A lot of engineers are very interested in how to make PCB circuit boards at home. Today we are going to demonstrate the homemade PCB about how to build your own printed circuit board.
Before we really get started, there are some tools and materials you need to prepare firstly.
Tool / raw material
• Copper plate
• Heat Transfer Paper
• Laser beam printer
• Small size driller
• Plastic box
• Ferric trichloride
• abrasive paper
• rosin water
1. First of all, print the circuit diagram to the thermal transfer paper. If the circuit diagram is too intensive, it will be best to use a better printer, in case the defects will affect the final work. It will be much easier if it is a simple circuit, you can directly use the paint pen to outline the circuit diagram, even with a knife carved out of the circuit diagram
2. Secondly, start processing the copper plate. Cut copper cladding based on the size of the PCB layout after cleaning, you can just use soap and water, it will be great if you can brush the ball with the steel wool, don’t worried about the scratched copper foil.
3. Dry the clean cooper plate and align the pattern in the heat transfer paper with PCB. When it is done, stick them tightly with the transparent sticker. If it is 2 layers PCB, make sure to align with the position point for both two sides. It is a significant step, or you will destroy all the effort.
4. Fourthly, heat transfer with iron, but it will be better to go with transfer machine or plastic packaging machine. Turn on the iron with higher temperature and start ironing on a solid platform. Stay the same direction when you iron and push as hard as you can. It is fine if there is little smoke during the whole process.
5. When the heat transfer is done. You can have a quick look about how the transfer goes when it is still hot. If it is perfect as you expect, you can just tear down the paper, or you can iron again.
6. After tearing down the paper, you need to check the diagram circuit for any miss or short circuit. If there is, remember to make it up with permanent pen.
7. Here comes the chemical etching. There are many types of corrondent but we prefer to go with ferric trichloride since it is more environmental friendly. Put some ferric trichloride inside the plastic box and dissolve all of them with enough water. Then you can put the copper plate inside and keep shaking the box.
8. When all the copper without carbon dust has been etched completely, you can get the cooper plate out of the box. Clean it with water immediately. When it is clean, polish the carbon dust with abrasive paper and cover the board with rosin water to prevent oxidation and to help solder.
9. A homemade PCB is done now and you can start soldering now.
1. When cut the material, make sure to clean the cooper on the edge of PCB or it will affect the final work of heat transfer
2. When you have cleaned the cooper plate, do not touch the surface with your hand since it will affect the quality of the board.
3. Make sure use plastic box for ferric trichloride, metal box is forbidden
Here is the brief story for how to make pcb circuit board at home, it will be interesting for maker to have a try. Since it is cheap and easy to get PCB with free options of colors and beautiful silk-screen now ( Like in Seeed Fusion $4.9 for 10 PCB)， I have given up the home made PCB for a long time. Anyway, it still feel good to have a real my own PCB ( keep them in my collection)
Enjoy yourself for the first try ！