DIY Printed Circuit Board

It is possible to create a printed circuit board by your own hands. It might come out looking plainer than the manufactured version but it may give out more convenience to the workers.

  • PCB designing software
  • Laser Printer
  • Glossy paper or Photo paper
  • 1.8 mm copper boards
  • 600 grit sandpaper
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Hot iron
  • Muriatic acid
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Center punch and hammer
  • Drill
1. PCB Layout

PcbBefore anything else, a printed circuit board designing software is needed for creating the circuit schematic diagram. An open source program such as Fritzing could be also used in designing the circuit. This will serve as the “blueprint” of the circuit that is going to be created.

It is important to do this in the first step so that the user has a visual representation of what kind of circuit the user wants. It is also important to know how things work out with the software that will be used in creating a circuit. Once the layout is finished, it has to go through a number of options then finally print it using a laser printer. The layout has to be in the middle of the Photo Paper.

It’s either adjust the print setting for the center page or just print the picture then pasting it in the middle on another paper. This will serve as the mirror image of the printed circuit board layout.

2. Scratching the copper clad board

The size of the copper clad board must fit with the printed circuit board layout design. Otherwise, it needs to get it cut to the size according to the layout design. With the use of sandpaper, rub it against the copper clad board to remove the oxide layer. It will help in making the paper stick suitably to the board. This may be done with a tissue underneath to keep the workplace clean. Fine scratches allow the toner to stick better. After scratching, it is better to apply an isopropyl alcohol on the scratched area to clean the board.

3. Paste the layout on the copper board

There are three ways to paste the layout on the copper board. It’s either the copper board is placed beside the photo paper then fold the paper over it, or put the copper board on top of the layout design with the copper or scratched side down then fold the paper, or cut out the layout design and place it on top of the copper board with the printer side down then properly stick it with tape at the corners. It is advisable to avoid wrinkles on the printed side while pasting it on the copper board.

4. Ironing the copper board

Place the board on a hard and flat surface. Set the iron to medium-high and let it finish heating up for a while. Push down and apply steady pressure on the board so that the print will stick on the copper board. Start easy as if ironing clothes then push it down hard then press it going over each trace of the print. The heat will allow the ink to transfer to the board.

Continue to iron the whole thing for 5-10 minutes. After that, let it cool down by setting it aside or waving it around a little bit. Then slowly and gently open the folded paper. Make sure to peel away to the side and not upward. Just in case the paper got stuck to the board, apply warm water to remove the paper. If there are any imperfections or spots on the board that was light, use a sharpie pen to repair them.

5. Etching

DIY Printed Circuit BoardAlways add the muriatic acid to the hydrogen peroxide. Use a small bowl to pour the two chemicals then mix them all together. Place the board inside the solution. A popsicle stick could be used to move the board up and down the solution to keep the flow over the board instead of hands. For safety measures, wear goggles to shield the eyes from the solution and do not breathe the fumes coming out of the solution. Be sure to do this in an open area.

Notice that the solution will change color and the film is sheeting off; that is the copper. The process will take a few minutes. Once the copper has been pulled off, use the stick to place it in a bowl of water to rinse it. Again, use a sandpaper to rub away the print and what is left of the copper sheet. Lacquer thinner can also be used to remove the print.

6. Drilling

Place the center punch on the center of the hole then give it a light tap of the hammer giving it an indent. Then use the drill to make a hole into the board. Repeat the process once every hole has been drilled.

7. Solder

Get the other components ready then solder them into the board. Once that has been done, using a cutter cut the unwanted legs of the components.

This concludes the DIY process. If the board needs to be further designed and assembled, visit They are capable of completing the job at a low-cost in a short period of time. If making a PCB is too much work and could cause risk, has the best and high-quality printed circuit board materials that could be bought at a low cost with an outstanding service.


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