Suggestions for PCB manufacturing at home

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by thumb2, Oct 17, 2015.

  1. thumb2

    Thread Starter Member

    Oct 4, 2015
    Hi all,

    I would need to prototype PCBs at home. I already have an actinic light contact copier machine I built by my self, but I need some suggestions about the photolith film and what kind of ink is better to use. Probably laser print is the best choise ?

    If I am not wrong, there are various type of photolith film. If so, what is the best choice ?
    And what about ink or laser ?

    I am also looking for a printer which I would use to print the circuits on the photolith film, that I could use with Linux OS.
    Do you have some printer to suggest ?

    Thank you.
  2. recklessrog

    Well-Known Member

    May 23, 2013
    Just an observation from my own personal experience, unless you really enjoy making production quantities of P.C.B's, it is far better (less hassle, cost, lower failure rate etc) to farm it out to a proffessional company who are doing it all the time. There are many who will take you through the whole process from prototype to small and large scale production at less cost than might be anticipated.
    I designed an ignition timing advance device for a certain motorcycle and received over 1000 orders so I tried to do it at home but soon found that the time and effort was simply not worth it. I contacted a small pcb manufacturer who produced the 1000 in a week at a cost of a tenth that i could have done it for.
    If you are only going to prototype, there are some very good articles if you google the subject. I made a simple UV light source using insect killer tubes, and a cheap brother laser printer. But, you don't even need a UV light source if you print onto paper with a laser printer then iron the design onto the copper and carefully soak off the paper. laser printer ink is made of fine plastic which melts and sticks to the copper clad sheet. As I said, google it, the are many articles on the subject.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2015
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  3. dl324

    AAC Fanatic!

    Mar 30, 2015
    Depends on the method you use. There are posts in the Completed Projects Forum for toner transfer and photographic methods.

    EDIT: Add links
    Toner transfer
    recklessrog and thumb2 like this.