Lamination For PC Board Etching

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)

17 thoughts on “Lamination For PC Board Etching

  1. I do this, but with matte photo paper. I didn’t get great results with magazine paper (or I didn’t have the right magazines). Anyways, I spent the money and bought Epson matte photo paper and it’s been working great.

    I decased my laminator to allow for larger and smaller boards. Smaller boards wouldn’t come out, and larger boards wouldn’t fit it.

    You do have to run them through a good 8-10 times though. And they come out pretty hot.

  2. i use a laminator as well and i, too, could not get magazine paper to work. i use glossy paper (the kind *without* water protection, that is very important as you have to remove the paper by soaking it) which works great.

    i run my boards through about 15-20 times as i found that boards wouldn’t etch completely if i did it less. at any rate, using a laminator is much much better than a clothes iron, i can’t stress that enough. i used to have problems etching boards with dip ic’s with a clothes iron, now with the laminator i do surface mount soldering with tssop ic packages just fine.

  3. magazine or very thin paper is a must, but i don’t use lamination rather i use to stop the printer just before the paper with the toner is reaching the fixation unit in the printer, then in very slowly i can remove the paper with the unfixed/burned toner, so to transfer this to pcb is very easy

    but i rather use photo-echting cause this methode is more superior, but sure a bit time consuming

  4. the one you see in the picture is the laminator from walmart.

    29$ canadian

    I bought it months ago to test it never got to make it work it the special PCB paper. I never tried it with photo paper or magasine.

    I think the printer makes a big job too. Be sure that the printer puts a lot of toner on it! I have tried different setting with no luck.

  5. I use a royal sovereign NR-1201

    I’ve had it over a year and it works great. It has adjustable temperature but I have always used the highest setting. Also the rollers are spring loaded, not sure how unique this is but it probably helps since pcbs are thicker than what the machine was designed for. Also be sure and use 1/16” pcbs, when I started using this method I took me awhile to figure out that the thinner pcbs I was using was the reason my board were not coming out right… wasn’t getting enough pressure.

  6. Does anyone else find it amusing that has pulled the page due to exceeded data limits, but is happy enough to serve up the cached version of the page? Albeit without photos, but still…
    And miked, that was probably a preemptive strike. Which appears to have worked well.

  7. Not to take anything away from the featured site, but hasn’t Don Lancaster been doing this for at least a decade? Search for “kroy color”.

    Part of the problem may be that even though I’ve been reading Don since Radio-Electronics days, I don’t think he has exactly gone into a lot of detail of what a “kroy color machine” is.

  8. “Place board into etch solution. Note the few wraps of tape on the edges to space the board off the bottom for faster etching.”

    If you are using Eagle Cad – look at doing “Ground pouring”. Basically you use all possible space for ground, there giving you a lot faster etch time and, well, a better ground plane. Very helpful in Audio/RF IIRC.

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