PCB direct toner transfer methode

Started by Vasile Surducan March 26, 2004

Hi list,

I'm interested into a viable, direct toner transfer methode
PCB producing. I would be glad if someone could point to
any *tested* methode. I'm interesting mostly on homebrew,
without using special transfer papers.
Thank you in advance,

Vasile
http://surducan.netfirms.com




now its my turn to help you!

first, its really easy. all you need is a laser printer (or
photocopier) and a clothes iron that gets up to about 175C. You dont
need special paper beyond a good quality inkjet paper ($USD 0.01 per
page here in the US). it takes some experimenting but once you get
it figured out, it becomes very easy and reliable.

check out this group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Homebrew_PCBs/
It's dedicated to doing just that. Lots of links, files and helpful
people. There are lots of links to TT sites.

Here's a page that comes pretty close to my method -
http://www.pacificsun.ca/~robert/pcb/pcb.htm

I regularly make 2 sided boards with 10 mil traces.

Phil

--- In , Vasile Surducan <vasile@s...> wrote:
>
> Hi list,
>
> I'm interested into a viable, direct toner transfer methode
> PCB producing. I would be glad if someone could point to
> any *tested* methode. I'm interesting mostly on homebrew,
> without using special transfer papers.
> Thank you in advance,
>
> Vasile
> http://surducan.netfirms.com





Phil,

What method do you use to maintain registration between the two sides?

pr
>
> I regularly make 2 sided boards with 10 mil traces.
>
> Phil



Lots of stuff out there on the net. I have successfully made PCB's
with the "laser printer toner transfer method". You print on to the
backing for Avery style lables, iron it onto the PCB (surface treated
with 0000 paper and rubbing alcohol) (don't touch the backing material
or the clad on the board, the oils in your skin will ruin the
transfer), iron the transfer on, drill (do this before etching, ask me
how I know), touch up the toner with a permanent marker, and etch.

The toner is flaked plastic, the laser melts the plastic onto the
paper. When you print to the avery lable backing it doesn't fuse, so
when you iron it onto the PCB it transfers to the copper.

Works pretty good, it helps to touch up the traces prior to etching.
Don't bother buying any "special" PCB toner transfer paper. Double
sided boards are probably close to unobtainable.

Wire wrapping is easier and faster for prototyping, IMO, though. --- Vasile Surducan <> wrote:
>
> Hi list,
>
> I'm interested into a viable, direct toner transfer methode
> PCB producing. I would be glad if someone could point to
> any *tested* methode. I'm interesting mostly on homebrew,
> without using special transfer papers.
> Thank you in advance,
>
> Vasile
> http://surducan.netfirms.com >
>


__________________________________




--- In , "Patrick Reitelbach"
<preitelbach@y...> wrote:
> Phil,
>
> What method do you use to maintain registration between the two
sides?
>
> pr
> >
> > I regularly make 2 sided boards with 10 mil traces.
> >
> > Phil

Typically one creates a sheet on larger paper than the board and then
lays the paper as a sandwich and matches up X marks outside of the
board.

I have done the method where one tapes the board to one sheet, then
lays the second sheet over the sandwich to get the board fixed where
you want it.

Also, some people have good results with shiny magazine paper.

Testing is easy as one can try it and remove the poor traces.

Another way it to drill 2 registration holes. and insert a pin in
everything.

Dave .
.
.

Dave


I use a light table to align border and vias - if you can see the
light through the vias, you are pretty darn close. I dont bother
with any special registration marks. You can use a window with the
sun shining through. dont bother hold it up to a light bulb - that's
an exercise in frustration. Here's my technique in a little more
detail.

I dont bother with plated through holes so through hole parts only
have solder side traces to them. I use vias to get the trace there.

print both sides, top mirrored on transfer paper. I use a good
quality inkjet paper in a copier. I dont cut the paper down so have
lots of space to play with. Also, I dont touch the artwork at all.

lay bottom sheet on light table, face up. put top sheet face down on
top of the bottom sheet. Align the borders. Then tweak until you
see light through the vias. Inspect them all.

Once satisfied with the alignment, I use double sided tape to hold
the paper together, creating a pocket to put the precut board into.
I use a Scotch Brand double sided tape dispenser which makes one-
handed application really easy. I try to tape as far from the
artwork as possible to minimize the uneven distances from tape to
artwork.

Slide the pre-cut and prepared/activated substrate into the pocket
and align it with the outline, bottom side up. Use iron to tack in
the middle of the board (again to minimize any unequal distances) and
then proceed with standard ironing technique. Flip the pocket over
and iron the other side. I use a lot of pressure - around 30 lbs.
The inkjet paper will absorb excess toner so I dont get "crushing" of
traces.

Finally, I turn off the iron but leave it sitting on the board/paper
assembly until it cools down well below the toner fusing
temperature. This ensures a good contact between the substrate and
the toner.

here are a few 10X microscope pix of the results pre and post etch.
http://www.geocities.com/phil1960us/pcb/index.html

Phil
--- In , "Patrick Reitelbach"
<preitelbach@y...> wrote:
> Phil,
>
> What method do you use to maintain registration between the two
sides?
>
> pr
> >
> > I regularly make 2 sided boards with 10 mil traces.
> >
> > Phil




I found using non-porous paper to be problematic. This includes
magazine paper, photo paper and "release" paper (which is what I
think you are talking about). The toner has no place to go and is
thus quite sensitive to pressure. I was seeing a lot of
blotchiness. a 12 mil trace would look like a snake that ate 3
pigs. Often blooming to 2X the intended width. SMD pads for even
SOICs were a mess, forget TQFPs.

Using inkjet paper gives excellent results and is as cheap and easy
as it comes. My last 3 boards (3x4ish size) required NO touching up
at all.

look at the link I posted - I regularly do simple double sided
boards. They are about 10% more work than a single sided board
though a much easier routing job.

--- In , jrem <jrem123@y...> wrote:
> Lots of stuff out there on the net. I have successfully made PCB's
> with the "laser printer toner transfer method". You print on to the
> backing for Avery style lables, iron it onto the PCB (surface
treated
> with 0000 paper and rubbing alcohol) (don't touch the backing
material
> or the clad on the board, the oils in your skin will ruin the
> transfer), iron the transfer on, drill (do this before etching, ask
me
> how I know), touch up the toner with a permanent marker, and etch.
>
> The toner is flaked plastic, the laser melts the plastic onto the
> paper. When you print to the avery lable backing it doesn't fuse, so
> when you iron it onto the PCB it transfers to the copper.
>
> Works pretty good, it helps to touch up the traces prior to
etching.
> Don't bother buying any "special" PCB toner transfer paper. Double
> sided boards are probably close to unobtainable.
>
> Wire wrapping is easier and faster for prototyping, IMO, though. > --- Vasile Surducan <vasile@s...> wrote:
> >
> > Hi list,
> >
> > I'm interested into a viable, direct toner transfer methode
> > PCB producing. I would be glad if someone could point to
> > any *tested* methode. I'm interesting mostly on homebrew,
> > without using special transfer papers.
> > Thank you in advance,
> >
> > Vasile
> > http://surducan.netfirms.com
> >
> >
> >
> > __________________________________
>




Phil, i dont understand how you make the vias? What is the process of
metalizing a through hole?

Regards,

Wilson Wilson Antonieti Engenharia de Desenvolvimento Tel.: (11) 4223-5117 Fax.:
(11) 4223-5103 Visite nosso site:
www.contemp.com.br PRECIS AO SEU ALCANCE!!!
----- Original Message -----
From: "Phil" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, March 26, 2004 2:22 PM
Subject: [piclist] Re: PCB direct toner transfer methode > I use a light table to align border and vias - if you can see the
> light through the vias, you are pretty darn close. I dont bother
> with any special registration marks. You can use a window with the
> sun shining through. dont bother hold it up to a light bulb - that's
> an exercise in frustration. Here's my technique in a little more
> detail.
>
> I dont bother with plated through holes so through hole parts only
> have solder side traces to them. I use vias to get the trace there.
>
> print both sides, top mirrored on transfer paper. I use a good
> quality inkjet paper in a copier. I dont cut the paper down so have
> lots of space to play with. Also, I dont touch the artwork at all.
>
> lay bottom sheet on light table, face up. put top sheet face down on
> top of the bottom sheet. Align the borders. Then tweak until you
> see light through the vias. Inspect them all.
>
> Once satisfied with the alignment, I use double sided tape to hold
> the paper together, creating a pocket to put the precut board into.
> I use a Scotch Brand double sided tape dispenser which makes one-
> handed application really easy. I try to tape as far from the
> artwork as possible to minimize the uneven distances from tape to
> artwork.
>
> Slide the pre-cut and prepared/activated substrate into the pocket
> and align it with the outline, bottom side up. Use iron to tack in
> the middle of the board (again to minimize any unequal distances) and
> then proceed with standard ironing technique. Flip the pocket over
> and iron the other side. I use a lot of pressure - around 30 lbs.
> The inkjet paper will absorb excess toner so I dont get "crushing" of
> traces.
>
> Finally, I turn off the iron but leave it sitting on the board/paper
> assembly until it cools down well below the toner fusing
> temperature. This ensures a good contact between the substrate and
> the toner.
>
> here are a few 10X microscope pix of the results pre and post etch.
> http://www.geocities.com/phil1960us/pcb/index.html
>
> Phil >
> --- In , "Patrick Reitelbach"
> <preitelbach@y...> wrote:
> > Phil,
> >
> > What method do you use to maintain registration between the two
> sides?
> >
> > pr
> > >
> > > I regularly make 2 sided boards with 10 mil traces.
> > >
> > > Phil >
>
> to unsubscribe, go to http://www.yahoogroups.com and follow the
instructions
> Yahoo! Groups Links >
>





man, those boards are awesome. I'll have to try the different
paper. What hardware are you using to etch with? bubbles or spray
or something? was it a kit or did you build it? or maybe I should
be at the dys-pcb message list . . . and that other thread should
be at the www.rant.com list (eh heh)

--- In , "Phil" <phil1960us@y...> wrote:
> I found using non-porous paper to be problematic. This includes
> magazine paper, photo paper and "release" paper (which is what I
> think you are talking about). The toner has no place to go and is
> thus quite sensitive to pressure. I was seeing a lot of
> blotchiness. a 12 mil trace would look like a snake that ate 3
> pigs. Often blooming to 2X the intended width. SMD pads for even
> SOICs were a mess, forget TQFPs.
>
> Using inkjet paper gives excellent results and is as cheap and easy
> as it comes. My last 3 boards (3x4ish size) required NO touching
up
> at all.
>
> look at the link I posted - I regularly do simple double sided
> boards. They are about 10% more work than a single sided board
> though a much easier routing job.
>
> --- In , jrem <jrem123@y...> wrote:
> > Lots of stuff out there on the net. I have successfully made
PCB's
> > with the "laser printer toner transfer method". You print on to
the
> > backing for Avery style lables, iron it onto the PCB (surface
> treated
> > with 0000 paper and rubbing alcohol) (don't touch the backing
> material
> > or the clad on the board, the oils in your skin will ruin the
> > transfer), iron the transfer on, drill (do this before etching,
ask
> me
> > how I know), touch up the toner with a permanent marker, and etch.
> >
> > The toner is flaked plastic, the laser melts the plastic onto the
> > paper. When you print to the avery lable backing it doesn't fuse,
so
> > when you iron it onto the PCB it transfers to the copper.
> >
> > Works pretty good, it helps to touch up the traces prior to
> etching.
> > Don't bother buying any "special" PCB toner transfer paper.
Double
> > sided boards are probably close to unobtainable.
> >
> > Wire wrapping is easier and faster for prototyping, IMO, though.
> >
> >
> > --- Vasile Surducan <vasile@s...> wrote:
> > >
> > > Hi list,
> > >
> > > I'm interested into a viable, direct toner transfer methode
> > > PCB producing. I would be glad if someone could point to
> > > any *tested* methode. I'm interesting mostly on homebrew,
> > > without using special transfer papers.
> > > Thank you in advance,
> > >
> > > Vasile
> > > http://surducan.netfirms.com
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
> > __________________________________
> >




Those pix are from 2 different boards, both with Ammonium
Persulphate. Even with all its faults, I like AP.

I built my own etch tank with 1/4" plexiglass from home depot
and "aquarium seal" - not the best stuff but it works. it took me 2
attempts to get one that worked well. My tank is 8x6x1.5 which holds
a little more than a liter. (doing it again, I'd make it 1" wide and
keep it under a liter - its convenient to be able to store the
etchant in a quart/liter jar.) I use a 100 Watt aquarium heater and
a bubbler. etch time is < 15 minutes at 100F which takes about 45
minutes to reach. I can etch 5x7 boards or smaller. Total cost was
about $50.

Before that I used a tupperware pan but it took forever because I
wasn't able to heat it easily.

--- In , "jrem123" <jrem123@y...> wrote:
> man, those boards are awesome. I'll have to try the different
> paper. What hardware are you using to etch with? bubbles or spray
> or something? was it a kit or did you build it? or maybe I should
> be at the dys-pcb message list . . . and that other thread should
> be at the www.rant.com list (eh heh)
>
> --- In , "Phil" <phil1960us@y...> wrote:
> > I found using non-porous paper to be problematic. This includes
> > magazine paper, photo paper and "release" paper (which is what I
> > think you are talking about). The toner has no place to go and is
> > thus quite sensitive to pressure. I was seeing a lot of
> > blotchiness. a 12 mil trace would look like a snake that ate 3
> > pigs. Often blooming to 2X the intended width. SMD pads for
even
> > SOICs were a mess, forget TQFPs.
> >
> > Using inkjet paper gives excellent results and is as cheap and
easy
> > as it comes. My last 3 boards (3x4ish size) required NO touching
> up
> > at all.
> >
> > look at the link I posted - I regularly do simple double sided
> > boards. They are about 10% more work than a single sided board
> > though a much easier routing job.
> >
> > --- In , jrem <jrem123@y...> wrote:
> > > Lots of stuff out there on the net. I have successfully made
> PCB's
> > > with the "laser printer toner transfer method". You print on
to
> the
> > > backing for Avery style lables, iron it onto the PCB (surface
> > treated
> > > with 0000 paper and rubbing alcohol) (don't touch the backing
> > material
> > > or the clad on the board, the oils in your skin will ruin the
> > > transfer), iron the transfer on, drill (do this before etching,
> ask
> > me
> > > how I know), touch up the toner with a permanent marker, and
etch.
> > >
> > > The toner is flaked plastic, the laser melts the plastic onto
the
> > > paper. When you print to the avery lable backing it doesn't
fuse,
> so
> > > when you iron it onto the PCB it transfers to the copper.
> > >
> > > Works pretty good, it helps to touch up the traces prior to
> > etching.
> > > Don't bother buying any "special" PCB toner transfer paper.
> Double
> > > sided boards are probably close to unobtainable.
> > >
> > > Wire wrapping is easier and faster for prototyping, IMO,
though.
> > >
> > >
> > > --- Vasile Surducan <vasile@s...> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Hi list,
> > > >
> > > > I'm interested into a viable, direct toner transfer methode
> > > > PCB producing. I would be glad if someone could point to
> > > > any *tested* methode. I'm interesting mostly on homebrew,
> > > > without using special transfer papers.
> > > > Thank you in advance,
> > > >
> > > > Vasile
> > > > http://surducan.netfirms.com
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> > >
> > > __________________________________
> > >