96Views5Replies

Author Options:

Circuit board etching traces? Answered

I want to learn how to etch my own circuit boards but I'm not sure what to use for marking the traces. I've heard about using a sharpie maker, which sounds pretty easy, but does it really work? To me it seems like it would come off from the acid.

Discussions

0
None
mpilchfamily

Best Answer 4 years ago

Yes it works. It's a permanent marker. The etching fluid reacts with copper not the marker. You'll need rubbing achohal to remove the marker when your done. Look up the many etching instructables on the site.

0
None
Arya42mpilchfamily

Answer 4 years ago

Thank you for your help. It seems a lot easier since I don't have a laser printer.

0
None
mpilchfamilyArya42

Answer 4 years ago

Radio Shack sells a PCB etching kit that comes with stencils. You lay the part of the stencil you want to use and scratch the back of the sheet to transfer it over. Any gaps can be filled with a permanent marker.

You can also buy kits that come with special photo resistant coated copper clad boards or the film that you can put on the board. Then you can print a transparency of your layout on any printer. Make sure you have everything black except the traces. Then in a dark room environment lay the transparency over the board then expose the board to UV light. Everything that is exposed to the light will turn dark and won't get etched off. You'll want to print multiple transparencies. There will always be flaws in the print. Combining multiple sheets will help to minimize that issue. Of course you can touch up any spots on the sheet with a marker.

0
None
Arya42mpilchfamily

Answer 4 years ago

I think I'll try freehand drawing with a sharpie and the etching solution Radioshack sells and see how that goes. I want to make a surface-mount board and I think the stencils are a little big.

0
None
mpilchfamilyArya42

Answer 4 years ago

Actually the stencils in the kit are a bit small for most surface mount components. They are designed for you typical through hole components.