Home Tanning Lamps Become Organ Donors For A PCB Exposure Bed

Some projects benefit greatly from the parts a builder is able to find. Take this UV exposure bed for photo-resist copper clad boards (translated). It looks like a commercial product, but was actually built by [TabascoEye] and his fellow hackers.

The main sources for parts were a flatbed scanner (which acts as the case) and two self-tanning lamps that use UVA flourescent bulbs. By sheer luck the bulbs and their reflectors are exactly the right size to fit into the top and bottom cavities of the scanner. The control hardware centers around an ATtiny2313 micorocontroller, which takes input from a clickable rotary encoder, and displays exposure information on a character LCD. The finished product deserves a place right next to other professional-looking exposure boxes that we’ve looked at.

DIY PCB Exposure Box Looks Professionally Made


[Stynus] was frustrated with the fact that he would have to flip his PCBs over mid way through the exposure process, so he decided the best course of action would be to build his own double-sided PCB exposure box.

He scored some UV LEDs on eBay, and after waiting a few weeks for PCBs to arrive, he was ready to start construction. The box contains a sliding glass shelf, which is positioned between two sets of LED panels. The setup lets him simultaneously etch both sides of any PCB, up to 20cm x 30cm in size. The exposure box is run by a PIC 16F628P and features an LCD status panel as well as a small handful of controls. [Stynus] programmed the box to retain the length of the last exposure, making it easy to replicate his results time after time.

Towards the end of the build log he shows off some pictures of the completed exposure box, which looks very professionally done. It’s a great job all around, and we would gladly take one for our workshop in a heartbeat.