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Author Topic: REQ:Using DVD Writter's laser diode for making PCB....  (Read 30356 times)
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proton
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« on: August 25, 2008, 03:16:28 15:16 »

Hello all,

Has anyone tried to use a DVD Writters laser diode for a different use than writting on to DVD ?

It should be possible to make an XY Scanner with a microcontroller + some electronics + software.

Is it possible to directly burn/etch/remove the copper clad using the laser diode.

If possible then to make the PCB all we have to do is to clean the coppercladded PCB and use a custom
built laser XY scanner/burner to make the tracks and even holes.If this idea works then making a highly professional PCB should be a matter minutes.

Advantage is :

1.No chemical needed(Environment friendly)
2.No more +ve's and -ve's
3.No more printing of artwork(Direct etching of copper using laser).
4.No more drillings.(No drill machine)
5.Cutting to any shape will be easy.(No special die to cut)
6.Tracks could be made very thin(Use of laser)

I hope if it is not possible with the DVD Writters laser then it should be possible with other highpower lasers.

NOTE:While burn removing the copper clad the base material(Glass epoxy / paper phenolic) should not burn as well.


thanks
proton
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SONSiVRi
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« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2008, 03:36:02 15:36 »

Great idea but as you said dvd laser wont enough I think. The rest part is easy to done, only time is needed to program.
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microcom-ecuador
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« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2008, 06:36:51 18:36 »

Hello guys,
This is a great project, i'd like to work in this.
The motion control is easy (like a cnc drilling and routing machine), what kinfd of laser do you think is good?
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kolin
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« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2008, 07:38:34 19:38 »

Hi,
It's very interesting. I own very old HPGL (circa 1988) compatible plotter. I used it for direct printing of etch resistant on pcb surface. But it's messy job with pen, ink, often I had to stop drawing, clean PCB and start over. Traces can't be thin. Not really practicaly usable.
I was thinking about replacing pen with laser, and convert ordinary plotter to photoplotter. If I put pcb with layer of photo sensitive etch resist, run the drawing, then only two steps left, the process with NaOH and etching. Or in case of powerfull laser, burn PCB directly Smiley.
If I get the laser from DVD burner, what type of power source I need it to light it up to the max? Some special circuitry? I've seen some videos on youtube, looks pretty simple with old laser pointer circuitry. You surely know something more professional. Do you want to use laser with built in optics? I'm really interested in this, I want to make PCB quickly and without much effort.
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hate
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« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2008, 08:28:11 20:28 »

I was also thinking about that idea before making some experiments and saw the dvd laser won't be enough. I had a friend of mine exposure a blank pcb with a 8W IR laser at her lab and when I saw the PCB myself there wasn't any damage visiable even with an 8W IR laser. IR lasers are used to cut metals but in kilowatt ratings. So with some mW laser of a dvd we can only light matches I think. Sorry to demoralize you but that's the case, still a great method to make PCB's but with a laser powerful enough!

Regards...
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Ichan
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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2008, 08:45:26 20:45 »

The more proper use of the DVD writer's laser in this case is to burn (exposure) the photoresist coated on a blank copper clad laminate. The Blue Ray DVD laser diode will be more appropriate as the wave lenght is fall into UV spectrum.

-ichan
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proton
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« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2008, 04:00:35 16:00 »

Thank you all for the reply,

So,It is sure that the DVD's laser cannot do the job.

Then has anyone used a high power laser ?

If so can you suggest what is the type and wattage of the laser we need to use for etching copper clad of the PCB ?.

What are the different type of lasers avalable out there ?

Which type is easy to use ?

proton
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Codeman
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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2008, 04:39:31 16:39 »

From the experience I have you need at least 10W. Is very dificult to build /control a Laser of this power. You cannot do it at home. Sorry. You will need water to cool it down. Also you will need very good optics. Handling these devices require proper trainning. Also the wavelength as to be careffuly choosen, as it depends on the surface (color etc). Google for "YVO4 lasers" or "co2 lasers". This lasers fall into the industrial category. You can easily by injuried using these kind of lasers. I used then at work an they have quite a few of safety devices and interlocks. Anyway, if you are an hobbyst I doubt that you will be able to buy such a laser. But this is just my opinion...

JB.
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cyber_drifter
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« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2008, 04:48:31 16:48 »

I'll second that. I had a gas laser and almost blinded myself with it. Be very careful and wear protective goggles.

Tom
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Parmin
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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2008, 05:31:39 17:31 »

copper is a very high heat conductor, where as laser cutting works by generating a spot heat and thus melting or burning the material under the light.
To burn copper, even if it is a very thin substrate would require a lot of power.

On the other hand, if you use Ultraviolet laser or even a well collimated UV diode of the correct wavelength, you may be able to "print" onto a photoresist board ... I think this is how professional PCB makers gerber PCB printers works.
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Silent_Thunder
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« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2008, 10:27:43 10:27 »

Hi All
the cheapest laser tube is the CO2 laser, and sorry for telling that it can't be used to cut the copper clad, cuz if want to cut the copper u have to heat it to the melting point, and if that happen it will burn the fiber glass.
the power needed to cut the copper clad is about 200W which is very high and hard to control.

it is more safe to use the traditional way.

Regards All
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picavr
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« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2008, 01:10:37 13:10 »

you need more power for cutting the cu in pcb
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Alienbeing
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« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2008, 07:40:07 19:40 »

A 808nm infrared laser will burn pretty good. Only the material has to be dark (like black). Very powerful laser diodes of this type can come with a fiber optic cable to make it easier to direct the laser output where you want it. I have seen these devices sold on Ebay every now and then. The sell for usually less then $100 US dollars and come with a fiberoptic cable attached. Again they need to be pointed at a dark material to burn. I don't know if copper is dark enough but maybe if you covered if with some kind of dye it can be done. Do a search on Ebay for "808nm" and you may find one.

Alienbeing
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OleRuffo
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« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2008, 12:02:40 00:02 »

Very interesting project!
I think that the X Y axis positioning system is the less dramatic problem, but my little experience with cutting laser devices (aluminum boards) they are very very powerful beams (most of them into the infrared spectrum that makes them even more dangerous), and all the piece goes a very high temperature, high enough to peel away pieces of cooper from the substrate, i think that a less powerful device with a photo resistive etched board is more likely, otherwise the old good engraving reuter is a better choice.
a perfect example of this are the prepress engraving systems (the ones used to create the masters for printing offset press)
Cheers
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Codeman
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« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2008, 02:55:21 02:55 »

In fact we have some on ebay right now. Up to 100W. But the laser to be effective must be focused in a very small point. If not the power is wasted. For that you need good optics (and mirrors) and a perfect alignment. Also since this is invisible light you need a small power device ( a laser pointer ) in the same alignment to see what you are doing. From my experience (I use lasers up to 20W) a small dust particle in the lenses (almost invisible) is enough to bring the power down to 2 watt or less. Like Aliengeing said you will need a black surface. You put a white sheet o paper if front of a 10W laser and nothing happens. Go to your printer and paint the sheet in black and it will burn..

Joaquim
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nighthunter
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« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2008, 08:35:57 20:35 »

I think this http://anonym.to/?http://techref.massmind.org/techref/pcb/etch/cx4200-vs.htm would be a faster way to become a useable pcb
i tested it on a  epson D92 that i had with some clogged nozzles and with the original yellow from epson it is to expensive, and in my region it it hard to obtain (i found no reseller) oem inks, but i found out it works.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2008, 08:41:45 20:41 by nighthunter » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2008, 02:16:12 02:16 »

NIghthunter:
i just follow the link and i'm amazed! i have some half dead epson printers and  this is an idea should deserve at least a try!  Grin
i use American inkjet ink http://americaninkjet.com/ and is a very good one, i think that this method should leave even more accurate tracks than the transfer method...any way this is an off topic but good pointing, after all  Wink
Cheers
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niktesla
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« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2008, 02:50:55 02:50 »

With a host of coordinated XY controlled by KCam or Math3 not be possible?



niktesla
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hate
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« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2008, 08:44:46 08:44 »

What about the ink? Will the ink printers use be etch resistant or any special ink should be used? I think that's the problem with the direct printing method!

Regards...
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Opast
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« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2008, 08:49:21 08:49 »

You just buy another brand ink which is etch resistant and refill it for about $10
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nighthunter
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« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2008, 09:44:05 21:44 »

Yes, the ink will be ink resistant, but not all colors, best results are when you use Yellow color (must be durabrite one) with a bit of black or red for better visibility, then you must put it in pre heated oven to cure the ink, after curing, it is etch-resistant, but i have made some tests, ive cured it with a hot air gun with bad results, the best results were from curing in kitchen oven
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HX1
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« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2008, 02:41:42 14:41 »

State of art for making PCB http://www.lpkfusa.com/video/Video_ProtoLaser_S_gross.wmv
It's my dream of consumption
 Cheesy
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Opast
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« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2008, 03:05:04 15:05 »

This is very nice laser printer but it probably cost an arm and a leg.  The best way to make easy PCB's at home using converted ink printer.  I just don't understand why nobody created PCB ink printer for home users.  I'm sure it'd be a great selling product.

« Last Edit: September 10, 2008, 03:05:54 15:05 by Opast » Logged
HX1
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« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2008, 04:13:04 16:13 »

I don't be sure, but the Epson R2880 InkJet printer can load rigid media as pcb.
Information which i found about:
http://dpnow.com/4911.html
-> Flexible media handling with fine art paper support, "rigid thick media handling up to 1.3mm", CD/DVD printing, standard auto-sheet feeder and roll feed

It will be that nobody would have one of that and do the test for us?   Tongue
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Opast
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« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2008, 04:22:55 16:22 »

Epson R2880 cost around $700.  For that price I can easily buy small CNC machine for making PCB's at home. 
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