PCB Etching Tutorial

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Revision as of 18:05, 8 September 2016 by NemesisContreras (talk | contribs) (Steps)
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DIY PCB Etching : Using Chemicals

Chances are you've probably seen a PCB before and it might of looked a little something like this

[Insert a picture of an example of a PCB maybe a Raspberry Pi or an Arduino etc]

The most important part of a PCB is the traces which connect the components to each other. These traces made in a CAD program for PCBs like : Eagle CAD , KiCAD etc

[Insert Picture of traces here]

This tutorial will show you how to make a simple single sided PCB using a chemical method. In summary the traces will be transferred and covered in a solid copper board , then the parts of copper not needed will stay expoxed. Finally the parts not needed will be removed with chemicals.

[Insert picture of before and after here ]

Materials Needed

- Single sided copper PCB board - Traces (should already have been designed on some CAD program) - Glossy Printer Paper (to print the traces on) - Iron -Ferric Chloride Solution (to dissolve the copper from the board) - WetorDry paper - Container to put PCB in with chemical solution


1) Preparing the Copper Board: Clean It

Make sure to clean any junk from the copper board before beginning the process!

 - Use WetorDry paper / fine sand paper to clean the PCB under water until it turns pink
 - Wipe off water with a clean towel
 - Use acetone to remove oils from PCB 

[ insert Cleaning pics here]

2) Printing the Traces:

Grab your printer and print the traces onto the glossy printer paper

    - be sure traces are nice and thick
    -  check the preferences for a "no scaling"
    - Design must be mirrored
    - Only use black ink
    - Print at the highest resolution possible

[insert printing pics here]

3) Transferring the Traces to the PCB:

  - Press down the glossy paper with the design onto the copper PCB 
  - Use a hot iron to press down glossy paper to the PCB [INSERT PIC HERE OF IRON PRESSED]
  - After the glossy paper stick onto the PCB submerge the two in a tray of water and gently press down the paper so it peels off leaving the trace on the PCB 
 [insert PCB iron down pic here]

4) Get Rid of the remaining Copper

  - Place the Ferric Chloride Solution Bottle  inside tray of hot water (this will heat the solution and make the PCB copper to be dissolved faster) 
  - Pour some of the solution into a tray along with your PCB 
  - Check the PCB every 5 or so minutes to check if the copper has been fully removed
[insert PCB blood water pics here]