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I need some PCB help Answered

I'm trying to help a friend make a PCB for a project of his, but I've never made one myself. Using westfw's design rules in Eagle Free Edition, the board is riddled with jumpers, but there are only three with the default-width traces. I ask you, O wise Instructables community, what should I do?

We were going to use the iron-on laser printer resist method, but that won't work if it is too sloppy to make thin traces. How thin can the traces be made with this method for a beginner? We also are considering using this film, in hopes that it will be a little easier to use...does anyone have experience with it?

The other option that comes to mind is transferring everything to ExpressPCB instead of Eagle, in an attempt to make a bigger board that could use bigger traces.


I made 10mil-width with the laserprinter and a good transferpaper.
I bought the paper @ Aliexpress for a 100-pack. (http://www.aliexpress.com/item/100-Sheets-A4-Laser-Toner-Transfer-Paper-for-Heat-Iron-PCB-Prototype/656710279.html)
The ironing-process may need some getting used to and the chemicals i used were the good old CuCl2 + HCl

I would always recommend you EAGLE's online PCB tutorials and traning in the first place.
Many problems i had with PCB were solved here.



9 years ago

You don't have to follow my "design rules" exactly; the key is to make everything bigger than the default. If you're mostly using the autorouter, either start with the big design rules and slowly make things smaller till the number of jumpers becomes "reasonable", or start with the defaults and make things bigger till the number of jumpers is as high as you're willing to deal with. (perhaps moving .1mm at a time?) IIRC, the design rules I published in that instructable won't allow traces between IC pins, which makes a big difference. And you usually CAN get away with that, and if it's your main area of close tolerances, it's a pretty easy area to "edit" after the board is etched...

are you using autorout? Autoroute never works for me, always gets bad jumpers, so I do everything manually. Trace width... hmm... I guess the minimum for toner transfer is like half a millimeter if it's a really good transfer. 1mm should be you minimum, though. Also, I found that the cheapest glossy "staples" brand paper works the best. Film, as in a transparency? They transfer ok, but when you peel the film off it takes some of the toner with it. Glossy Paper is better.

i hear that stuff works great, I bet you could get traces down to half a mm with that, but I've never actually used the stuff. I've gotten down to .5mm with paper, and that stuff can only be better, right?

oh, one more thing, don't flip the circuit board image when you print, if you print it normal: it flips when you iron it on the board, and since you are probably soldering through hole, you solder from the other side, hence another flip getting you the correct image

This comment is a combination of "thanks for the advice" and "bump".