Prototyping Tutorial PCB Development




In this tutorial you will learn how to etch a single-sided printed circuit board


a single sided PCB, I have used the type FR4

a light box

positive developer

hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)

hydrochloric acid

tracing paper

safety glasses


non-metalic reservoir


Step 1: Draw the Circuit

To draw your circuit you can do it in any program you want

Print it out on tracing paper with a laser printer

Be sure you printed mirrored, not like the foto

Step 2: Cutting the PCB

Cut the PCB to your dimensions.

You can cut it with guillotine cutter for paper or steel

Step 3: Illuminate

Pull the tray out and then open it

Remove the blue protective layer of the PCB

Put the print with the printed side against the copper side of the PCB

Put this against the lower glass plate

Closed it

Turn on the machine

Turn the vacuum pump on and let these go up to 0.5 bar

If this is reached, slide the tray back and turn the lights on

Put the timer on 3 min

Step 4: Removing the Light Resistant Layer

To remove the light resistant layer:

Pour the positive developer in a reservoir

If the timer of the lightbox is 0, remove the pcb and put it for 1 min in the developer

Rinse the PCB thoroughly with water, until all the developer is disappeared.

Make sure you put on the gloves because the developer will irritated skin

Step 5: Etching the PCB

Make sure you have the gloves and safety glasses on and make sure the room is ventilated

Pour 50 ml of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in a non-metalic reservoir and then do only 100 ml of hydrochloric acid in

Add the developed PCB in the acid bath.

The copper between the circuit must disappear completely. see movie 1 and 2

Move the container gently

This takes about 5 min.

If all the copper is off then rinse with water and dry.

Step 6: Drilling and Soldering

Now you can drill the holes for the components and then soldering

Step 7: Result

Now you see way you have to mirror the circuit that you drawed otherwise you 'll have a mirrored PCB

Like the foto



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    17 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Is this a tutorial for people that already know how to make PCBs? There are too many unexplained items in this! What is that machine? A little more help, please.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Where can you get concentrated Hydrogen Peroxide? I've seen yours is 33%, the one I normally use is only 3%, and it normally takes half an hour to completely etch the circuit.

    4 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Try your local pool supply. It is Baquacil algecide #2. It is about $15/gallon. Don't get it on your hands it burns your skin.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Check chemical supply shops. I've bought that several times for bleaching game skulls, so far had no issues buying and it's pretty cheap too.


    Reply 4 years ago

    Don't quote me on this, but perhaps boiling out the water to concentrate it further?

    For another way... simpler, no photographic element... see...

    Doesn't make such GOOD PCBs, but IS simpler! More "beginner friendly"

    john henry

    4 years ago on Introduction

    very nice.
    wish i had this as a guide in my high school tech class.
    i had a few problems making boards because no one seemed to know what they were doing exactly.
    the teacher had no real method beside thin tape and tossing it in a bucket of etching solution.
    which made things turn out less than desired.
    you would cry if you seen some of the unorganized lines on some of the other students pcbs..
    i actually still have one of them for parts. i can post a picture of it on here as an example of what not to do. lol

    2 replies
    john henrytisaconundrum

    Reply 4 years ago

    man... it appears i tossed out the one the other student did that looked terrible but i found one online that looked similar, but not as bad. the lines looked line this but had breaks in it due to the poor etching processes.
    ---> <---
    the curved lines just look so unclean and done with so little care. lol

    these other two are mine from 2009 they were from a dot matrix business card instructable i seen.
    i made the lines too close together and had to separate them with and exacto knife.
    this was using the thin tape and permanent marker and tossing it in a bucket of etching solution. you can still see the tape on one of them which was to keep the jumper leads from touching the lines underneath.
    one was scaled up too much and needed a adapter and just looks terrible. lol
    one was made my first year in the class and the other the second year. neither of them worked really.. i couldn't get the pic kit 2 programmer to cooperate right.
    the teacher was awesome but it would of been better to have been taught better methods of doing things.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Attention: You forget make mirror at layout before printing.

    So final result is reverse.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    People from Germany speak German, they don't speek Dutch. Only people from The Netherlands, Belgium speak Dutch and in South Africa they Speak Afrikaans (sort of Dutch).

    My 2 (euro)cents (from Belgium)


    4 years ago on Introduction

    How you get rid of the acid/copper solution after you have completed the board?


    4 years ago on Introduction

    33% hydrogen peroxide is extremely dangerous. It should not be used by anyone without the proper training, protective gear and laboratory setting. It is caustic, explosive, neurotoxic, can burn the lungs, affect the cardiovascular system and blood. Look up any MSDS on concentrated hydrogen peroxide. Here is one


    4 years ago

    That looks nice.