[Rhys Goodwin] has been working on a system to print resist onto copper clad using an inkjet printer. This is a toner transfer alternative as it still uses toner, just not quite as you’d expect. The first step is to modify an inkjet printer, separating the carriage from the feed rollers in order to increase the clearance for the substrate. Instead of printing with etch resistant ink, as we’ve seen before, [Rhys] prints with black ink and then covers the board (ink still wet) in laser toner. Once there’s good adhesion he blows off the excess and bakes the board in a sandwich press, with spacers to keep the iron from touching the surface of the copper clad. This cooks the resist into a hard plastic layer and the board is ready for the acid. Watch him walk you through the process after the break.
[Rhys] uses the same method for silk screen, printing in red and baking the ink onto the substrate without added toner. This produces a nice looking board but it’s still quite a bit of work. It certainly sheds more light on the process than that laser-printer method from back in May. We hope you’ve been inspired by this and come up with the next innovation that makes this process easier.
Continue reading “Direct to PCB inkjet printing”
Inkjet printheads are a pretty rare thing to see done in home workshops. We would love to see more and got really excited when we saw this single nozzle, drop on demand, head being built. using a piezo disk intended to be a cheap buzzer and some reprap magic, [Johnrpm] got some results. [Madscifi] has been refining the design of the nozzle and the two have shared the process with us. Since it drops a single droplet of liquid, it can be used in a variety of manners, such as dropping plain old boring ink, or dropping a solvent into a powder for some 3d printing. You can see an example of the 3d printing in sugar above.
Creepy or not?
Do you find these faces creepy or cute? They can display a huge range of facial gestures and the German engineers who designed them were trying to avoid the uncanny valley. That’s the point at which human features on a robot seem quite real, but are off in just the right way as to cause revulsion. [Thanks Simon]
Water in your ink cartridge
Like all great hackers [Dean] digs through his neighbors’ trash. He found an inkjet printer but wanted to test it out before buying new cartridges. The old ones were dried up but he revitalized them with an injection of filtered water. It might get you through that quick printing project without a trip to Walgreen’s.
Laser-cut LP record
[Niklas Roy] demonstrates a laser-cut LP record. He’s using acrylic as a medium, kind of like a big CD with grooves in it. He’s got several tracks that are simple loops instead of the longer spirals you may be familiar with. They definitely sound different but it’s up to you to decide if that’s by design, or a fluke.
Star Wars cinema
Ever wonder what to do with those classic toys you’ve got sitting around? Here’s a little video that envisions your life with an AT-AT as the house pet. [Thanks Gabe via Wired]
Full Spectrum Engineering has offered up a tutorial for their inkjet direct PCB kits that repurpose direct-to-CD capable inkjet printers (such as the Epson R280) to print etch-resistant ink straight onto copper clad board. This is easier and less error prone than some iron-on methods, especially for two-sided boards. Just print (no need to reverse the design), dry on a hot plate or in a toaster oven for a couple minutes, and your board’s ready for etching!
Homebrew methods exist for all of this, but for those who would rather move ahead with their design than spend time scrounging for the required bits, the kits
offer a pretty good value. They can also meet you halfway…say if you’re only lacking access to a laser cutter and just want the CD stencil…all of the parts are available individually or as a complete set: the resist ink cartridge, the stainless steel board-holding stencil, and a supply of double-sided copper clad boards precisely sized for the stencil (3.5 by 2.5 inches). The small board size is well within the limits of the freeware Eagle Light Edition
Concerned about gunking up your nice inkjet with non-OEM ink? You can dedicate hardware to the job without breaking the bank. Many of the compatible printers are of the “free printer after rebate” bundle variety that can now be found inexpensively on Craigslist or eBay.
We’ve seen a lot of 3d printing lately, with the RepRap and Cupcake, both the fused deposition modeling type. We don’t often see the Inkjet method. This is a great example of one, built in someones home. Instead of laying down layers of molten plastic, he uses the inkjet system to deposit glue like substances into layers of plaster. This project is much higher resolution than the other two, as you can see in the video of it making an RC engine case below. He is currently rebuilding it to be even better and larger.
Continue reading “3D Printing at home”