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Making printed circuit boards without laser printer? Answered

I am into electronics, but have had to use pre made PC boards. there is nothing wrong with this, but it can sometimes be inconvenient, and more difficult when the time comes to put the circuit board together. I have seen instructables on how to make custom printed circuit boards, but they all used laser printers. I do not own a laser printer, and cannot really afford to buy one. Is there a way to etch boards without a laser printer, and if so how?

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rickharrisBest Answer (author)2011-12-12

It depends on what sort of PCB you need - You can buy resist pens and draw the circuit.

You can get a photo copy of the circuit and use that as per laser printer print transfer

You can/could buy PCB transfers that allow you to build up circuits.

You can use practically anything that will resist the echant and scratch in your outline.

You can use strip board as another way - This works for fairly complex dense circuits.

You can use perforated board and join components with wire.
http://www.rapidonline.com/Tools-Equipment/Stripboard-29453/?sid=07bcda88-608d-45c8-a91d-aaa41afb3446

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Higgs Boson (author)rickharris2011-12-12

so for the resist pens you would basically just draw the circuit onto the pcb and then place the board in ferric chloride, for a period of time, drill the holes and it should work?

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rickharris (author)Higgs Boson2011-12-12

Correct - it woks as long as you cct isn't too complicated/detailed.

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Libahunt (author)rickharris2011-12-12

I was wondering, does the time between printing/photocopying and ironing to PCB play a role? If one can get a photocopy somewhere far from home, is the toner still able to stick to PCB after hours (or days)?

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rickharris (author)Libahunt2011-12-12

As far as I know your OK - The toner is heat sensitive and will never "set"

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rickharris (author)rickharris2011-12-12

Oh and you can go the old way and print your design onto acetate sheet with an ink jet and then use a light box (or sun light) to transfer to sensitive PCB material.

Develop and etch.

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transistorguy (author)2011-12-11

Yes. There is in fact! I've never done it myself, but its something I've been meaing to try. Take a look at this and see if it helps!

http://www.solarbotics.net/library/techniques/buildpcb.html

Best of luck!

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user

Basically what it describes is how to make PC boards chemically. All you would need to do then is just solder on the components.

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