1. SPS Accounts:
    Do you find yourself coming back time after time? Do you appreciate the ongoing hard work to keep this community focused and successful in its mission? Please consider supporting us by upgrading to an SPS Account. Besides the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from supporting a good cause, you'll also get a significant number of ever-expanding perks and benefits on the site and the forums. Click here to find out more.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
You are currently viewing Boards o' Magick as a guest, but you can register an account here. Registration is fast, easy and free. Once registered you will have access to search the forums, create and respond to threads, PM other members, upload screenshots and access many other features unavailable to guests.

BoM cultivates a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. We have been aiming for quality over quantity with our forums from their inception, and believe that this distinction is truly tangible and valued by our members. We'd love to have you join us today!

(If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us. If you've forgotten your username or password, click here.)

Clock/Calendar Project: The PCB Fabrication

Discussion in 'BoM Blogs' started by Blackthorne TA, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2000
    Messages:
    10,247
    Media:
    40
    Likes Received:
    206
    Gender:
    Male
    Now that the designs were complete, it was time to fabricate it, starting with etching the PCB designs onto real copper-clad PCB boards.

    As last time I used the PCB Fab in a Box toner transfer method.

    The first step is to print the PCB designs using a laser printer onto special paper that has a water-soluble coating. Then use a laminator to fuse the exposed toner to the copper-clad board and dunk it into water to release the original paper, leaving just the toner image behind.

    Here's a picture of the back of the clock PCB with the toner transferred:
    [​IMG]

    Once that's done, the Fab in a Box kit has what they call Green TRF which is a green film on a thin plastic backer film that fuses to toner via the laminator and leaves a more impermeable surface before etching.
    Here are a couple of pictures of the front of the clock PCB and the front of the clock face PCB with the toner and Green TRF adhered:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Then I used Ferric Chloride to etch away the exposed copper, leaving the desired traces behind:
    [​IMG]

    And finally, the toner and Green TRF film are removed using acetone and the holes drilled. Here's a picture of the clock PCB front in the middle of that process:
    [​IMG]

    So there you go! The only things left are pictures of the boards populated with the components and the working item in the fiberboard enclosure I made!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 20, 2015
  2. DavidMoss Gems: 1/31
    Latest gem: Turquoise


    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2015
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    I also used this method for my projects. But i have some problem with this method.
    I want to know how to choose the concentration of the Ferric Chloride? Also how i can laminate it?
    Always there is the problem of the minor track breaking, how i can reduce it?
    Also permanent markers got remove from the Copper Clad Board while it is sunk in the FeCl3.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2016
  3. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2000
    Messages:
    10,247
    Media:
    40
    Likes Received:
    206
    Gender:
    Male
    I used a standard solution of FeCl3 made for etching PCB boards, not an anhydrous powder or somesuch that needed dilution, so I'd have to look at the bottle to see if it describes the concentration.

    How can you laminate what?

    I'm not sure what you mean by minor track breaking. Do you mean in the transfer from the print to the PCB you get some gaps in the traces? I fixed those kinds of defects with a green Sharpie permanent marker. To reduce them depends on why you're getting gaps. If the toner is there in the printout in the same concentration but not adhering to the PCB, then you need to clean the PCB better. If the problem is that the toner is too light, you need to adjust your printer settings to increase the density. If the problem is that your printer is not very consistent in depositing toner onto the paper, there's not much you can do other than touch the defects up with a Sharpie.

    I never had a problem with Sharpie permanent marker ink being removed by FeCl3; it took acetone to remove it just like the toner and Green TRF. But I also do not submerge the PCB in FeCl3; I use a sponge or cotton ball to wipe the board with FeCL3 until the unwanted copper is gone.
     
Sorcerer's Place is an independent project run entirely by fans and for fans. Maintaining Sorcerer's Place and a stable environment for all our hosted sites requires a substantial amount of time and money on a regular basis, so please consider supporting us to keep the site up & running smoothly. Thank you!