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Friday, September 24, 2021

How to make PCB at home

In this article, we are going to discuss about how to make PCB at home?

PCB makes home Step By Step

What you need FOR PCB MAKING

Finding the right paper:

For PCB layer image of print need to  perfect paper should be  glossy, thin, and cheap due this it will see  lustrous and Shiny when new.

Paper preparation:

When we take printed, then pages should be with normal-size text on white background. Because Heavy paper does not transfer on the PCB, heavy print of headlines sometimes accumulate so much ink that some gets on copper. First make the paper to a size suitable for your printer. Generally use it get straight, clean cuts, as jagged borders and paper dust are more prone to clog printer mechanism. An office cutter is ideal, but also a blade-cutter and a steady handwork well.

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Printer setup:

For PCB making Laser printers are not designed for handling thin, cheap paper, so we must help them feeding the sheets manually instead of using the paper tray. Use a straight paper path minimizes the chances of clogging.

Always try to use toner on paper as possible and for printer setting properties to the maximum contrast and blackness possible.

Printing:

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When printer setting is ready then print your PCB layout as usual.

How to cut raw material

PCB material is generally use fiber glass like, How to cut at home, A groove with a blade cutter or a glass cutter. If have groove weakens the board to the point due that bending it manually breaks it along the groove line. PCB cutting the whole board along a line that goes from side to side, that is you can’t cut a U or L shaped board with it.If we have small boards, then Lock  the PCB material in a vice and then aligning vice edge and cut line. Generally use all- aluminum vice which is soft and which doesn’t scratch copper, if you use a steel vice protect copper Surface with soft material. Ensure to scratch edge-to-edge. Repeat this step 5-6 times on each side. Bend the board. If groove is deep enough, the board will break before reaching a 30 degrees bend by this technique we will cut the PCB material for our PCB size.

Cleaning the board for transfer:

When cut the material the its copper surface should be clean  and free from grease which could adverse etching and remove oxide from copper surface, Generally use  abrasive spongy scrubs sold for kitchen cleaning because It’s cheaper than ultra-fine sandpaper and reusable many times and also use metallic wool sold for kitchen cleaning purposes also works. By this process scrub copper surface until really shiny and rinse, dry with a clean cloth or kitchen paper.

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Preparing for transfer:

When paper and material are ready to fit for PCB make then cut excess paper around one corner (leave a small margin though and Leave plenty of paper on the other sides to fix the paper to the desk. If the board is larger than the final PCB, there is large margin for easy placement of paper on copper.


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IRON IT:

For paper import to PCB material then use the iron to its maximum heat (COTTON position) and turn off steam, First time when the iron warms up, Fir the material on table. Always don’t work on an ironing board as its soft surface makes it difficult to apply pressure and keep the PCB in place. Make sure protect table surface with flat, heat-resistant material (like old magazines) and place the board on top, copper face up. Lock the board in place with double-adhesive tape. Set  the PCB printout over the copper surface, toner down, and align paper and board corners. Use the Lock for the paper with scotch tape along one side only. In this process you can flip the paper in and out instantly.

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Peeling:

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When PCB is cool enough to touch, trim excess paper and immerge in water. First soak for 1 minute or until paper softens.

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Use Cheap paper softens almost immediately, turning into a pulp that is easy to remove rubbing with your thumb.

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Then keep rubbing until all paper dissolves (usually less than 1 minute.  Magnified view of the tracks, these are 1206 PAD and SO8 SMT PAD, connected by 0.50MM tracks.

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The hanger tool:

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This process to etch is keeping the PCB horizontal and it can dissolved copper gets rapidly dispersed in the solution by gravity due to this  the solution close to the PCB does not saturate and etching proceeds quicker. Any time it is not easy to keep the PCB in place in an highly corrosive acid. So hanger is best attempt to solve the problem. It made  with plastic-insulated copper wire. This wire must have a rigid core, but must be also easy enough to adapt to the board by hand without tools. Core diameter of 1 to 2mm is fine. Make it like Give it the form of an “arm “ending with 4 “fingers”.

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And each finger has a ring tip that fits a corner of the board. Then close fingers around board corners. After that can use the handle to splash the board into the etching solution, stir, and inspect how etching proceeds.

Etching:

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For PCB etching have liquids in market, so we use that can available easy and suitable for us. Generally use at home ferric chloride is this brown stuff), we use this because it’s cheap, can be reused, and also don’t heating.

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When we do the  etching, first take  the container on the floor with some scrap cardboard or newspaper to protect the floor from drops and the fit the board on the hanger, submerge the PCB and Stir occasionally by waving the hanger.

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After this process after 10 minutes some copper is removed and make first tracks. After that continuously and check often, according to this process completes rather quickly. Don’t do fast it , otherwise thinner tracks start being eroded . As per PCB rule of thumb, stop 30 seconds after you don’t see any copper leftovers over large areas.

Finishing touches:

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When completed the all process then use few drops of thinner which use for remove all dust and for shiny with a  pinch of cotton wool will remove completely the toner, bringing back the copper surface. Use the Rinse carefully and dry with a clean cloth or kitchen paper. Then make the final size and clear the edges with sandpaper.

Final PCB:

If we have SMT PCB design then can easy made home because SMT PCB don’t require drill hole.

How to make PCB at home

For this process can make 20 mil (0.5)MM wide track, If have larger and thinner pad then can make double pad use same process for larger pad and for thinner pad can use half of same PAD .As per below PIC of Final PCB which are made by above process with components mounted.

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