Author Topic: Newbie PCB production  (Read 1792 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline tooki

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5649
  • Country: ch
Re: Newbie PCB production
« Reply #25 on: October 24, 2020, 01:07:47 pm »
Adobe Photoshop will help you out  :)
Talk about suggesting the wrong tool for the job...
Plus,  I shouldn’t have to ask the IT department to license an expensive software package to print a mirror image.

Do you often need to perform mirror printing?
If not, then free on-line photoshop will help you or any other graphic program.
If often, it may be cheaper and easier to buy a local inexpensive printer.
I appreciate you trying to be helpful, but it was just a rant on my part, not a request for help. :p I’m a computer professional myself.

Luckily, the main thing I ever need to print in mirror image (even on Windows) is PCBs, and both of the layout programs I use (EasyEDA and Altium) know how to do that themselves.

Why do you print mirror images? Do you use thermal transfer of toner to make PCB? Having noticed by contacting the IT Department, this is not a personal hobby for you. Why do you manufacture the PCB yourself?
Yes, toner transfer (the topic of the entire discussion I was replying to).

Electronics is both a hobby and my job. At home, I often need just a single board. At work, it'd sometimes be handy to be able to make a simple PCB quickly. (Plus, it's just fun to do on occasion!) In this particular instance, I also want to explore using toner transfer for making front panels and nameplates, both using toner as "silkscreen", but also as resist to try etching aluminum. Other than that, we order PCBs from China.

I wonder how much it costs to make 2 sides of a PCB in Canada?
I wouldn't know. I've only ever been to Canada once, and that was on holiday.

Much more expensive than in China?
Probably. Few places are cheaper than China!

In Russia, in particular in my city, we have more than 5 enterprises that independently produce PCB. Some of them are military and there do not want to hear about third-party orders, and the civilian price for 1dm is 12 times more expensive (taking into account the cost of delivery from China by 8 times approximately). I have been ordering PCB in China for a long time. We have to wait. But you will be surprised: local manufacturers are still more expensive on a small quantity (I only make prototypes, not do mass production), even if the expensive DHL delivery.
I'm in Switzerland. Swiss PCB makers are extremely expensive, and like with many things here, they've specialized on the high-margin, high-end market. I work at a training center, so the boards we make are for relatively simple circuits for apprentices to practice on. So we definitely don't need the high-end Swiss PCBs! :P But even cheaper manufacturers in other parts of Europe aren't nearly as cheap as China, unfortunately.
 

Offline S. Petrukhin

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 405
  • Country: ru
Re: Newbie PCB production
« Reply #26 on: October 24, 2020, 02:53:49 pm »
I'm in Switzerland. Swiss PCB makers are extremely expensive, and like with many things here, they've specialized on the high-margin, high-end market. I work at a training center, so the boards we make are for relatively simple circuits for apprentices to practice on. So we definitely don't need the high-end Swiss PCBs! :P But even cheaper manufacturers in other parts of Europe aren't nearly as cheap as China, unfortunately.

Sorry, I didn't see the flag and made a mistake.  |O

If everything is expensive in Switzerland, it means that your work is paid for expensively and you should have access to local purchases..., theoretically.  :)

However, your work at an educational institution explains everything! It is very good that students touch the process with their own hands. Probably, most of them will never need it and they will use ready-made boards, but understanding what is happening lays a solid foundation of knowledge. This was the case with us earlier, but now the training has become more superficial and introductory. I'm not sure that's a good thing.

You're doing a good job! Respect!
And sorry for my English.
 

Offline tooki

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5649
  • Country: ch
Re: Newbie PCB production
« Reply #27 on: October 25, 2020, 02:59:31 am »
I'm in Switzerland. Swiss PCB makers are extremely expensive, and like with many things here, they've specialized on the high-margin, high-end market. I work at a training center, so the boards we make are for relatively simple circuits for apprentices to practice on. So we definitely don't need the high-end Swiss PCBs! :P But even cheaper manufacturers in other parts of Europe aren't nearly as cheap as China, unfortunately.

Sorry, I didn't see the flag and made a mistake.  |O

If everything is expensive in Switzerland, it means that your work is paid for expensively and you should have access to local purchases..., theoretically.  :)

However, your work at an educational institution explains everything! It is very good that students touch the process with their own hands. Probably, most of them will never need it and they will use ready-made boards, but understanding what is happening lays a solid foundation of knowledge. This was the case with us earlier, but now the training has become more superficial and introductory. I'm not sure that's a good thing.

You're doing a good job! Respect!
Well, not everything is expensive here. (Nor is everyone here rich!) But some things, like low-end PCB making, just aren't profitable to do here, when other places do it so much cheaper. So what remains here is the super high-end.

At work, the apprentices don't etch boards — we don't have time for that, unfortunately. We get the boards from China, like everyone else. :P But it would be nice to be able to prototype things more quickly when we just need a single board.
 

Online Electro Fan

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2541
Re: Newbie PCB production
« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2020, 07:55:05 am »
IMHO Don't even consider making your own!

Layout your own PCB using either KiCAD or DipTrace

Send to Electrow, JLCPCB or PCBWay

If a total beginner wanted to make some simple PCBs and have them made by JLPCCB, and wanted to have the easiest/quickest start wlth CAD to get some early success/momentum would you recommend KiCAD or DipTrace for a PC (not Apple) user?
 

Offline S. Petrukhin

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 405
  • Country: ru
Re: Newbie PCB production
« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2020, 08:51:52 am »
IMHO Don't even consider making your own!

Layout your own PCB using either KiCAD or DipTrace

Send to Electrow, JLCPCB or PCBWay

If a total beginner wanted to make some simple PCBs and have them made by JLPCCB, and wanted to have the easiest/quickest start wlth CAD to get some early success/momentum would you recommend KiCAD or DipTrace for a PC (not Apple) user?

I recommend EasyEDA and not for beginners only.  :)
And sorry for my English.
 

Online bd139

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17102
  • Country: gb
Re: Newbie PCB production
« Reply #30 on: October 26, 2020, 09:13:17 am »
I'd still go through the Kicad learning hoops. EasyEDA is a pretty large vendor lock in on what is a very politically unstable planet at the moment.
 

Offline S. Petrukhin

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 405
  • Country: ru
Re: Newbie PCB production
« Reply #31 on: October 26, 2020, 10:31:07 am »
I'd still go through the Kicad learning hoops. EasyEDA is a pretty large vendor lock in on what is a very politically unstable planet at the moment.

For security, you can save all projects in Altium or KiCad format. :) Oops..., export to KiCad is gone - just checked...
By the way, EasyEDA has a similar logic to KiCad. Once you've mastered EasyEDA, it won't be hard to understand KiCAD.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2020, 10:32:42 am by S. Petrukhin »
And sorry for my English.
 

Offline shaheansar

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 16
  • Country: in
Re: Newbie PCB production
« Reply #32 on: October 26, 2020, 07:12:33 pm »
Quote
The things I'm uncertain of is the software to use that's suitable for a beginner, and which printer will do that transfer method reliably.
Eagle has options for doing this. On the print page, you wanna check "black" and for the top copper layer you wanna check "mirror."

For some other PCB CAD softwares, you might have to get creative. E.g., you can print to PDF, then flip the image with a PDF editor.

I feel like most printers work for toner transfer. I had a Brother that used high temp toner that wouldn't fuse. But most of the modern Brother printers are vanilla and should work.
I have yet to encounter a PCB layout program that doesn’t have the option to mirror the output.

Consensus is overwhelming that the choice of printer is critical, and that the percentage of new printers that work keeps dwindling. You’re the first and only person I’ve ever seen say that any Brother works. Do you have a model number? The one I tried at work did not work. (I don’t think it’s high-temp.)

The B&W Kyoceras at work produce blurry output on transfer paper. The color Kyocera (the big workgroup machine) didn’t fully transfer onto the paper, catching the rest of the toner on the next sheet of paper...

I've just started with PCB etching and havee had good luck with a brother printer. I don't know what kinds of resolutions qualify for "good", but I have a pretty much perfect PCB with an LQFP32 with perfect traces. There are the occasional unfilled gaps but a marker takes care of that stuff. The model's an HL L2321D
 

Online rdl

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3123
  • Country: us
Re: Newbie PCB production
« Reply #33 on: October 26, 2020, 07:38:56 pm »
If a total beginner wanted to make some simple PCBs and have them made by JLPCCB, and wanted to have the easiest/quickest start wlth CAD to get some early success/momentum would you recommend KiCAD or DipTrace for a PC (not Apple) user?

I haven't done any PCB stuff in years, but I did use DipTrace at one time. I found it super simple to get started with. Creating custom parts was almost trivial. But I don't know now, KiCAD might be worth a shot. Maybe just download both a start playing around.
 

Offline mag_therm

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 127
  • Country: us
Re: Newbie PCB production
« Reply #34 on: October 26, 2020, 11:14:36 pm »
I am using an el cheapo inkjet for transparancies and it works well.
Epson ET2720. Set color to be Hex 0F 16 16 to get mostly black, with all colors spraying.
I have a vacuum jig and use MG Chemicals positive boards.

There are occasional pin-holes visible under microscope, but it is not problem for hobby boards as the pin-holes are much much smaller than the tracks and pads.
 

Offline M4trix

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 271
  • Country: hr
Re: Newbie PCB production
« Reply #35 on: October 27, 2020, 12:48:14 am »
IMHO Don't even consider making your own!

Layout your own PCB using either KiCAD or DipTrace

Send to Electrow, JLCPCB or PCBWay

I see we have PCB fab managers all over the place ! Their job is to watch for topics such as 'Making your own PCB'. Then they come in, intimidate the OP in order to discourage them from making their own PCBs.  :rant: When the discouraging was successful, they receive a reward ( points ) from the PCB fabs !  :clap: 
 

Offline tooki

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5649
  • Country: ch
Re: Newbie PCB production
« Reply #36 on: October 27, 2020, 06:40:57 am »

I've just started with PCB etching and havee had good luck with a brother printer. I don't know what kinds of resolutions qualify for "good", but I have a pretty much perfect PCB with an LQFP32 with perfect traces. There are the occasional unfilled gaps but a marker takes care of that stuff. The model's an HL L2321D
No troubles with transferring the toner? Because that’s the common problem with the Brothers: the toner adheres to the transfer sheet so tightly that it will not adhere to the PCB at all.
 

Offline m k

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 104
  • Country: fi
Re: Newbie PCB production
« Reply #37 on: October 27, 2020, 01:58:44 pm »
So thermosoftening vs. thermosetting plastics?
Any suitable chemicals for resoftening thermosetting stuff?

If toner is changed by removing the old one, remember developer, in case it's still used.
 

Offline shaheansar

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 16
  • Country: in
Re: Newbie PCB production
« Reply #38 on: October 27, 2020, 02:04:14 pm »

I've just started with PCB etching and havee had good luck with a brother printer. I don't know what kinds of resolutions qualify for "good", but I have a pretty much perfect PCB with an LQFP32 with perfect traces. There are the occasional unfilled gaps but a marker takes care of that stuff. The model's an HL L2321D
No troubles with transferring the toner? Because that’s the common problem with the Brothers: the toner adheres to the transfer sheet so tightly that it will not adhere to the PCB at all.

Not much of an issue. It's been real good so far. I did get the toner replaced though, so may have something to do with that
 

Offline tooki

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5649
  • Country: ch
Re: Newbie PCB production
« Reply #39 on: October 28, 2020, 07:38:56 pm »

I've just started with PCB etching and havee had good luck with a brother printer. I don't know what kinds of resolutions qualify for "good", but I have a pretty much perfect PCB with an LQFP32 with perfect traces. There are the occasional unfilled gaps but a marker takes care of that stuff. The model's an HL L2321D
No troubles with transferring the toner? Because that’s the common problem with the Brothers: the toner adheres to the transfer sheet so tightly that it will not adhere to the PCB at all.

Not much of an issue. It's been real good so far. I did get the toner replaced though, so may have something to do with that
With third-party toner? Maybe that’s the trick for getting a Brother to work.
 

Offline shaheansar

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 16
  • Country: in
Re: Newbie PCB production
« Reply #40 on: October 28, 2020, 08:11:12 pm »

I've just started with PCB etching and havee had good luck with a brother printer. I don't know what kinds of resolutions qualify for "good", but I have a pretty much perfect PCB with an LQFP32 with perfect traces. There are the occasional unfilled gaps but a marker takes care of that stuff. The model's an HL L2321D
No troubles with transferring the toner? Because that’s the common problem with the Brothers: the toner adheres to the transfer sheet so tightly that it will not adhere to the PCB at all.

Not much of an issue. It's been real good so far. I did get the toner replaced though, so may have something to do with that
With third-party toner? Maybe that’s the trick for getting a Brother to work.

Just a generic replacement I found off of Amazon
 
The following users thanked this post: tooki

Offline guitchess

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 53
  • Country: us
Re: Newbie PCB production
« Reply #41 on: October 30, 2020, 11:11:15 pm »
My $.02 even though I'm a rookie, I've been hacking at it long enough to have learned a few things.

I make my own because it cheaper/faster than any board house, i.e. JLCPCB, PCBway, etc.
I can make 100 single boards for less $ than a minimum order of 1 board.  Copper clad is cheap.
Because of the aforementioned  rookie status, it be heartbreak to get a beautiful pro made board just to find that i've made an error.

From finished layout to board ready to solder takes about thirty minutes for a double sided pcb.  Of course, there is no solder mask, but that hasn't been an issue so far.  I'm not making the really small stuff though.  SOIC, SOT23, 1206 with about .35 clearance is as small as I've used so far.

I use the cheapest  laser printer I could find at walmart, a Samsung scx-3405w.  Don't know how that ranks on the scale. 

My best results come from Contact(other brands seem too thin for my printer) brand shelf liner in white(patterns make multilayer line ups a pain). 
I stick it to a sheet of paper in the right location, measured not pre-print.
Iron and press with a J roller meant for pressing down laminate on countertops(day job is carpenter). 

I use kicad, plotting to an .svg, and then inkscape. 

I'm happy with the results.  Was thinking about trying the photo resist method, but it adds cost and time.  So, I won't fix what's not broken.   

 

Offline m k

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 104
  • Country: fi
Re: Newbie PCB production
« Reply #42 on: October 31, 2020, 10:47:46 am »
Any suitable chemicals for resoftening thermosetting stuff?

Silk screening has many kinds of chemicals with known properties.
It's used from T-shirts to traffic signs.
Would be a mess of all messes though.

I guess it finally goes towards a self made toner.
Since blackness is not needed any electrostatic stuff with suitable charge and heat sensitivity can be a candidate.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triboelectric_effect
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf