How-to Etch/Print Your Own PCB

Parts Required

Iron
Scourer
Masking tape
Copper clad board
Plastic container for etching (old paint tray)
Laser printer
An old magazine
Ferric chloride solution (etchant)
ExpressPCB

This how-to is how I've etched my PCBs, you can follow this how-to at your own risk i take no responsibility.

Etching Process

1. Using ExpressPCB design your board and print it on some glossy magazine paper, it's best to use a text section rather than an image section to help the toner stick.

Note: Magazine paper will not absorb the toner thus allowing it to be transferred to the copper clad board using an iron.

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2. Using a scourer remove any dirt and grease from the copper clad board, rinse under the tap and dry with kitchen towel.

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3. Fold some masking tape to stick the cleaned copper clad board to a wood board.

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4. Align your print and stick it on one side with masking tape then fold it back.

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5. Heat up the copper clad board with an iron for approx. 2 mins, ensure it's on it's highest setting and that steam is turned off.

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6. Flip over the print onto the copper clad board and continue to heat with the iron for a further 1 - 2 mins.

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7. Allow everything to cool.

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8. Drop the board and print in to a bowl of water and allow to soak for a few minutes.

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9. Carefully peel/rub off the paper, take your time it's worth it. Any missing print touch up with a permanent pen. if there is a lot missing scrub off with a scourer and start again.

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10. Cut out the board ready for etching

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11. Pour the Ferric Chloride into a non-metallic tray (i used a paint roller tray) and drop in the printed copper clad board.

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12. Keep the fluid moving to help with the etching process (this may take a while)

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13. When etched remove the PCB from the etching solution and rinse thoroughly in water.

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14. Drill holes with a 1mm drill then sand the edges and round the corners.

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15. Carefully remove the toner from the PCB using a scourer and your PCB is finished.

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END OF PROCESS
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