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Author Topic: Best method of making PCB .. Toner tarnsfer or Photoresist or what .. help?  (Read 17936 times)
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mizk_electro
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« on: June 23, 2006, 03:22:47 15:22 »

Hi guys,

I just newbie in electronic hobby even I have interest in this hobby for a long time ago.

Just to ask opinin (pro & cont) & way ... how to transfer PCB layout to copper board.

For now, I'm using tonner transfer (using laser printer & coated paper) ... result: not so good  & photoresist board ... result : very good but the board are very expensive.

Anyone using graving machine to make a PCB board ?

Thanks for info.
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mizk_electro
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2006, 08:47:25 20:47 »

Thanks Dax,

Currently I'm doing it (toner transfer) using 2 type of paper (that available in Malaysia which I know & tried)

1. Canon Glossy Photo paper ... GP-401  ... A4 190g/m2

Result : very good ... no cutting line & no spread line.... can push the iron as much as you much

Problem: When take the paper from copper board, there is wax on the PCB especially in pad's pin hole and so hard to remove it even using tooth brush, I still need to check if it still there... so then no hold in pad as for guide the drill as a starter.


2. HP Photo laser paper ... A4 120g/m2

Result : not so good as the line (toner) being cut at a few place (the toner fell off with the paper). Cannot push it (using iron) too hard, it will spread the toner and it will short circuit the PCB track.

Good thing : No wax remain in the pad's hole ... so the acid will etch the pad and make the hole as drill starter guide.

Repair : Using lumocolour pen from Steadler & using buble etching to expedite the etching process.



Dax,

Please share with us the paper's part number and how much (for price reference & how many pieces)?

One more thing, how you make Dbl side board in short point ( if eleberate more, more better).


Anyway thanks for info and souces ....

Sorry for my english .....
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mizk_electro
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2006, 08:52:01 20:52 »

Other paper ... but not so good compare to canon & HP ... so far:

1. Trace paper  ..
2. label paper
3. other low end glosy photo paper ...
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mizk_electro
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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2006, 04:14:22 16:14 »

Dax,

Thanks a lot for sharing your info, man.

I have some more thing to ask for guidance ( if you and/or other friends can help and wish to spent some time to comment it.... Cheesy)

1. For PCB CAD, now I'm using Eagle 4.16 and only use single side board. I try to do (in eagle) to make double side board by grouping a component ie resister and put it in one place, capacitor in another place, connector in next other place and so on.

The problem (may be not a problem), when I run autorouting (with TOP & BOTTOM are set), the result most  of the time 100% routed but the saiz of PCB are >< the size of single side board.(FYI, I re-create the component pad ie resister because of the original pad size very small and some time being take out by dril) and A LOT OF VIAS.... some time about 40 vias or more.

To me, doing double layer like this ... not so good as you get more via instead of easy place the component.But the board size not so diffrent( double side vs single side board).

So may be, you can share some of your experience & guidance on how to make good double layer PCB board.

Normally how many vias you have on the board (average for 3 x 4 inch)? or any example ? How the steps to minimise vias?

2. Let say for PIC uC project, how small the track did you usually used?I normally use 30mil and 22 mil clearence (in eagle) to avoid any toner spread on the board.

3. For CAD software, what software you use ? Eagle or Proteus or ?Any good manual/info to study ?

4.If any, any step you follow in making routing .. ie manually doing VCC & GND first and after that go with autorouting?

5. How long the time you take to make one double side board in average?start from print upto finish of drill & etching process?

6. Any info to convert eagle file to proteus & proteus to eagle? also any proteus manual?

7. If any picture of your board, can you share here ... so I can take close look about the quality of board  (PCB layout and clearence) as for my benchmark.

Sorry for toooooo many guidance to ask .... Cheesy

Thanks in advance for any guides / comments.
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2006, 05:55:44 17:55 »

Hi Dax,

Thanks again for your good sharing ... and sorry for my english Cheesy

Ok ... for the number 1 , I repeat again ( in diffrentway & hope you can understand my english ... Smiley)

1. FYI, I'm using eagle as PCB CAD. In eagle, I can do single & double layer (basically can make upto 16 layer max but not me ... he he ).

As for now, I just making PCB board as single layer only. I  do it (single layer) by arrange the components base on the schematic ( to reduce jumper & to simplify autorouting) and do autorouting for single layer only. If there is some unroute track(after doing autorouting), I will route it manual using top layer & bottom layer  and will use a copper as bridge for the top layer to connect to bottom layer.

For double layer, I just try making it in PC (using eagle) and print out on the paper for top layer & bottom layer (but not doing any double layer bo ardyet).


Ok my problem/question are :

a) When I make single layer (let say for USB FTP-USB programmer), the PCB layout size is about 2.5 x 4 inch .... and when I make 2 layer (just print on paper) the size roughly about the same size.

For the 1 layer, I need to think hard in oder to get good arrangement  all the componets on the PCB (for the best autorouting) with few jumpers. But for 2 layer, I can put the components as where I like it to be.So for comparison (in my case):

- 1 layer :
    Pro : less jumper ( dont have via)
    Cont : time consuming  to get all components in good arrangement
    PCB Size : 2.5 x 4 inch

- 2 layer :
    Pro : require little time to arrage component(because I arrange as where I like) & dont have jumpers.
   Cont : A lot of VIAS (sometime upto 40++ via )
   PCB Size : allmost same (because must give some space for via)

- So any experience / advice / steps  to share in order to get ( 2 layer PCB ) with less via & small size ?
- How do you do in making 2 layer PCB?
- You do 2 layer manual / autorouting / half manual ?
- What you prefer ... making single layer / 2 layer ?

2. Any comment for autorouting in eagle / any experience ?

3. Is the any auto placer in Protel 99 SE sp6 ?

Thanks in advance for your info sharing / guide ...Smiley
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mizk_electro
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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2006, 03:05:36 15:05 »

Dax,

Thnks for your info & advice ....

Sorry for my english ....  Cheesy ... need to learn some more ....

Any way ... thnks a lot & i will move to Protel as you suggest .... may be I will take some time  .... & need to find a manual for that also.

Also thanks for your time to show a demo of staple 'effect'.
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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2006, 06:42:16 18:42 »

Dax,

Thnks very much.

Now, I succesfull done with HP Photo laser paper .... the quality about 99.5% (sufficient enough for me) ...

I need just to touch-up just one place ... so it already very good.


I just use your way (just put tissue/toilet paper between iron & HP Photo laser paper & press the iron as much as I want it).

I do this about 1-2 minit for one place ... and lift the iron and put the iron with presure in another place ... and so on.

After that, I put it(PCB)  into  (while still hot) liquid dishwashing detergent and for about 30 minit. (my best result: I put it in a whole night and in next morning, the paper (HP paper) already separated from the PCB).

If somebody one to know in details, please just let me know.... I want to contribute back this knowledge as my payback to this site (especially DAX).
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2008, 05:54:57 17:54 »

If you have enough time 9~1.5 hours per board) and a nice laminator, best will be toner transfer.

If you don't have time or don't want to waste time or have money - photoresist !
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« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2008, 03:05:16 15:05 »

Hi
I've tried using a CNC mill to make circuit boards. It is very time consuming and quite expensive (fine mill bits  are not cheap). It takes quite a while to get everything lined up correctly and then it might take 2 or three hours to mill it. The big advantage is that it will drill the holes for you.
If I am just making one board I use the laser and cheap photo paper method and etch it with hydrogen peroxide and hydrochloric acid. I can have a board ready for drilling in about half an hour using this method.
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« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2008, 03:27:50 15:27 »

To everybody who is using the iron on method
DO YOURSELF'S A BIG FAVOUR AND BUY A LAMINATOR!
you can't beat the consistent heat and pressure the lamintator gives you over manually ironing,I used an iron for years and had good results but the laminator makes it way easier and with way better results and if you use press & peel blue with a laminator I get 100% RESULTS 100% OF THE TIME.
And by the way I never could get good result's with press & peel blue using an iron but excellant results using it with a laminator.
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« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2008, 07:00:57 19:00 »

other website for toner transfer

http://myweb.cableone.net/wheedal/pcb.htm
http://www.riccibitti.com/pcb/pcb.htm
i think toner transfer is more easy and low cost than Photoresist
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« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2008, 07:16:48 19:16 »

To everybody who is using the iron on method
DO YOURSELF'S A BIG FAVOUR AND BUY A LAMINATOR!
you can't beat the consistent heat and pressure the lamintator gives you over manually ironing,I used an iron for years and had good results but the laminator makes it way easier and with way better results and if you use press & peel blue with a laminator I get 100% RESULTS 100% OF THE TIME.
And by the way I never could get good result's with press & peel blue using an iron but excellant results using it with a laminator.

Make sure you bought the high temperature type of laminator machine.  there are two types: low temperature and high temperature. (they are not marked, and you have to find out yourself)   the low temperature type can not melt the toner resin and unable to transfer it to the PCB correctly.   
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« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2008, 07:30:02 19:30 »

http://www.pulsarprofx.com/decalpro/Vertical/1_MENU/1d_Components/Info_GBC_Personal.html
13 popular laminators we tested for use with DecalPRO® and the results are in...
THOSE THAT DO WORK!
Find on eBay and/or office supply stores:

Mfg: GBC

• H-100 (current - 4" model)
• H-200 (discontinued - 9" model)
• H-210 (current - 9" model)
• 250 HS (current - 9" model)
• H-300 (current - 12" model)
• Creative (discontinued - 9" model)

Those That DO NOT WORK!
Mfg: FELLOWES

• Cosmic Laminator (MPL-2)
• EXL-95-2
Mfg: STAPLES

• LM1910
Mfg: ROYAL

• PL-100
• PL-2100
• PL-2112
Mfg: 3M

• 9" Scotch
Mfg: BANNER AMERICAN

• QuickFinish PL100
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« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2008, 09:26:33 09:26 »

Can you please detail the procedure of using the laminator for PCB transfer?
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« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2008, 07:36:09 19:36 »

exactly the same as the iron on method except you put the paper and pcb through the laminator instead of ironing,the main differance is the laminator has even heat and pressure where ironing is only hit and miss unless it's a small board
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« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2008, 01:46:18 13:46 »

I use tonertransfer with laminator and glossy newsprint from magazines, really pleased with the result. Have never gotten really good results with laser/inkjet papers. Only downside is that it's trickier to see your printed pattern since the paper is already printed on.
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« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2008, 03:10:35 15:10 »

Have any one using screen Print for pcb. I think its easy and huge pices for pcb. most of the time i am using this procedure. if some want to say about it then let me know. Grin
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« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2008, 03:41:34 15:41 »

HELLO
I AM USING TONER TRANSFER METHOD ONLY .BUT I TRIED SCREEN PRINTING METHOD.IT IS TOO MUCH TIME TAKING PROCESS TO PREPARE THE IMAGE.IT REQUIRES TOO MUCH CLEANING FOR THE MESH AFTER THE JOB IS DONE.SO AGAIN I CAME BACK TO TONER TRANSFER METHOD.
I AM ETCHING OUT THE PCB AND AFTER DRILLING I AM DIRECTLY USIING THE PCB FOR SOLDERING.IF I LEFT FOR SOME HOURS ,BOARD IS GETTING RUST.SO I NEED A GOOD METHOD FOR TINNING AND SOLDER MASK.
BBARNEY THE IMAGE U HAVE SHOWN IS IN GREEN COLOUR.I THINK IT IS SOLDER MASK. CAN U GIVE SOME DETAILS OF TINNING AND APPLYING SOLDER MASK TO THE PCB. I WILL BE THANK FUL TO U AND ALL .
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« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2008, 01:32:44 13:32 »

HELLO
I AM USING TONER TRANSFER METHOD ONLY .BUT I TRIED SCREEN PRINTING METHOD.IT IS TOO MUCH TIME TAKING PROCESS TO PREPARE THE IMAGE.IT REQUIRES TOO MUCH CLEANING FOR THE MESH AFTER THE JOB IS DONE.SO AGAIN I CAME BACK TO TONER TRANSFER METHOD.
I AM ETCHING OUT THE PCB AND AFTER DRILLING I AM DIRECTLY USIING THE PCB FOR SOLDERING.IF I LEFT FOR SOME HOURS ,BOARD IS GETTING RUST.SO I NEED A GOOD METHOD FOR TINNING AND SOLDER MASK.
BBARNEY THE IMAGE U HAVE SHOWN IS IN GREEN COLOUR.I THINK IT IS SOLDER MASK. CAN U GIVE SOME DETAILS OF TINNING AND APPLYING SOLDER MASK TO THE PCB. I WILL BE THANK FUL TO U AND ALL .

we will be thank ful to u Cheesy
i use photoresist and i get really good results
i'm using 2 neon uv-c but i think the plexiglass is blocking them
so the pcb need an exposure of 15 minutes...
on the other hand it's not too bad, i always forget the pcb under the uv for 20-25 minutes without overexposures... Tongue
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Salut tuturor(hallo to all)


« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2008, 03:54:42 15:54 »

toner transfer is good
look kit and special paper
http://www.pulsarprofx.com/PCB/a_Pages/6_Products_and_Store/_Store.html
http://www.metrafo.ro/info.html?cod=TES200
« Last Edit: February 09, 2008, 09:57:45 21:57 by user112 » Logged
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« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2008, 05:50:04 17:50 »

the solder tinning is called liquid tin and made by MG Chemicalsl you soak the board in it for 5 min and the green color there is actually transparent green laquer spray paint made by Testor the hobby model paint manf.
http://www.hobbylinc.com/prods/s_tes.htm
http://mgchemicals.com/products/421.html



HELLO
I AM USING TONER TRANSFER METHOD ONLY .BUT I TRIED SCREEN PRINTING METHOD.IT IS TOO MUCH TIME TAKING PROCESS TO PREPARE THE IMAGE.IT REQUIRES TOO MUCH CLEANING FOR THE MESH AFTER THE JOB IS DONE.SO AGAIN I CAME BACK TO TONER TRANSFER METHOD.
I AM ETCHING OUT THE PCB AND AFTER DRILLING I AM DIRECTLY USIING THE PCB FOR SOLDERING.IF I LEFT FOR SOME HOURS ,BOARD IS GETTING RUST.SO I NEED A GOOD METHOD FOR TINNING AND SOLDER MASK.
BBARNEY THE IMAGE U HAVE SHOWN IS IN GREEN COLOUR.I THINK IT IS SOLDER MASK. CAN U GIVE SOME DETAILS OF TINNING AND APPLYING SOLDER MASK TO THE PCB. I WILL BE THANK FUL TO U AND ALL .
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« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2008, 09:05:12 21:05 »

i've been trying many kind of of paper for toner transfer with heating and pressure (iron or others), and in my experience  sticker paper (printed in the smooth sliperry yellow side) which result the best for me. after ironing let the pcb blow with cool air (i use ordinary fan), until the paper lose/drop by it self from the pcb. then i always see the best result, no carbon left in the paper no carbon crack in the copper, just make sure before ironing get the copper washed ,clean and free from dust and fat (probably fat from your hand, just don't touch the copper side). and make sure the pcb is real flat to accept the transfer (no bad pcb cutting)Smiley
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« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2008, 01:19:44 01:19 »

I tried with magazine paper and had different expierences... I tried with a color page, the face page (is thicker than the others) and a white page with text. The best result was in a white page. I used toner transfer, used an 1200 dpi image and printed with 1200 dpi resolution (almost any laser printer today makes this resolution). I used the Iron, set in Cotton (controlled the temperature for 180-190 celsius) and pushed as many i could. I transfered a 4 mil text with sucess... And the net width was 14 mil. Perfect transfer of MSSOP part (clearance of 8 mil) , no cuts or fails. The secret is the paper... The paper cant dissolve easily with water... Cannot have many recycled content. And cannot have color in the back or in the front... If you want to make a double face... I dont know what happen, but it appears the paper shrinks, difficulting to center. With white paper, it didn't happen.
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« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2008, 06:35:46 18:35 »

I bought a Laminator today, the GBC H-210, and try the transfer method with it.
Even at the higher temperature setting it cannot melt the toner for transfer to the PCB.

It is very disapointing.  I tried with different types of paper but still no result.  So photoresist is still the best method for me.
Ironing for very small PCBs.
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« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2008, 07:12:14 19:12 »

pl4tonas
What kind of  printer are you using and what paper.if you can find a few sheets of press&peel blue I'am sure you will be impressed also the pcb must be sqeaky clean.there are a few laser printers that don't work very well and the laminator you bought should work and the paper is a factor to you will just have to experiment to find the right combo
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