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Get into PCB creation? Answered

Well I just realized over the past few weeks that I really need to start getting onto the PCB bandwagon and start manufacturing my own stuff... 
So... I need materials and instructions on how to make my own PCBs... I have copper boards already (sourcing them is not a problem...), and i am pretty good at designing boards in EAGLE (I find it fun), but I need a method of etching them.... I have tried many toner methods and they never work how I like, I always get some pretty big mistakes and etching them sucks... 

I have heard of photo resist methods, and it sounds wonderful because it has a pretty good accuracy and can go down to some pretty fine wiring... My only problem is that you have to get presensitized boards (Expensive!), as well as other chemicals...

As for etching, I think I am fine, I have used a vinegar/salt/something combo and it works pretty well, just takes a while to etch.. I have some muratic acid but that stuff is nasty so I have never really tried that..

Anybody have any non-toner PCB creation process that is pretty inexpensive? (I am in high school and have a limited budget already...)



Best Answer 6 years ago

We use the cupric chloride method now, and it works a treat for us.

We use a bubble -etching tank which means that you don't have ANY moving parts in the etchant - all you have is a bar, punctured with lots of little holes at the bottom of the tank, and an aquarium pump on the outside

Photo resist is by far and away the cheapest system, when you take into account failure. The developer is usually a solution of washing soda - not terribly caustic or toxic.


Answer 6 years ago

I'm not looking so much as to etching (I use a vinegar/salt solution and it works great [albeit a bit slowly] and is not caustic... My problem is not so much etching as it is getting the traces on the board. I have tried many different toner transfer methods and they never work as expected and I get really varied results. I think I have found a method for me though, is to use dry negative photoresist sheets and developer so I can do photoresist boards using pcb I already have.... My only problem with that is creating a 2 sided board... that might be pretty difficult.