While looking into home PCB board production, I came across a fantastic two-fer article on Hack-a-Day that I was having trouble finding a few months back. In the interest of being able to find it again and hope that it raises the search ranking a bit for others on the hunt, I am archiving it here along with a few other related articles. I hope this helps others as much as it helped me.

Etching your boards really, really fast covers both rapid toner transfer to the PCB using parchment paper, instead of the usual newsprint, and also a demonstration of extraordinarily fast etching to almost literally “wipe the copper away”. Check out the video below showing the crazy etching.

PCB with Lasered Paint Resist and Fast Sponge Etching

TomG shows how he etches PCB boards using paint, a 25W laser cutter, Muratic Acid, 30% H2O2 and a sponge. Much frothing ensues.

In the parchment toner transfer article the author put a link to another Instructable for creating DIY solder masks using a very cool UV curing film. I just did my first SOIC soldering the other night (a DS2482-100 (PDF) chip onto a Sparkfun SOIC breakout for use with an Electric Imp) and have heard that without the solder mask, it becomes quite difficult to get do the soldering correctly with these fine-pitch components. Check out this photo of the finished results.

Finished Product

And that’s it. You have a perfect board with solder mask like the professionals. Just stuff your board with the components and your circuit board is ready!!!

And lastly, while I’m at it, here is The Maker Map. Not to be confused with Hackerspaces.me (using cool hacker space APIs).



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