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OT- sort of.. PCB etching, silk screening

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  • OT- sort of.. PCB etching, silk screening

    This is a 2 part question...
    First, I have a nice laser printer, is there a way for me to print out a mask to etch a copper clad board?

    2nd Question... Using the same laser printer, is there a way to use it for making a silk screen for painting?

  • #2
    Originally posted by BillH
    This is a 2 part question...
    First, I have a nice laser printer, is there a way for me to print out a mask to etch a copper clad board?


    2nd Question... Using the same laser printer, is there a way to use it for making a silk screen for painting?
    1) ayah http://www.elexp.com/pro_npb5.htm

    2) for component ids etc?? or control panel?? Or solder mask?? or what??

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    • #3
      Design PCB Layout on computer then “print” it using laser printer onto special material called Press-n-Peel from Techniks, inc.
      www.Techniks.com

      Place copied image onto super cleaned PCB. Clamp in place between to metal plates. Heat to 250 degree. Let cool. Unclamp and carefully peel off transfer film. If all goes well your laser printer’s toner should now be transferred to the board and you are ready to start etching.

      Don’t know about the silk screening.

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      • #4
        I have done the PCB transfer and it does work. It also takes a little time to work out the kinks in the process. As for silk screens, I think the toner transfer process could work, if the screen materials can take the required temperature. Worth a try.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by fredf
          1) ayah http://www.elexp.com/pro_npb5.htm

          2) for component ids etc?? or control panel?? Or solder mask?? or what??
          The silk screen for panels, both metal and plastic

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          • #6
            As an alternative to screening the panels I have seen inkjet on photo paper attached to panel with spray adhesive, (or on gloss label stock) with a clear laminating sheet or even clear contact used for protection, could use laser or even color laser in the same way. It works best if the edges are protected, perhaps clear fingernail polish??


            to make a photosensitive screen from a laser printed master see http://www.ehow.com/how_10251_comput...rated-art.html

            fred

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            • #7
              google pcb toner transfer, lots of tutorials. basically print with a laser printer on coated photo paper, iron onto a clean pcb. Wash and pick off all the paper with fingernail and toner is left on the board as a resist. etch. It works.



              Last edited by Mcgyver; 04-23-2009, 12:03 AM.
              .

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              • #8
                Press-n-Peel is cool for PCB and you can make a nice brass nameplate with it too.

                Brass nameplate link.

                I have some around here somewhere. Might be able to send you a sheet of it.
                Let me know.

                rock~
                Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.

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                • #9
                  Hi Bill..

                  The blue heat transfer copy paper works too.. 3m?? anyways, used for embroderiey, gun engraving, and tattooing. A sheet is about .10.. It looks like the old carbon paper of days gone by.

                  Iron it on, hit it with a blow drier and it will not come off easily.. TO put it on as a tattoo stencil, you just used a lil mennen speed stick, then laid it on and it transferred to the skin, then hit it with a hair drier and "trace a tattoo" with the machine. THE art is in the details anyways. shadows and fine lines.

                  They make a spray on photo-resist, or already applied boards that come in black plastic.. expose them with your artwork, must be super dark.. then wash out in KPR *black and white developer.. and etch in ferric chloride.. ?? I forget..

                  By the way, the guy who taught me how, he went to prison twice for counterfeighting.. Silly man spent his whole adult life in prison. Same way to acid etch.. apply the resist in artwork via photo-resist method.. He's dead now, died in a hospital under a assumed name and buried without anyone knowing where he was..

                  THE fancy Smith and Wessons were acid etched for years.. now laser engraved..
                  Excuse me, I farted.

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                  • #10
                    Yes to both: toner transfer for the PCB etch mask, print on transparency and use with photosensitive screenprinting blockout available at any art store.
                    I recommend using photosensitive PC board over the toner transfer: it's much more reliable and repeatable.
                    Been there, done that, stained the T-shirt. Did this for years and now I don't have the patience.

                    I use pcbex.com instead. I can get 5 boards in less than a week with soldermask and silkscreen down to 0.008 feature size for $80 including shipping. Normally they will run more than the 5 you request and if they all pass testing, you get them all.
                    If you put any value on your time, you simply can't beat $10 each. The same board in small production quantity of 100 costs me $3 ea.

                    The quality is top notch! The boards are made in China, so anyone with outsourcing issues may not want to do this. I don't have a problem with it obviously.

                    And some services like batchpcb.com are even cheaper: they take multiple orders from different people, and batch run them to save setup time and you get a cheap board. Waiting time is around 2 weeks though.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks guys, now I just have to learn EAGLE.. Will try the photo printer method first as it is cheapest.

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