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Author Topic: PCB etching...  (Read 6971 times)


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PCB etching...
« on: March 03, 2011, 10:15:28 PM »

Well, I'm finally going to try my hand at etching my own PCb's.  I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on what type of blanks to buy.  I've seen all different thicknesses, copper ounce weight, and board material.  Anyone have any experience?  Seems like the most common is .60, 1/2 to 1 oz.  Any suggestions would be fabulous!

Thanks all...   Brian
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Re: PCB etching...
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2011, 10:13:30 PM »

wow i had to register to stop you before you spend a ton of cash on this.

etching is fun, don't get me wrong but be warned its extremely hard to get good quality etching at home.  The absolute best method i can tell you that I've found that works is you use a laser printer to print the etch template onto transparency paper.  Then use a t-shirt press to transfer the template onto the PCB blank.  This works the best out of over a dozen ways I've tried when etching PCBs.  I've discovered over time, mainly from my last project, that it's actually cheaper in the long run to have the PCB professionally printed.  The difference is they actually print the transfer directly onto the copper plate.  The only solution for the home brew PCB etching here is to find someone with a flatbed toner based printer.

PS, i had a guy at a sign shop print one on his flatbed transfer printer and the inks used on vinyl and acrylic are solvent based and don't work well with etching.

best of luck

Hak Foo

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Re: PCB etching...
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2011, 11:20:51 PM »

I think in the past (this was like 1970s articles on how to make etched-brass parts for models) they made a photo-sensitive stock.

The sheet was covered in a resistance agent, and you exposed it to light (using a film enlarger, if you can find one these days) to chemically change the resistance agent to make it stick well.

Then you acid-bathed the whole sheet and it ate the metal sheet away where you didn't expose the resistance agent.


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Re: PCB etching...
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2011, 04:15:31 PM »

I've seen a fair share of Instructables on this topic.  Most that I've seen involved printing your design with a laser printer on to photo paper, ironing the image from the photo paper onto the copper side of the PCB, and then soaking the PCB in muriatic acid till the part w/o toner on it dissolves off.

Link this one:
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Re: PCB etching...
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2011, 05:31:33 PM »

I've never really looked much into thickness and copper weight but I've had some success with those sold in the shack.  I did however use the sharpie method since my circuits was just simple ones that didn't need to look pretty.  Sharpie your traces and then dip etch in ferric chloride.  Although ferric chloride is not a good choice if you're trying to go green, no pun intended :P.
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