diy double sided pcb/circuit board etching
I \'ve been using various methods for the past few months and have solved this and I \'ve found this to be the most reliable way to get both sides lined up.
What you need is copper. Clad BoardIso-N-alcohol (
If you have one)
Iron acetone (
Remove nail polish)Rotary Tool (Dremel etc)
Laser printerronscissorrubbing rub PadsSand paper-plastic or glass contains a journal of wear and tear, asking about most of this stuff you should lie around or can borrow from friends/work.
Copper wrap plates, alcohol and liquid tin are easy to pick up from mappers or fast.
You can design your PCB with whatever you want.
A lot of people use EAGLE, but I prefer to use it in Adobe Illustrator.
These tips will still help no matter what you use.
If you are designing a dual panel, you will want to have a few holes somewhere that can be used to align the sides.
I usually add a centimeter to the edge and put a small hole in each corner (
This also provides space for a little bit of error when etching).
You will want to flip/mirror the front image so that it is the right way when you transfer it to copper.
If you do the back, as you have been watching, then you don\'t have to flip that side.
In my opinion, the most important thing is to black out all the blank areas.
When you iron it onto copper, the black area sticks to the board, making it easier to iron and more difficult to tear/crease.
Once your design is complete, do a test print on normal paper and check that everything is OK, then when you are ready to feed out and print out a page of the warranty paper via a laser printer (
I think the thin paper is the best).
Before using paperback, I usually print out a test page on normal paper to check that everything is OK.
Then I use this to cut the shape of the raw plate.
Secure the paper in place using masking tape, and then cut the paper out using a rotary tool and a cutting disc attachment.
It should make the work of the fiber board easy, just make sure you keep the disk as vertical and straight as possible.
Next, you need to be prepared to move the board.
You can do this in a lot of ways, but I prefer to clean quickly with a washing liquid and then remove the top layer with very fine sandpaper, rinse it with a cold tap and then scrub the sponge and some alcohol with a piece, and I give it the last check before flushing it again and drying it with a clean towel.
The purpose is to have a smooth, flawless surface without grease (
Watch out for those fingers! )
Now you have to transfer the toner on the magazine paper to the copper plate.
Make sure your copper plate is as clean as possible, don\'t handle too much, also make sure your iron is as hot as possible, but turn off the steam function.
I started etching one side at a time because I thought it would be easier to align the two sides.
So, start by putting the cut in the magazine down on the copper and grab one side (with a towel)
Start pressing the iron hard.
Once the paper begins to stick to the copper, you can iron it outward from that place until it is all sticky.
I like to spend about 15 minutes on this and make sure it\'s completely stuck.
Once you\'re happy that it\'s not moving/creases etc, press hard and rub with the tip to make sure it\'s there.
This may take some practice in order to get it done, so there are a lot of pages to print.
If it doesn\'t work, take the acetone out, wipe it off and start over.
Once you think it\'s done (
You can usually see the design through the paper)
Soak it in a bowl of cold water for a minute or two.
Then start rubbing the paper gently until it starts to fall off.
I don\'t like to peel it off because I think the friction is better.
If you are doing a double panel, now is the time to drill four alignment holes with 0.
8mm bit so you can align the other side after.
Check all the marks carefully before starting etching to make sure everything is OK.
If not, you can always fill in the missing content using the Sharpie marker.
Also, if you\'re doing a double panel, take some brown box tape and cover the back (
Make sure you cover the alignment holes in front too).
This will prevent the iron chloride from approaching the drill bit you don\'t want to etching yet.
Now is the time for etching;
Buy you iron chloride balls and mix with hot water in etching tray/glass tray.
Place the plate face up in the solution, shake the tray back and forth, and always keep the liquid moving at the top.
It may take a while, depending on your mixture, but you can know when the copper is completely eroded and you can see the fiberglass below.
After completion, take it out and clean it under cold water.
You can leave the solution to the other party later.
It could be a bad job if you don\'t have acetone, so I really suggest you go to the local pharmacy (
Boots will do it in the UK)
Get some nail polish!
Just remove the brown tape from the blackboard and get it with the abrassive pad and acetone and you should get it off in a minute or two!
This side is done, and if you want to do the other side, you need to clean your back like stage 2, then pierce the drawing with a pin or drill, and guide it in place using the alignment hole.
Make this side exactly the same as the third phase and don\'t forget to cover the side that has been etched with brown tape (
And align holes)
Then start the etching process for Phase 4 again.
Once you remove the tape and toner from the back, you will get a nice double sided PCB.
But it\'s not finished yet. . . Nearly There! ! !
You need to drill all the holes on the board now.
I would recommend buying a bit attachment for your dremel to do this, though I\'m sure you can do this with a steady hand and a little patience.
I drilled all the LED/cable holes with 0.
Screw holes for 8mm bit and M3 bit.
Then, using the cutting disc, I cut the plate into shape and finish the bent bit with a tubular sanding bit.
Into the final stage, we need to clean up the boards that are ready for coloring (
When stopping the oxidation of copper over time, make it look silver).
I use fine sand paper again and finish it with grinding pads and alcohol.
Fill your tray with enough liquid tin, cover the board, and then shake gently back and forth.
You should see the copper start turning silver immediately, but give it a few minutes to finish before cleaning the whole thing under the cold tap. FINISHED!
You may need some experiments to correct it or come up with your own way to make PCBs, but it\'s not hard at all!
I \'ve never thought about making my own motherboard before, but now it makes it actually possible for my controller project to complete!
Now all you need to do is weld your part and connect it to any project you are working on. Good Luck!