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.
The Motori plotter is fast and high precision. One image shows that it is drawing lines at .5mm. Like others in the flickr set, we keep thinking of how we could apply this to PCB creation. Great job [svofski]. If you want one that’s not as precise, but might have a much cooler drawing mechanism, you might want to check out the lego arm plotter we posted back in May.
[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.
While we hope you enjoyed our How-To: Etch a printed circuit board, toner transfer certainly isn’t the only way to get the job done. [Garrett] from macetech has recently been playing around with using an Epilog laser to etch PCBs. He started by applying a thin even coat of flat black spray paint to the copper board. The laser is used to remove paint in areas that you want the copper removed. Once that’s done, you proceed with etching as usual. He eventually removed the paint mask using acetone. The result has very fine, sharp traces, but most people that have tried this agree that using spray paint is less than ideal.
Making a PCB is very simple; it does not consume a lot of time and the results look professional. After reading this How-To and watching the step by step video, you will be able to make your own PCB in your workshop using just a few inexpensive materials.
Many people use protoboard and point-to-point wire everything, but needing multiple copies of the same circuit is the reason that forces many away from using protoboard. After making your first circuit board, you might not point-to-point wire anything again!
[andre] sent in his first attempt at using a HD-DVD laser diode to expose photosensitive resist to create PC boards. We’ve been meaning to give this a shot with the ol’ Epilog laser cutter. For the test, he coated the board with some resist and hand exposed it with the laser. Finally, he etched it with some sodium hydroxide.
If you’ve ever tried ironing laser printed paper to transfer the toner, you know that it can be slightly frustrating. [Dave] sent in an interesting twist on this method. The laser printer is used to print onto paper from a magazine and then the board and paper are both run through a laminating machine six or seven times. From the writeup, it looks like this technique works great. (You’ll probably need a printer with a manual feed tray to get it to print on the magazine paper)