There are some tools which you need to make a PCB. We will first take a look at those essential tools you need to have in your PCB kit.
Tools in PCB Kit
Mini drill: You will need to drill holes on your PCB to attach components. The tool is also useful for making vias to connect various layers of the board. Arrange a mini drill or Dremel and keep it in your PCB kit all the time.
Flat iron: Arrange a flat-base laundry iron and store in your kit. It will come handy when you need to iron the PCB layout on the board. Make sure it also has a temperature control feature. You will need to manage the temperature depending on the thickness of the paper.
Printer: You will need to arrange a laser printer or photocopying machine. You will use it to print the PCB layout on the paper. Don’t make the mistake of using standard inkjet printers. The ink is soluble in water and won’t stick to the article.
Saw: You may need a saw to remove the excess PCB board portion.
Soldering iron: You may have to use the soldering iron to fix components on your PCB. Also, keep some flux handy.
Latex gloves: You should keep a pair of latex gloves in the PCB kit. The gloves provide protection and prevent injuries.
Eye protection: Arrange a pair of goggles or eye protection. You don’t want any chemical or toxic material going into your eyes while making PCBs.
Materials to Arrange
Now let’s take a look at some of the materials you need in your PCB kit.
Printing paper: You can keep three types of paper in your bag to print the PCB layout-
- Glossy paper
- Magazine paper
PCB board: This needs no explanation. You will use the board to make your PCB. Boards can be of various materials. So choose according to your preference.
Copper: Copper is an essential item in your PCB kit. You will use it to make the traces on your PCB.
Marker/Pen: You may need a fine tip permanent marker to draw the marks on your PCB by hand.
Sandpaper: You will need sandpaper to remove the paper from your PCB. It is also useful for restoring and cleaning the board.
Etching solution: You can use various etching solutions for your PCB. We recommend using Ferric Chloride. It’s the most common and easy to get.
Plastic container: You will need the container to hold your etching solution. Always use a plastic container and stay away from metal containers.
Ruler: It is an optional item. You may need a ruler for measurements and determining trace widths.
Plastic tweezers: This will help you hold your PCB while you clean or wash it. Never use metal tweezers as they may rust.
Cutter/compass: You may need a sharp tip object to remove excess paper.
Soap and brush: After etching, you may need to wash the board. Use a laundry soap and brush that you keep in your kit. Cleaning will expose the copper traces of the PCB.