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how to do toner transfer for PCB? Answered

hello. what must i do, to do toner trnasfer, in order to print a circuit on a PCB? i mean the most straight way. what papepr should i use, and what kind of print?? thanks!!

5 Replies

Jetpack5 (author)2013-09-24

A laminator! That's a great idea!

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klee27x (author)2013-09-24

First off, you need to use the a laser printer with the right toner. In my experience, HP toner is usually excellent. Brother does not work. It melts at way too high a temp. I'm not sure about the others.

I've done hundreds of boards using all kinds of papers. Photo paper, regular paper, magazine paper, PnP transfer paper, and Pulsar dextrin coated paper. For me, it's totally worth the money to buy the Pulsar. Out of all the options, it's the most expensive. But it's still only 1.20- 1.50 per letter size sheet. Peanuts. A bad transfer wastes a lot of time and effort. Your time may not be worth so much, so YMMV.

I highly, highly recommend a laminator. They only cost $25-30 bucks. But be warned, the thickness of your boards can be an issue. If you run thick boards, you might have to modify the laminator to get them through.

I highly recommend you prep the board prior to transfer. Scrub the board with stainless steel wool and dishsoap. Then rinse it. Then dunk it in etchant for 5-10 seconds. Then rinse it in water and dry it off.

Also be careful when you put a copper board into a laminator. You must make sure it is completely dry, or you can get shocked.

I suggest you run the board through the laminator once, to preheat it. Then put the transfer paper over it and run it through again to tack the transfer down. Then run it through one more time with a heat gun blowing over it.

You will find out how much hot air you can safely add without smearing. This will vary depending on your laminator, toner, and board size. As long as it's not smearing, then you're good. Too little heat, and your transfer might look good, but parts can randomly fall off before the etch is done.

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Jetpack5 (author)2013-09-23

Not being a circuits guy I haven't tried to use it to make a circuit, but I have had success transferring toner from plain copy paper. Probably vellum will work well also.

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mpilchfamily (author)2013-09-20

You can get special paper for it or just use transparency sheets. Often high gloss photo paper will work too. I've even seen people use glossy pages from magazines but often the quality of the transfer isn't all that great.

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