Here you can find my popular PCB Design Tutorial, freely distributable for educational and private use.
Learn a few Tricks PCB Design Tutorial is not tied to using one particular software PCB package, so it is suitable for whatever package you happen to use. It is aimed at the beginner through to intermediate PCB designers. Experienced PCB designers may even learn a few tricks and some good design practices they didn’t know they should be following.PCB Design Tutorial
Here I’m going to show how to make simple single-sided PCBs in a snap, using widely available materials.
I use the toner transfer method of making PCB’s (printed circuit boards) much like many others.PCB Design Tutorial The basic idea is to use a glossy paper, print the PCB design on the paper using a laser printer, and to use a hot iron to transfer the toner to the copper.PCB Design Tutorial I use the glossy paper that they have behind the counter at Kinko’s. Go to Kinko’s and ask for some sheets of their glossy laser paper, which is really cheap (about 5 cents a sheet). Some people advocate using glossy inkjet photo paper, but I think this is a waste and the cheap glossy laser paper comes off easier.
PCB Design Tutorial
Anyway, once you have your design and paper, you will need to print the design. The key here is to mirror the top layer so that it will come out correct once transferred to the copper board. It can also help to include alignment marks (the T shaped things in the pic) beyond the edge of your PCB to help you align the two layers.
Laser printers and photocopiers use plastic toner, not ink, to draw images. Toner is the black powder that ends up on your clothes and desk when replacing the printer cartridge. Being plastics, toner is resistant to etching solutions used for making PCBs – if only you could get it on copper!PCB Design Tutorial
Modifying a printer for working with copper is out of question, but you can work around it with the toner-transfer principle. Like most plastics, toner melts with heat, turning in a sticky, glue-like paste. So why not print on paper as usual, place the sheet face-down on PCB copper, and melt toner on copper applying heat and pressure?
Almost right. Right now you got paper toner-glued to PCB copper. Last step is to find a way to remove paper leaving toner on the copper, and you’re done.
you can easily remove the paper support with water: the gloss dissolves and you can remove paper.
I discard pages heavily printed, preferring pages with normal-size text on white background. Although ink usually does not transfer on the PCB, heavy print of headlines sometimes accumulate so much ink that some gets on copper.
Cut the paper to a size suitable for your printer. Try to get straight, clean cuts, as jagged borders and paper dust are more prone to clog printer mechanism. An office cutter is ideal, but also a blade-cutter and a steady hand work well.
Be careful to remove all staples, bindings, gadget glue or similar stuff, as they can damage printer’s drum and mechanisms.
To remove oxide from copper surface, I use the abrasive spongy scrubs sold for kitchen cleaning. It’s cheaper than ultra-fine sandpaper and reusable many times. Metallic wool sold for kitchen cleaning purposes also works. PCB Design TutorialThoroughly scrub copper surface until really shiny. Rinse and dry with a clean cloth or kitchen paper.
Position the PCB printout over the copper surface, toner down, and align paper and board corners, preheat copper surface placing the iron on top of it for 30 seconds.PCB Design Tutorial
you can use the one that suits your taste. I use ferric chloride (the brown stuff): it’s cheap, can be reused many times, and doesn’t require heating. Actually, moderate heating can speed up etching, but I find it reasonably fast also at room temperature (10…15 minutes).
Rinse the board with water.
PCB Design Tutorial