How would you like to make a single or multiple Printed Circuit Boards in less than 2 minutes?

Hey again.  Hope everyone enjoyed my last Instructable on how to make a grappling hook launcher.  Today I go down a slightly different path of creation.

This project has been in my mind for quite some time and I thought it would be a good time to finally build it.  The idea began when I was tired of spending 25 minutes sloshing a Printed Circuit Board (PCB from now on) around in a plastic tray and waiting for it to finish etching.  It was messy and wasted a lot of time.  I began to search for an alternative and did not get much farther than a bucket with a fish tank bubble machine and perhaps a heater.  Sprayers seemed like the most practical solution but the commercial available ones cost thousands of dollars and there was no guide that allowed someone to create one to use in their own shop. That is, until now.

I would like to present to you my Printed Circuit Board Spraying Machine that anyone with basic tool skills can build.  Plenty of people have published and built CNC machines.  Even some 3D printers have started to pop up.  Countless tools and devices for creating projectes have been published on Instructables and across the internet.  All of these devices use circuit boards and most can be created using a PCB.  However, gone are the days where one needs a messy tray and needs to spend almost a half hour making them.  The PCB Sprayer produces them in less than 2 minutes, can produce multiple PCBs at a time, continuously produce them, and then clean them afterwards.  It is like a little factory in your workshop.  This machine is a great addition to any maker's shop and is an absolute blast to build.  You can produce PCB's on demand with ease and not have to spend thousands on an industrial machine.    Where else can you improve your wood, plastic, electrical, plumbing and sketching skills?  

I have organized each step of this Instructable into 5 sections to try and make it as clear and easy to follow as possible:
1) Step Aim: where I discuss what we will accomplish/create in this step.
2) Tools: which tools will be required to perform this step.
3) Materials: what materials from the part list will you need in this step.
4) Directions: step by step directions for this particular component's construction.
5) Tips: where I make note of any problems I ran into and ways to avoid them during your building process. 
Of course, there will be countless photos, diagrams, drawing, and links to supplement each step and avoid any confusion (you may need to view full size to see all the dimensions and notes properly).

I have also included the Sketchup files (.skp) if you would like to view those.  Sketchup is a google 3D design product can be downloaded for free here.

As for the ShopBot contest, if I can build a grappling hook launcher with a fire extinguisher and a Printed Circuit board Machine from a few sprinkler heads, who knows what I could do with a ShopBot?

Without further ado, I present to you the internets first do-it-yourself, complete step-by-step guide, to building your own PCB Factory.
As always, have fun building and feel free to email/message/comment with any questions you may have.  I recommend looking at the whole intractable first before beginning building so you can get the full picture of what we are creating.  Enjoy.

Again, my name is Christian Reed and I am a Mechanical Engineering student at MIT.  My blog with other creations can be found here.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

To make things easier, I made the part list into a PDF.  Do not let the long list intimidate you.  A lot of the parts you may have lying around or may not need if you choose to leave out features.  I have included everything I am using to give the broadest possible list.  Keep in mind you may not want to go as crazy as I did with the features.  I included what materials you will need on each step so you can pick and chose which you would like to use as easily as possible.  You can obtain all the parts for about $300 completely new with the RV pump being the most costly (at $100) with the majority of the parts coming from Home Depot.  You can also, like I did, repurpose acrylic or other plastic from anything you can thing of to reduce the cost even greater.  The only clear sheet you need is the front and everything else could be solid if you want or you could even use a mix of acrylic, MDF, and PVC liner to create you own custom tank.  Again, this is the part list I used so do not let that limit you in your building.  Message me if you have trouble finding/understanding anything I included on the list and I will be happy to help.

Also, I have included all the Sketchup plans, diagrams and other resources in the Zip file here (if its easier to download them all at once) as well on each step.

See attached PDF

See attached zip file (collection of all the files for the entire Instructable, although they will be found again on each of their respective steps)

- Drill with assortment of drill bits
- Spring Clamp
- Rotary Tool
- Circular saw (with fine tooth blade for cutting acrylic; radial arm saw also will work)
- Exacto Knife
- Screw Drivers (flat and phillips)
- Soldering Iron
- Heat Gun
- Dremel Multimax (optional)
- Corner clamp (optional)

About This Instructable


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Bio: Engineer by day, soldier by night. Christian Reed
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