Toner transfer / UV exposed

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by nerdegutta, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. nerdegutta

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009

    Somtimes I use the toner transfer method and other times I use my UV-Led exposure box. This do require two different types of board. I have both.

    What method are you guys using to transfer the artwork to the PCB?

    Or are there different ways of doing this?
  2. jpanhalt


    Jan 18, 2008
    Yes, there are other ways. Try checking Homebrew_PCBs (

    Milling traces on a CNC machine is another way to make PCBs; although, it may not fit your definition of "transferring" artwork to the PCB blank.

  3. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
    Although next to impossible to find anymore, HP used to make a flatbed plotter you could put etch resist pens in. (or rather pens you just filled with etch resist ink)

    Oddly enough I found some sort of Red India Ink to be the best.

    UV works but involves a bit more mess, prep, cost and patience.

    I've also used methods such as covering the board with clear contact paper, (or even the good 3M scotch tape) spray gluing the printed pattern to the board and going to town using an X-Acto knife. A great option when traces are wide and precision isn't absolutely neccessary.

    Toner transfer works but requires several trial runs to find the best toner/copier and paper options. The simple addition of an inexpensive laminator machine was the best investment I made in this practice as was sticking to pure 0000 sandpaper that you find in any auto paint shop and 91% isopropyl alcohol (not the 70% stuff) for the final cleaning before transfer. Be sure you've got an almost perfectly flat surface to stick the sandpaper to and move the board across it, not the other way around.

    Once you've hit the ideal combinations I think the toner transfer method is the most logical and have no problem using it down to all but the smallest SMD stuff. Shop around for a laminator that will handle the thicknes but despite the obvious savings don't fall for some of the ones I've seen on eBay, you'll want to buy one locally (such as at Sams) so you can return it if it doesn't work as expected, then just try a different brand.
  4. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004