Printed circuit board etching


This isn’t meant to be the definitive PCB etching post. I don’t have any experience etching boards and was hoping readers could contribute their best/favorite methods for etching boards in the comments.

We’re linking to Tom Gootee’s page on toner transfer etching. The first step is to print the design on glossy paper using a laser printer. An iron is then used to transfer the toner to a prepped copper board. The board is then soaked in etchant to remove the exposed copper. The printer toner is mostly plastic and resists the etchant. Once the board¬† is etched, Acetone is used to remove the toner. Tom has been keeping his site up to date and as his research progresses.


  1. Tultilliall says:

    Hi, I am new here.

    Just looking around and thought I`d say hi. My name is melissa. I hope to meet all new people.

    Or, Melissa

  2. pcb says:

    As somewhat of an amateur pcb maker myself I thought I’d throw out a couple of tips I’ve come by. First is that a heat laminator is invaluable in getting your toner transfer to work nearly perfect. I tried for years with an iron before picking up a used lamination machine and bieng struck by the difference. The second is don’t waste money buying special paper to do the transfer. I spent alot of money buying various inkjet papers over the years. The absolute best paper I’ve found for making pcb’s I get for free. The mailman leaves a quantity of it in my mailbox almost daily. Those glossy looking advertisements are a far superior transfer to any inkjet paper you can buy and they scrub off easier too.

  3. Mitchell says:

    Super cool, I use for my PCBs!

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