Introduction: Laser Cut Circuit Boards

About: Hi, I'm Rich Olson ( I sell cloud chambers for viewing radiation, make robots and dev software. If you need something prototyped - I might be able to help.

Yes - you can make circuit boards on your 40-watt CO2 laser cutter without etching!

Quick summary (step-by-step / more details in video):
1. Attach .001" steel shim to cast acrylic sheet with mounting tape (leave paper backing on acrylic)
2. Cut out though-holes and board itself at 6.5 mm/s (2 passes)
3. Cut traces at 15 mm/s (2 passes)
4. Peel off non-trace segments from board surface (including tape and paper backing)
5. You have a circuit board!

Fast - can make a simple board in only a few minutes
No chemical etching needed
Boards can be any color acrylic comes in - including transparent!
Laser can be used to cut through-holes / cut the board out in any shape

Steel isn't a great conductor / may be an issue for some circuits
Boards are not as sturdy as etched ones
Traces limited to minimum of around 1/16" wide - not suitable for SMD
Soldering smaller (DIP) components can be a bit finicky

More details at

Instructables Design Competition

Participated in the
Instructables Design Competition

UP! Contest

Participated in the
UP! Contest