- Take a circuit board layout printout
Using a laser printer and glossy paper, take or have a printout layout of your PCB. Also, make sure that you print your printout on the paper’s bright side. Additionally, make sure to select the output in color black both from the printer driver settings and the software of the PCB design.
2. Carefully cut the copper plate meant for the circuit board
Carefully cut the copper board according to the layout’s size, either using a cutter or hacksaw. After completing this, using a ball of steel wool or Sandpaper, rub the copper side of your PCB as such removes both the photoresist and top oxide layer of the copper.
3. Make a transfer of your PCB print onto the plate of copper.
Using your circuit as a point of reference, slowly sketch the plate of copper using a pencil and once your sketch comes out, use a permanent black marker to trace over it.
4. Onto your PCB plate, iron the circuit from the paper
After making the print on glossy paper, iron the image side down to the copper side before heating the iron to the iron cloth to its maximum temperature. To do this, place the board and photo paper on a clean wooden table while keeping the backside of the photo paper facing you.
Using pliers, hold one end to keep it steady before putting the hot iron cloth for around 10 seconds on the other end. Now, slowly iron your photo paper using the tip with little pressure for close to 15 minutes.
The heat from the iron transfers all the ink printed on the glossy paper to your copper plate. Now, place your printed plate inside a bowl of lukewarm water for 10 minutes. After this, remove the paper gently by peeling it.
5. Etching the plate
First, put on the rubber gloves before placing some newspaper pieces on the bottom to avoid the spillover of the etching solution on the floor. Secondly, find a plastic bowl and fill some water into it before dissolving around 2-3 ferric chloride powder teaspoons in the water.
Thirdly, slowly dip your PCB into the etching solution for close to three minutes. And after that, the ferric acid will react with the unmasked copper to remove the unwanted pieces of copper from your PCB, a process known as etching.
6. Cleaning and final touches
Cleaning is the last step. Here, it would help if you were careful while disposing of your etching solution and other unwanted material. Don’t pour it on a pool or a pond. Finally, rinse your PCB carefully and dry it using a clean cloth, and there, you have your PCB!
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