I've been making these Boards for a living for quite some years, it suddenly occurred to me that If we want to be successful in the manufacture of these boards, master the craft, and make money using these knowledge, the most convenient thing to do, is to share these methods that each of us have synthesize and generate a viable solution for each one, and thus achieve an efficient manufacturing method.
Up Next I will give a series of steps that if we apply the necessary and required tools we can achieve a great job
The whole process:
Step 1: Materials
1.- Fiberboard PCB, 1 face
2.- Glace paper, letter size 150 Gr
3.- All Purpose Snips (Metal Cutter)
4.- Regular Scissors
5.- Sandpaper of 280 and 300
6.- Clothes iron (Do not use steam)
7.- Laser or Toner Printer
8.- Drill bits 1/32, 1/16, 3/64
9.- Dremel with base
10.- Fine marker
11.- Acid for pcb
13.- Pin or scalpel
14.- PLEASE DO NOT USE THE NAILS
15.- Rubber Gloves
Step 2: Print and Cut Your Design
First of all we plug our iron and set it to the higest temperature
then we take our glasse paper, preferably white and print the design on it with a laser printer!
you can use any program you want
I recomend EAGLE
After we print our design we cut arround it leaving a tiny space like 4 mm away from the border of the design.
Now we draw the shape on the pcb board using the picture we just cut
then usig a saw or the All Purpose Snips (Metal Cutter) we cut fallowing the figure we draw.
Now, it is very important to SAND the piece until it gets a rugged surface
this helps the toner to adhere.
then we take our cutted desingn and place it over the sanded pcb, the toner facing the copper of the board.
Step 3: Three Stages of the Pcb, Iron the Paper and Wather
This is the hardest part of all the process
We need a surface easy to grab, like an old notebook or book, to iron the piece on it
The water (Fresh themperature) must be close to the ironing
we are going to iron the paper on the pcb using the tip to carve the corners of the pcb piece
then the toner will heat up and adhere to the copper(Sublimation)
Do this for at least 3-4 minutes
be careful, the piece will get hotter... and hotter.
if the piece is smaller than the iron you can leave the iron over the pcb applying a little pressure.
otherwise, if the piece is bigger, you must keep carving it, dont leaving any part to get cold, becouse
THE TONER EXPAND IF IT GETS COLD SLOWLY!!
when the time passes and it looks that the toner is completly adhered to the coper,
take the piece and toss it in to the water, FAST!
HERE IS THE MAGIC
if all went well, you can remove the paper from the pcb, please do not use your nails,
if some paper remain adhered to the copper, use some damp paper that you already remove to carve it,
Step 4: Acid
Pour some PCB acid on a container
then drop the piece of pcb in it
this time depends of many variables:
The acid is new
The acid is good quality
The acid is hot (i dont recomend this)
you can use a translucid container to iluminate it from the bottom and see if its ready to pull it out.
you can mount your station if you plan to produce many boards.
ALWAYS USE THE GOGGLES AND GLOVES IN THIS STEP!!!!
Wen you pull it out, wash it with the same water you used to cool it
you can remove the toner with acetone or sand it (230)!
Step 5: Drill
This part of the craft, is easy if you have a workstation,
Practice with a scrap piece.
I recommend to drill all the holes with a 1/30 drill bit
then you use a bigger one bit to finish the job
Step 6: Paint Your Desingn, Learn, Create Expand!
Make your creations a brand, paint it the color you want, with spray paint.
I´ve been working with this since 2007, i'm a maker, a colaborator, a friend .
Thankyou for reading
Actions are words in movement!
create your words!
Step 7: Video Tutorial
the easiest way to explain it
Step 8: If You Have Another Method Share It
I've been doing this for a while now(10 years), but from 2 years from now i use it only for Small circuits.
i've learned that any method, any software is cool to use!
Find out what you want, what you need and what you have...
This is chemical reaction, just 1, and i rather use one reaction, just ONE!
I also used the press and peel method,the milling method (No Chemical), the marker method, its all cool...
he UV method the most precise method:
I love this one, its precise and professional, i've made an automated system of this (TOP SECRET XD), but you need too many materials, UV LEDS (i've made a set of it using this method Check the pictures), which is delicate, especially if you have small children running arround, for the acetone, and the POSITIVE DEVELOPER, its complicated with the pcb acid already imagine with 3 chemicals, (my opinion). It is the best one but that's your decision.
But from now on i just contract a specialiced service for bigger boards.