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Printed circuit bards Answered

I was wondering if I can print my circuit design onto acetate and use it to expose my circuit board. Would that work? If not what could I do instead of of ording them for rediculous prices online?

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steveastrouk

7 years ago

It works. You need to buy/make a UV exposure unit to cook the boards in with the acetates, and then develop and etch the boards with the right chemicals.

I really wouldn't coat my own bareboard - its cheaper in the long run to buy presensitised board.

You'll need to max out the laser printer's contrast to get a good track. Also, print the artwork so that the toner is AGAINST the PCB, not on the otherside of the acetate - if you don't you just won't ever get clean lines on the board.

Steve

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pattyshaw

7 years ago

Well all the components for what I am doing are smds so tracing paper is for sure out and I don't have a laser printer but I do have an hp c309 Photosmart that is only a year or two old

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caitlinsdad

7 years ago

Easiest thing to use is those overhead-transparencies in a laser printer. You need the toner pigment to really block out the light source. Inkjet might not give you good results because of the thinner inks. Back in the day, using a sharpie marker and tracing paper worked. Good luck.

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gmooncaitlinsdad

Reply 7 years ago

It'll work with inkjet--I've used inkjet transparencies, but you need two layers sandwiched together. One layer alone doesn't have enough density.

I'm not sure if the resolution would be good enough for SMD components, but it's adequate for through-hole type stuff.

Laser transparencies might indeed work better. Also, pattyshaw--look into the "toner-transfer" method also, if you have access to a laser printer...