Simple PCB etchant made from chemicals you can put in your mouth


[Stephen] often finds the need to make his own PCBs at home, and when he got the urge to do some etching recently, he realized that he was fresh out of “Ferret Chloride and Bureaucratic Acid*.” Undeterred by his empty chemical cabinet, he poked around in his kitchen mixing together anything and everything that might have the ability to strip copper from a PCB.

Now, we don’t necessarily recommend this course of action, but it seems that he finally hit upon a winner. He discovered a formula that can be made at home from simple and safe household ingredients which does the job quite nicely. A fair warning however, standard ferric chloride disposal procedures need to be followed when using this solution.

If you want to know what he concocted in his kitchen as well as the chemistry behind it, you will have to visit his site, we won’t ruin it for you. You can however, see the solution at work in the video we have posted below.

*His joke, not ours

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Building a bigger, better laser engraver

[Bart] built a giant laser etcher from scratch. One of his first test engravings included the Hackaday skull-and-wrenches on a polished granite floor tile (we love it when people do that). He used an XMOS controller and Mach3 CNC software to handle the device. With just two axes to worry about this seem like an easy project. The difficult bit is controlling, cooling, and focusing the laser.  Oh, and if you screw up, you could be blinded, burned or horribly maimed. But if you start from the beginning you’ll see that [Bart] knows what he’s doing.

Laser etching fruit

laserlable-ed02 (Custom)

Ever annoyed by those pesky stickers on your fruit?  They never seem to pull off in one piece and they always leave a little glue behind. Well, the industry might be moving away from them in favor of laser etching each piece of fruit. They are using a low energy carbon dioxide laser to etch the skin. The FDA is in the final stages of approval for using this in the states. It is already in use in New Zealand. We might find this a bit weird, but we’ve seen weirder.


[via slashdot]

Etch aluminum control panels

aluminum etched control panel

This clever Instructable demonstrates how to etch beautiful aluminum control panels for electronics projects. We like how similar this process is to DIY circuit board etching. Both abide by the same technique and use blue transfer paper. The primary difference is in the use of muriatic acid and hydrogen peroxide for etching aluminum.

Etching agitator

It might be a little bit of overkill, but this etching container agitator sure looks convenient. There’s not much to it technically, a small circuit with an ATtiny45. For those beginning with this stuff, he has written a pretty good tutorial on working with basic microcontrollers. If you are more interested in a tutorial on etching, we did a  guide on how to etch a single sided PCB.

Flexible circuit valentine


[xander] built this LED valentine for his loved one. It’s interesting because he used Pyralux, a flexible circuit board material from DuPont. He describes the consistency as “tough plastic tissue-paper”, but had no trouble using standard toner transfer etching. It has an ATtiny45 microcontroller that pulses the 16 LEDs at an approximation of his heart beat. To avoid soldering a bunch of surface mount resistors, he used two constant current shift registers.