HOW TO – Use a laser to etch PCBs (printed circuit boards)
We’re working on some new and exciting electronic kits, part of the process of testing these kits is to do a quick prototype PCB (printed circuit board). At the usual method is to use a laser print and transfer the image, then using etchant remove the unneeded copper. It’s not exactly precise unless you’re really good – so I thought it might be fun to try using a laser cutter.
We sprayed the copper board with black spray paint and then the laser simply removed the black portions away by burning it off.
The results were “ok” – in fact, it worked and the board worked – but we’re still going to experiment more. The black spray paint isn’t ideal and we’re going to seek out some type of brass marking spray or something (anyone have some ideas?). Regardless, after a quick web search this appears to be the first attempt – there’s also photo resist with a laser we might try, but that’s for another day.
Here are some photos of our experiment in fablabing – Link.
- HOW TO – Direct to PCB ink jet resist printing – Link.
- PCB making – Link.
- HOW TO – Make PCB’s with a laser printer – Link.
- PCB creation process – Link.
- HOW TO – Build a PCB router – Link.
- HOW TO – Photo etch circuit boards – Link.
- DIY Ultraviolet light source for PCB exposure – Link.
- HOW TO – Create your own PCB’s – Link.
- PCB Creation – Printed Circuit Boards for the Masses – Link.
From the pages of MAKE:
Printed Circuit Boards. Step-by-step instructions for making your own PCBs at home. MAKE 02 – Page 164. Subscribers– read this article now in your digital edition or get MAKE 02.
More: continued here