Picture of DIY Customized Circuit Board (PCB Making)
Today I'm going to show you how to make your very own customized PCB (printed circuit board). All you need are some materials and tools like a: PCB board, A bottle of Ferric Chloride, A mini drill, A small container, A bottle of thinner and Some plastic tweezers. Making your own circuit board only takes a snap, what you need is 30-45 minutes of time. I thought of posting this Instructable since there are only few articles out here in the site about making a customized circuit board

It is so easy even a 12 year old kid can make one !!!! ^_^ !!!!!

P.C.B. (Printed Circuit Board)

What are PCBs ?

PCB (Printed Circuit Board) is used to mechanically support and electrically connect electronic components using conductive pathways, tracks or signal traces etched from copper sheets laminated onto a non-conductive board. Components are connected through the conductive material below a non conductive board, the common conductive material used in packaged PCBs are usually copper, since copper is cheap and common.

Why Use Customized PCBs Instead of Ready Made Project Board?
First, because the board will be more compact because your design as well is made to be compact. Second, it's more convenient to use, since you can decide where to put space on your board. And last, the board will be stronger unlike those ready made project boards are full of holes everywhere, making ready made boards weaker.

How Do We Make Them ?

Usually you print your circuit design indirectly to your board, you print it on a glossy paper, photo paper or magazine paper. Let me remind you that before you print you should use a laser printer or a photocopying machine, using of inkjet printer will not work. After you had printed your circuit board design you will iron the printed design over the copper side of the PCB, ironing it above the copper side of the board will transfer the ink, from the glossy paper to the PCB board. The ink serves as the protective layer to cover the copper part that shouldn't be etched. Then after transferring the ink to the PCB board you will have to dip the PCB board to a etching solution like Ferric Chloride for 15 minutes. After etching it you might have to rinse the PCB board with water to remove the etching solution. After rinsing it you should remove the remaining ink with thinner, to uncover the uneched copper part. After removing the ink you will need to dill holes for your components to be soldered on the board. And last but not least just solder your components of your customized board and your done!!!

How does the procedure work?

Since the etching solution only works with metal and not with ink, you transfer ink to the copper side of the PCB be so that a certain pattern on your PCB board gets etched and the inked part doesn't

The video below is not mine!!

Its the courtesy of javapda.
The Peel n Press paper mention can be substituted with a magazine paper or photo paper.

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
1-40 of 68Next »
I think I might try this! Never tried etching a PCB board...
ASCAS (author)  joespicnictables2 years ago
Try it, its fun!
Good instructable. You've got the right blend of pictures and text.

Just from a principals point of view i would use a glass container for the etching process rather than a plastic one. Glass is less likely to react with chemicals. Even if Ferric Chloride doesn't react with plastic, having a good glass container is useful for other projects.
ASCAS (author)  cyberviper422 years ago
Thank! I'l use glass instead.
agis683 years ago
thanx for this instructable...
lourens013 years ago
Just what I've been looking for. Great for once-off projects.
Good job. :)
profpat3 years ago
nice ible! hope people out there will like it too!
I always wanted to try this. Thanks for the step-by-step. Great Job!
dex38443 years ago
Was looking for an instructable just like this one - Thanks big time
Mr. Scruff3 years ago
great. just what i needed. Thx!
simbu.rm3 years ago
Very good work.....
icekid3 years ago
Nice Job !!!! Works great :)))
Mr AbAk2 months ago

Nice Guide...

MushfiqS13 months ago

Excellent! Here is a series of tutorials for those interested in learned Eagle. Check it out:

Divergence3 months ago
Is there a way without a laser printer or photocopier? Because I don't have either
akashg14 months ago

this is really good Video. I hope I am going to do it in the first go with some amount of success. Thanks for sharing! I am keeping this page in my reading list.

akashg14 months ago

This is very good! I too am going to try something similar. Thank You very much for sharing. Hope mine will be sharable in first go!

Strickster1 year ago
Great instructable, I'm just not sure about a 12 year old working with acid...

Well, I was 11 the first time i tried acid, and I turned out alright.

pfred2 Strickster11 months ago

Yeah I was 13 before I etched my first PCB. People start younger and younger these days.

TiagoS16 months ago

Great tutorial :-) You should consider drilling after etching tho.

vak528 months ago

Awesome! This helped me out a lot

Dnoel49 months ago

Great! Thanks! Very helpful!

Um, you think, maybe there's a chance this will ruin your metal drain pipes? Yes, I think so. I would rinse it in a large tub of water, and then pour the substance into a large plastic jug, and take it to a hazardous waste round up. OR pour a lot of baking soda into the ferric acid to nutralize it. I am not a chemist, but I think these points are valid, an lab techs / chemists want to chime in here?
try out HCl ( about 30%) and H2O2 ( 3%) in 1:2 ratio and never worry about the drain, as you don't need to throw it away.ever.
ASCAS (author)  shakespeare12123 years ago
yeah it ruins it :))) well since our tubings on our bathrooms in our 1st floor is made out of plastic, it wont be ruined, but the only problem is how do i dispose ferric chloride properly ?? probably it will disintegrate when dumped on the ground :)) still researching on that. hope i find new solution :)) well nice point of yours
osgeld ASCAS3 years ago
I don't think the chemicals are nearly as bad as the copper dissolved in it, a lot of people let it dry out and properly dispose of the dried crud.

as far as drains, this stuff takes up to an hour to eat away a thin copper foil, its not going to do much to your pipes, which are usually lined up with a layer of goo anyway unless its brand new construction.

SY PCB manufacturer here, professional manufacturers single-side,double-side,multi-layer PCB and aluminum PCB.As we

also produce the raw materials .

You can send me the files as PCB Tech-Drawings or Gerber file,I will provide quotation for you.
If I can be of any service to you, please let me know.

Are you sure about Powerpoint? I think it's only to make presentations...
ASCAS (author)  andrea biffi1 year ago
I used to make PCBs with powerpoint (using shapes and lines), it made me laugh, remembering my silly idea last 3 years ago :))

I upgraded to Eagle for double-sided PCBs and Fritzing for designing Arduino shields.
LOL you are great! :-)
thanks for this inscrutable.but,I have a problem and my problem is I can't find the PCB Board.From which store I would be able to find them ?
ASCAS (author)  Iqbal Samin1 year ago
NP! In what country are you in? If you live in America, I'm sure they have PCBs in Radioshack.
ndela roca2 years ago
Can i buy ferric chloride and pcb board (copper board) here in philippines ???
ASCAS (author)  ndela roca1 year ago
Certainly! You can buy one in Alexan, DEECO or Egizmo.
spikec2 years ago
Awesome Instructable, thanks!
will this work with an ink-jet printer?
WWC3 years ago
Would the layout have to be inverted for it to come out correctly on the board?
diy_bloke WWC2 years ago
depends on yr program. Fritzing in one layer mode prints a PCB layout that is suitable for direct transfer.
However, if you realize that the printed side will be directly making contact with the cover, then you know that what is printed, will be mirrorred on the cover
what size drill bit did you use?
1-40 of 68Next »