3d Printing Onto A Blank Copper Clad PC Board

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
7,594
Hi there,

Anyone try this yet?

I was thinking, if you print a 2d drawing of a circuit onto a blank copper clad pc board,i think the plastic would resist the acid bath that comes later. After the acid bath however, the plastic would have to be removed without hurting the remaining copper that makes up the thin (or thick) traces.

The main issues i think are:
1. How well of a seal does the plastic make with the copper board. It has to be water tight.
2. How hard is it to get the plastic OFF once the board has been etched.

I dont mind if it takes a little time to print out.

Any thoughts on this?
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
9,426
Simply printing with 2D and yellow ink has been shown to work. The yellow is fixed with heat, and mainly modified Epson printers were used. If you have an industrial inkjet, you can use water -resistant inks and they also work fine.

Can you get 8-mil or smaller tracks and other tiny features with affordable 3D printers? If not, using a 3D printer just because it also has water-resistant "ink" seems like an bad trade off for poorer resolution.
 

mcgyvr

Joined Oct 15, 2009
5,394
I don't think it will work very well or more importantly consistently..
The adhesion to the bed (or PCB laminate in your case) is pretty good when "hot" but as it cools that changes quite a bit..
It can be tricky to pop pieces up off a hot/warm bed but once it cools it usually gets MUCH easier...

But I think anyone that makes PCB's now a days is kind of crazy anyways.. ;)
I get all mine from itead.... But I have no problem waiting the 2 weeks to get my board done and they are "professional" quality not DIY non-plated through holes junk.. There are other services that can get them much quicker.. just at a higher price..
 

BobTPH

Joined Jun 5, 2013
2,392
I tried it using PLA and got it to stick using a glue stick but the resolution was not good enough to make it useful.

Others have used a Sharpie to draw the pattern, and it is on my projects lost to make a pen holder I can affix to the print head J-bracket, but have not done so yet.

Still others cover the whole board with a permanent marker then scratch it off with a sharp stylus.

I am determined to get something worrking for fast prototyping. Will post if I ever do.

Bob
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
7,594
Hello,


Hey thanks guys, some very very interesting points of view.

jpanhalt:
Yes that was another question i forgot to ask about, just how small of a trace would we be able to make. I think that has been answered too now.

mcgyvr:
I thought that making one off boards would be quick and easy but i guess now.
What is "itead"? Sounds interesting too.

BobTPH:
Oh ok i guess that says it all then. Resolution is important in board making, even for 0.1 inch standard pin spacing.


Overall:
So i guess this isnt a good idea at all then. I'd like to hear more about this "itead" though too.
 

mcgyvr

Joined Oct 15, 2009
5,394
mcgyvr:
I thought that making one off boards would be quick and easy but i guess now.
What is "itead"? Sounds interesting too.
https://www.itead.cc/open-pcb/pcb-prototyping.html
I have yet to find another company that can touch their pricing (for prototypes)..
And I know their quality is great as I have ordered from them multiple times and NEVER had a single problem (and I order thousands and thousands of PCB's from professional board houses for work of my own design so I'm no spring chicken to PCBs :) )
 
Top