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DIY Stompboxes => Building your own stompbox => Topic started by: amz-fx on May 04, 2006, 10:52:57 PM

Title: Toner transfer pcb
Post by: amz-fx on May 04, 2006, 10:52:57 PM
Here's a page with a tutorial and some pcb-making experiments.

http://www.fullnet.com/u/tomg/gooteepc.htm

regards, Jack
Title: Re: Toner transfer pcb
Post by: rockgardenlove on May 04, 2006, 11:09:53 PM
Yep, I've seen that.  The Kinko's paper works really well, just go to Kinko's and ask them to copy your layouts onto glossy photo paper with extra black toner ;)
Works great if you don't have a laser printer.
Title: Re: Toner transfer pcb
Post by: Mark Hammer on May 05, 2006, 09:20:00 AM
Though both PnP and glossy paper are suitable for toner-transfer PCB masking, one (PnP) has a much finer resolution than the other, due primarily to its use of a synthetic, nonfibrous medium.  Stated more straightforward, tiny particles of blue stuff pull away from the plastic in tiny particles, while glossy emulsion pulls away from the paper backing in a more raggedy way because the paper is fibres, not just molecules.  There are a whole lot of PCB layouts for which PnP vs paper differences in resolution will not matter, but there are some (e.g., anything using SMD components and their tight pin spacing) where finer resolution is absolutely necessary.

So, just out of curiosity, are there any photography buffs out there that might be able to recommend a brand or type of photo paper that uses finer-grain materials such that the edges of what adheres to the copper board might pull away from the paper backing more "cleanly"?  I'm assuming there are also differences in emulsion as well, but for the moment I'm focussing on the quality of the actual paper stock itself.  The emulsion only has to do a good job printing black! :icon_wink: :icon_wink:
Title: Re: Toner transfer pcb
Post by: RedHouse on May 05, 2006, 09:33:51 AM
I use the Avery Label backing paper
Title: Re: Toner transfer pcb
Post by: John Lyons on May 05, 2006, 03:19:57 PM
I have a stack of full sheet labels and I tried them (Xerox) and is didn't work at all.
I tired a lower iron temperature and it worked a little better but not vey well. I printed toner on the side that the lable originally stuck to

I've done staples paper in the past and had good results with the above article link. I was just experimenting...

For those who use the adhesive backing method, what was your iron temp setting and rough time ironing?

Thanks.

John

Title: Re: Toner transfer pcb
Post by: rockgardenlove on May 06, 2006, 03:28:14 AM
For the Kinkos paper you really have to iron it down, I do it on full heat, for like 5 minutes or so.  Then I quickly dunk the thing in cold water(for some reason a big temperature transition helps) and then I just peel off the paper and it comes off very easily...Never even need to  touch up with a Sharpie.  I'm happy.
Title: Re: Toner transfer pcb
Post by: brett on May 06, 2006, 05:51:13 AM
Hi.
I use lots of PnP and wouldn't use anything else myself, ....BUT....one day I decided to try making a board without PnP.  The first time I tried it, it worked increadibly well. 

Here's what I did:
Laser print or photocopy the image onto REGULAR paper.
Clean up some blank PCB.  I really clean my boards (400 grit, 1200 grit then toothpaste.  Toothpaste is an excellent polish/grinding agent)
Spray the board with a little water dispersant (trade names in Oz are WD40 and RP-7).
Iron the image onto the board with a hot iron (cotton setting) for a couple of minutes.
Douse the board and paper and rub off the paper once if gets wet and soft (use fingertips/toothbrush/whatever).
Your're done!

Maybe the WD40 acts as a solvent for the toner or something?  That's what I was thinking when I tried it.  (and it was on the bench because I sue it as a mold oil)

cheers
Title: Re: Toner transfer pcb
Post by: gez on May 06, 2006, 07:22:51 AM
I mention this from time to time, but nobody seems to listen. 

[megaphone]YOU DON'T NECESSARILY HAVE TO USE AN IRON TO TRANSFER TONER![/megaphone]

If you use 'coated' paper, which most of you proably do, you slap it on your box print side down, dab on acetone (nail polish remover worked for me) till the paper is saturated, leave it till it dries out then soak in warm water for 15mins.  The paper should peel away leaving the transfer (won't work with normal paper though - pulp will be left stuck to the board).

I did this using a photocopy from the local print shop and it worked, but I have a development box these days...

Anyway, just thought I'd mentioned it (again).
Title: Re: Toner transfer pcb
Post by: blues on May 06, 2006, 09:20:42 AM
Hi,
More info here:
http://www.techniks.com/how_to.htm
Best regards
blues
Title: Re: Toner transfer pcb
Post by: RedHouse on May 06, 2006, 10:19:22 AM
I have a stack of full sheet labels and I tried them (Xerox) and is didn't work at all.
I tired a lower iron temperature and it worked a little better but not vey well. I printed toner on the side that the lable originally stuck to

I've done staples paper in the past and had good results with the above article link. I was just experimenting...

For those who use the adhesive backing method, what was your iron temp setting and rough time ironing?

Thanks.

John



It works for me.

I use the medium-high setting.

Get a piece of regular paper, fold it in half (if you PCB is small enough), put the blank copper board in between the folded paper and pre heat the board for like 30 seconds, then carefully place your printed Avery Backing artwork on the copper board (one chance to lay it down right, no re-do here as the toner wil start to melt as soon as you lay it down). Then lay the paper back on top and use your Iron at medium-high setting, swirl it 'round as if you're ironing clothes.

Time yourself, with my Iron it usually good to go in like 45 seconds, after that time I remove the copper board from the folded paper and place it on my countertop (tile) or my stove (glass top) with the Avery Backing paper still attached and facing up. Leave them there for like 15 or 20 minutes and the backing paper releases itself (no need to peel off or run unded water)

Works for me, and I get about one bad one in like 15 good ones, so it's well worth the price (to me) compared to PNP. 
Title: Re: Toner transfer pcb
Post by: RedHouse on May 06, 2006, 10:33:51 AM
I forgot to mention, I prep the copper board blank with either 0000 steel wool or 600-grit sand paper, then clean with paint thinner (Paint Thinner -not- mineral spirits) then i don't touch the copper again with my fingers until after the transfer process is done.

I feel this may have a lot to do with getting the toner to stick on there good.

When the transfer is done, and the etching is done, I clean the toner off with paint thinner (toner disolves instantly).

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Another tip I've learned is to use decent sized holes in the part solder-pads on my traces, these will etch out a nice starter hole for my drill bits, and since not having to drill through the copper it makes my cheap hobby store drill bits ($1 non-carbide bits) last forever.