[Noisebridge-discuss] PCB fab places?

Gopiballava Flaherty gopiballava at gmail.com
Thu Nov 24 01:39:55 UTC 2011

Making PCBs yourself isn't hard in theory. In practice there are lots of little bits that you need to get right - so the advice of a person who knows is an enormous time saver. 

I don't know if they still make them, but I used to use press-on transfers with DIP holes, then hand draw the connections from there. If your board is simple that might be less effort than the toner transfer. Of course, once you have the toner transfer down right - iron temperature, paper type, etc, then it should be easy. 

I have gotten addicted to small surface mount parts, and it is almost impossible to hand make boards that have 0604 or 0402 resistor pads. If you have a good iron and your hands don't shake, you can make your board really tiny with those sorts of parts - which also makes it much cheaper. 

My opinion: if the prices at dorkbot are tolerable to you, get them to do your boards. They make really great boards, and you can make them smaller than you could build yourself. If you have the patience to wait. 

I use dorkbot for my personal stuff and a local fab for work. The last boards I made locally were ~2x4" and cost ~$120 for 3. Sent them on Monday, picked up in person Friday. 


gopi at iPhone

On Nov 23, 2011, at 16:57, Jake <jake at spaz.org> wrote:

> You can fab boards at noisebridge.  Its not that hard, i've done it many 
> times.
> You take some glossy paper (i used to buy cheap inkjet paper, and then i 
> discovered that glossy magazine pages work just as well) and a blank 
> circuitboard (we have tons of the stuff in the PCB bin on the shelf)
> print your board pattern (mirror image) with a LASER PRINTER onto the 
> glossy paper,
> clean the circuitboard with a green slightly abrasive dishsponge, with 
> running water and soap, polishing it to a dull shine, rinse off the soap, 
> and put it in a toaster oven to dry it off.
> put some regular paper down on the table, put the circuitboard on that, 
> and now put the toner-side down glossy paper onto the circuitboard.  Now 
> put a couple layers of regular paper on top of that.
> Now, iron it!  use a clothes iron, set to the highest temperature, and 
> iron the shit out of the whole thing.  It takes practice, or you can get 
> me to do it and i'll show you, but when you're done, all the toner is 
> transferred to the circuitboard.
> After it cools, take off the paper and see your art on the board.  If 
> there are any spots where the toner didn't take, use a paint pen or nail 
> polish or pretty much anything to touch it up (even Sharpie works) and 
> mask off other areas (or the other side, if it's a two-sided board)
> then throw it in the Ferric Chloride.. yes we have some.
> After a few minutes in the FeCl the board is etched - you can see it 
> happening.  Take it out, rinse it off (don't get FeCl on the stainless 
> steel sink though) and now clean off the toner with a solvent (nail polish 
> remover works, as do other things) and start drilling holes.
> If you set up your software to print holes as holes in the printout, you 
> will now have little divets on your copper pattern.  It's easy to get the 
> little drillbit to center on these holes because the copper deflects the 
> drillbit until it's centered.  A child could do it!
> lemme know if you want help.
> -jake
>> Hey,
>> Does anybody know of a good place to get a pc board fabbed? I've
>> usually used gold phoenix for projects that need multiples of the same
>> design, but this time I just need one. It doesn't need more than 2
>> layers or anything fancy, does anybody have a favorite local place for
>> this kinda thing?
>> Cheers
>> Ray
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