DIY PCB Advice (Toner transfer method)

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by dolomite dave, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. dolomite dave

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 13, 2009

    I am trying to make PCB's using the toner transfer method, I am using glossy photo paper. This works as i transfered a test design onto a pcb using an iron. The problem i had with the iron was not getting it even enough.

    So i tried using a laminator to get the heat even. I am using a laminator that i know others have had success with, i put the board through it 8 times and the result was terrible. It turned out blank, no toner was transferred on to the PCB at all?.

    Does any one have any advice for me?

  2. MagicMatt


    Sep 30, 2013
    I've not done this with PCBs, but I've done similar to what you're doing, transferring toner designs onto wooden boards. Your problem will be lack of enough heat, and the type of paper. An iron gets much hotter, so it sounds like the type of glossy paper you're using needs a LOT of heat to release the toner. With the boards, I had more success with cheap photo paper rather than good quality stuff - it released toner easier. Also, crank the laminater right up full, and if there's a speed control, slow it down. I don't know if that will be the case transferring to a PCB, but maybe worth a shot?
  3. ronv

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 12, 2008
    You can search toner transfer on this site to get lots of advice. I've never had real good luck with it but here are some things I have found to help.
    Like you, I started thinking photo paper would be best, but glossy magazine paper actually works better. It's thin and breaks down easily. Use a printed page without dark pictures. You may need to tape it to a regular sheet of paper to get it to run thru the printer.
    Use a setting that uses the most toner (dark and high contrast)
    Good old HP printers seem to work best.
    The board needs to be clean, clean , clean and no burrs around the edges.
    I usually use scotch brite and ajax followed by alcohol.
    Sometimes it helps to preheat the board in the oven before applying the paper and running it thru the laminator.
  4. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008