Why no second run on laser etched circuit boards?

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Teljkon

Joined Jan 24, 2019
265
So, I went down a rabbit hole the other day with printing circuit boards and I noticed that the new cats meow for home printing is laser etching. What I was curious about was why no one just did a second run to etch off the copper rather than put it in the chemical bath for the removal of the copper. Funny thing is I was far more impressed with some of the milling machines than the laser etchers they seem to give a equally professional look in the end with the added advantage of having the holes drilled for you too. They also looked much easier to do double sided boards with. However that dose not line up with my understanding of lasers shouldn't it be just as easy for a laser to do all these things including drilling holes? Just curious if anyone can tell me more about the technical challenges preventing home hobbyist from doing purely laser based board creation.
 

joeyd999

Joined Jun 6, 2011
4,475
So, I went down a rabbit hole the other day with printing circuit boards and I noticed that the new cats meow for home printing is laser etching. What I was curious about was why no one just did a second run to etch off the copper rather than put it in the chemical bath for the removal of the copper. Funny thing is I was far more impressed with some of the milling machines than the laser etchers they seem to give a equally professional look in the end with the added advantage of having the holes drilled for you too. They also looked much easier to do double sided boards with. However that dose not line up with my understanding of lasers shouldn't it be just as easy for a laser to do all these things including drilling holes? Just curious if anyone can tell me more about the technical challenges preventing home hobbyist from doing purely laser based board creation.
Perhaps because the energy required to vaporize copper requires a powerful and expensive (and dangerous!) laser?
 

ci139

Joined Jul 11, 2016
1,859
the question is likely also about how the glass-fiber board reacts to this . . . although it might be possible that when you "burn" a parallel stripes network to remove the ribbons by some other means . . . ideally just burn off some top layer -- so , the etching of the remnant would become faster an more accurate ???? -- alike burning pattern on RW/DVD-s (which i don't know much about . . .) . . . -- the latter is less likely (i think)

? more likely you may cut the pattern on a separate stand and glue it to plastic foil . . . then attach this to epoxy board (?with thermal-curing glue?) ← but the equipment for gonna be costly
 
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