PCB print with 20€ laminator and waxed paper
After the damages of the last storm, I had to rebuild some circuits. This is a good opportunity to make printed circuit boards instead of the existing prototypal wired matrix board.
So far I printed my pcbs with iron and sheets of glossy magazines, now I used waxed paper and a cheap laminator from Amazon
I use Eagle for drawing schematics and pcbs, but any CAD can do the job. Paths, via and pads must be larger than the default value and appropriate for hand drilling.
Usually I make double side circuits with the Top (or Bottom) layer with only horizontal or vertical wire jumpers, so the copper board is printed only on one face. For the component side I use an Ink Jet Adhesive Transparent Film for the silkscreen (optional) to be placed before the drilling step.
Here the complete procedure
1. Draw and double check the schematic and the routing. Next picture is an example of a mixed SMT and Trough-Hole technology.
In blue is the Bottom layer (wire jumpers). Red and green are traces pads and via to be printed on the copper board.
The SMT boards are printed on the Top layer, the Trough-hole boards on the Bottom. Remember to mirror the layer before printing the Top Layer.
2. Print the correct layers (Top or Bottom, Pads and Vias) to the waxed paper with a Laser Printer at best quality (ink jet are NOT good for this work)
With a piece of masking tape, fix the waxed paper on a paper sheet, then print on it at best quality.
3. Carefully clean the copper board with cotton wool and acetone then stick on it the printed wax paper with the masking tape.
4. Turn on the laminator for maximum heat (position II), wait the warming time, then make 3 passes with the copper board
5. Now gently peel the wax paper and it’s done.
6. Etch the board with Ferric Chloride or Muriatic Acid and Hidrogen Peroxide (be careful…), drill and mount the components. Optionally, before drilling, one can print the silkscreen on adhesive trasparent paper.
It looks good.