (but not an inkjet), then transfer your pattern from the Press-N-Peel to the metal using a clothes iron. If you place the metal into acid, any surface not covered by the resist gets etched away, but the protected metal remains.

Details on the manufacturer's website here.

airfoil5 years ago
Thank you.
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