How to Make PCB Using Marker




Introduction: How to Make PCB Using Marker

About: HI! I am Junez Riyaz, currently doing Bachelor of Technology in the field of Electronics and Communication Engineering. I am much interested in inventing something new yet from my childhood. In my leisure ti...

A printed circuit board (PCB) mechanically supports and electrically connects electronic components using conductive tracks, pads and other features etched from copper sheets laminated onto a non-conductive substrate. Components – capacitors, resistors or active devices – are generally soldered on the PCB.

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Now I am going to instruct how to make a PCB using permanent marker.

Get Started..

Step 1: Components Required

Copper Clad [ Banggood ]

Ferric Chloride Powder [ ebay or amazon ]


PCB drill [Banggood]

Permanent Marker [Banggood]

Step 2: Cleaning Copper Clad

Scrub the copper clad with scrubber until it becomes shines.

Draw the layout of the circuit on the copper clad .

Step 3: Etching the PCB

Add sufficient amount of ferric chloride powder to the water and stir it well to make ferric chloride solution for PCB etching.

Place the copper clad in the solution such that layout facing upward and wait for few minutes until etching is completed.

Step 4: Cleaning Marker Traces

After the etching is completed , place the PCB in water and clean it .

Clean the permanent marker traces by using nail polish remover or petrol.

Step 5: Drilling the PCB

Place the PCB on support for raising some height from the table surface, Use PCB hand drill or electrical pcb drill to make holes into the PCB.

Step 6: PCB Making Video

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Feel free to comment.

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    25 Discussions

    Thank you for a really great instructible that took me back to my youth (I was etching using Ferric Chloride in 1967...). I agree withthe comments about being very careful with ferric chloride, my hobby space was in the attic and one day i had seepage from my etching tank and turned a patch of the ceiling in the bedroom down-stairs brown! Oops! Relegated to the outside shed for etching from then onwards! Thanks for a great instructible - voted.


    1 year ago

    Placing the PCB upside down in the etchant will create cleaner etched edges on the traces as well as decrease the etching time. A gentle rock of the container helps too. Occasionally check progress to prevent over etching.

    1 reply

    yes, i forgot to add in instructable

    If you cover blank areas with tape or big fat marker, you will use less ferric chloride. Connect them all and you'll have a nice ground plane for better shielding.

    I would not recommend using petrol (gasoline) as a solvent. There are so many solvents out there including isop. alcohol, paint thinner, xylol etc. that aren't as combustible as Gasoline.

    1 reply

    Ferric Chloride is nasty stuff AND it stains whatever it touches poop brown --- hands, shirts, jeans ...

    Much better etchant AND locally available is swimming pool muriatic acid from the home improvement store. Mix it 2 parts water to one part muriatic acid. Throw in about 5% by volume hydrogen peroxide if you want to etch faster.

    Alcohol is the recommended solvent for magic marker. Don't use the tequila afterwards in a margarita!!


    1 year ago

    Can I use just a regular Sharpie for drawing out the template?

    2 replies

    I have used Sharpies to do this for years. Made my first board about 1976 using a sharpie and etching solution from Radio Shack (you know, that place where we used to be able to get parts and supplies before the days of cell phones and computers!!??!!). STILL make custom boards that way when I just need it for my own projects.

    You should test it first. Even some permanent markers get dissolved by the etching agent.

    Really a great and very helpful instructable. I am going to use this in all my projects from now on. Thanks!

    1 reply

    I used an ordinary Sharpie to make my first ever circuit board but, I
    used the Muriatic acid (pool supplies, Wal-Mart, etc) and hydrogen peroxide
    (any pharmacy, dollar store, etc) etchant. It worked fantasically well, much better than I
    expected. I was going to use Fritzing but actually ended up doing freehand pads and traces

    Excellent project. That is by far the simplest method I've seen. Is there a good open-source (free) program available for the circuit layouts? Well done.

    3 replies

    I use KiCad as it is triple platform,

    windoze, mac, and linux.

    Its free, but it has idiosyncrasies to get used to.

    Re. doing own etching,

    Seeed Studio Fusion PCB service is way cheap and very good.

    I highly recommend them.

    I like this. I remember decades ago, we would do this with electrical tape to mark the traces.The edges would often be a little rough & irregular due to tape coming away at the edges. This is much neater. Though, like florinJ says sometimes the marker ink can be dissolved.