DEVASISH DEVKUMAR PADHY Page 1
Making your own Printed Circuit Boards
These hints are worth gold! Some close friends, engineers, technicians and the like were admired with thequality achieved by this process. Again, the motivation arised after veryfing that in the brazilian market isvery hard to find materials for doing an industry-grade PCB at home. There are those nasty pens (usingthem sucks)...there are transfer sheets ('Letraset' a load of work for doing a pcb) and finally there aren´tthose special transfer papers, imported and mainly USA made. Even if we got them here, their cost wouldbe prohibitive. After doing a good research on the Net and finding out some crazies that were usingregular paper and a laser print for doing PCBs at home, I started to test many kinds of materials and papersuntil coming up with the final solution!
A laser printer (It ONLY works with LASER Printers!) A friend of mine did some tests on a Xeroxcopier. It works, but sometimes the toner won´t come off the paper when you´re 'ironing' theboard...
A4 Photo paper. The best brands for experimenting are EPSON and KODAK. Kodak is cool becauseyou can use either side of the paper!
A good ironing "tool": I use a black&decker...really HOT... =)
And some more stuff, check the picture:
Instead of the electrical tape, use masking tape, since it won´t melt...
The first step is to have a PRINTED CIRCUIT ARTWORK. You can get this from the original designer OR usesoftware for doing it. I use and like very much one called EAGLE. It´s excellent and freeware (limited forsmall sized boards and number of pins) and have one of the best part libraries that I´ve ever found. Youcan get it for free at
The second step is to have the Copper board. It´s cheap andyou can use one for many projects. The board pictured below is over a PHOTO PAPER SHEET, you can checkthe paper glare in the lower part of the picture. The board we are going to use is bigger than the testdesign showed here, just to demonstrate the process.