EEVblog Electronics Community Forum

General => General Chat => Topic started by: Deathwish on August 15, 2015, 01:35:38 am

Title: copper printer
Post by: Deathwish on August 15, 2015, 01:35:38 am
seeing how they now have printers for all sorts of things, I wonder if they will ever design a domestic / semi pro copper printer for people like us. might at least save a lot of wasted etching and copper being lost.
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: ataradov on August 15, 2015, 02:05:20 am
One of the recent AmpHour guests touched on that. Basically, printing copper is hard and requires nasty chemicals, much worse than FeCl.

But that's for ink jet printing. I'm not sure if there is any other economical way.
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: TheElectricChicken on August 15, 2015, 03:35:35 am
For chemical free economical PCB's at home, CNC routing fits the bill.
(http://forums.reprap.org/file.php?131,file=15938,filename=Cyclone_built_v0.9.7.jpg)

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=PCB+CNC+Milling+homemade (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=PCB+CNC+Milling+homemade)
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: German_EE on August 15, 2015, 07:58:47 am
The last time Dave went walkabout to an exhibition didn't we see someone who made PCBs using conductive ink?
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: ataradov on August 15, 2015, 08:01:16 am
using conductive ink?
There are a few projects that use conductive ink, but none of them are printing copper. And the result has one "minor" disadvantage -- you can't really solder it.
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: 0xdeadbeef on August 15, 2015, 08:13:15 am
Well, to name two commercial conductive ink projects:
Voltera (http://voltera.io/)
Argentum (http://cartesianco.com/)

I guess you can somewhat solder SMD components, but I think it will be a pain compared to a real PCB.
And it's more or less single-layer (even if the Voltera promises to be able to print an isolating layer to allow printing some cross connections) and most probably limited to lower currents.
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: Deathwish on August 15, 2015, 08:18:39 am
If you can make a solid solder into a paste that is spreadable and turns hard with heat then there must be a way to do the same with copper. dilute it to pass through a printer nozzle and even with  multiple pass on a base material then heated in an oven it might work. Then again I am not a chemist or such.
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: ataradov on August 15, 2015, 08:21:22 am
If you can make a solid solder into a paste that is spreadable and turns hard with heat
Melting point of copper is around 2000 F. That's going to be one hell of an oven. And by the time copper is melted, the board will burn away :)
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: Deathwish on August 15, 2015, 08:24:19 am
Always with the negative vibes moriarty ( good film that one ) well so is solder but they mix it with other base metals to lower its melting point. so why not copper too as long as the end product has a % of copper in and is conductive.
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: 0xdeadbeef on August 15, 2015, 08:26:57 am
The silver in the conductive ink is also not molten. The ink is some kind of polymer with powdered silver. There's probably a good reason not to use copper. Maybe oxidation.
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: IconicPCB on August 15, 2015, 08:37:12 am
A bit more on conductive polymer...


many years ago in early nineties, during a visit to Nepcon West in Anaheim, I saw a process for making quick prototypes using printed ( extruded ) conductive  and non conductive "ink".

The process relied on conductive and non conductive polymers as well as having a mechanical milling station to structure copper solderable pads for component mounting.

I returned home and some months later wanted to contact the supplier but they had disappeared and could not be traced.

I guess the idea had merit and someone bought them out to remove the competing technology off the market..OR... 

But then back to printing copper. Yes it is possible at room temperature. Just went through the experiment of copper nano particles to activate drilled holes in a PCB. 

Pyrolysis at 140C (  for all intents and purposes room temperature ) is possible producing copper nano particles of sufficient weight to seed electroplating process.

Courtesy of soviet era process when like today cold war offered alternative solutions. Chemistry involved is far less toxic and expensive than modern alternatives.
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: Deathwish on August 15, 2015, 09:31:36 am

But then back to printing copper. Yes it is possible at room temperature. Just went through the experiment of copper nano particles to activate drilled holes in a PCB. 

Pyrolysis at 140C (  for all intents and purposes room temperature ) is possible producing copper nano particles of sufficient weight to seed electroplating process.

Courtesy of soviet era process when like today cold war offered alternative solutions. Chemistry involved is far less toxic and expensive than modern alternatives.

interesting , any articles online ?
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: 0xdeadbeef on August 15, 2015, 09:51:39 am
many years ago in early nineties, during a visit to Nepcon West in Anaheim, I saw a process for making quick prototypes using printed ( extruded ) conductive  and non conductive "ink".
The process relied on conductive and non conductive polymers as well as having a mechanical milling station to structure copper solderable pads for component mounting.
I returned home and some months later wanted to contact the supplier but they had disappeared and could not be traced.
I guess the idea had merit and someone bought them out to remove the competing technology off the market..OR... 
According to Wikipedia, the conductivity of intrinsically conducting polymers (stretch oriented polyacetylene) peaks at 80kS/cm (typical values of commercially used polymers are much worse though) while that of copper of silver is around 7-8 times better.
I also understand that the conductivity of intrinsically conducting polymers changes under influence of acids and bases (as the "doping" is done through oxidation) and they can only be only be processed by dispersion.
So you probably don't need a worldwide conspiracy to explain why the use of intrinsically conducting polymers is limited to certain areas and using metal powders in conductive inks is common practice.
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: george graves on August 15, 2015, 09:59:54 am
For chemical free economical PCB's at home, CNC routing fits the bill.

Yea, if you like breathing in fiberglass dust. Some say it's almost as bad as asbestos.  It's particles too small for the lungs to expel.  But I can't find any definitive research on that.
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: Deathwish on August 15, 2015, 10:38:50 am
i suppose one way is to use positive photo resist in the heads and only print out the required circuit to the board ?.
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: TheElectricChicken on August 15, 2015, 10:47:05 am
For chemical free economical PCB's at home, CNC routing fits the bill.

Yea, if you like breathing in fiberglass dust. Some say it's almost as bad as asbestos.  It's particles too small for the lungs to expel.  But I can't find any definitive research on that.

Well I wasn't about to use business cards to push the dust into little rows and snort it myself, I'd think using a vacuum cleaner hose and a fan to take it outside through a home made cyclone filter would be the trick.

The main reason I would do it as CNC routing home made is that you can then CNC rout so many other things with the same machine, carve faces into scraps of wood, do engraved labels for your equipment ..
(http://www.bradycms.com/CMS400BradyEurope/uploadedImages/standalone/General_Pages/eprep02.jpg)

Then attach a laser from an old DVD player and mess with laser cutting.  or a 3d printer head, or a soldering iron for wax or ice, or a pen for old-fashioned plotting, Woo Hoo ! I miss those pen plotters.
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: george graves on August 15, 2015, 10:57:36 am

Well I wasn't about to use business cards to push the dust into little rows and snort it myself, I'd think using a vacuum cleaner hose and a fan to take it outside through a home made cyclone filter would be the trick.


I'll give you $100 if you snort a line of FG dust.  Please send the check before you do. Ya know, since you won't be able to write a check while in the ICU and all.

Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: Deathwish on August 15, 2015, 11:04:48 am

Well I wasn't about to use business cards to push the dust into little rows and snort it myself, I'd think using a vacuum cleaner hose and a fan to take it outside through a home made cyclone filter would be the trick.


I'll give you $100 if you snort a line of FG dust.  Please send the check before you do. Ya know, since you won't be able to write a check while in the ICU and all.

George you wired the neg to the pos didn't you ?, your paying him. better send that cheque now or he may not get to spend it.
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: Mechanical Menace on August 15, 2015, 11:23:35 am
Couldn't you just use silver conductive inks and then copper plate the result?
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: TheElectricChicken on August 15, 2015, 11:28:08 am
I'll give you $100 if you snort a line of FG dust.  Please send the check before you do. Ya know, since you won't be able to write a check while in the ICU and all.

$!00 is fiat money and worthless. Now if it was an ounce of gold or a kilo of silver.... but then, how would I know you'd cough up the pay as I cough up the crap ?

and how do YOU know I won't just be like this dil$%.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovKw6YjqSfM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovKw6YjqSfM)
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: george graves on August 16, 2015, 11:26:46 am
Well played.  You sir get an internet cookie.

...but still.  My point is valid.   :-+
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: TheElectricChicken on August 16, 2015, 11:39:06 am
Well played.  You sir get an internet cookie.

...but still.  My point is valid.   :-+

Why thank you sir.  ^-^

Yes, your point is valid, you can't make an omelet without cracking eggs, and you can't make a PCB without making a mess. ( But you can use a dust extraction system to put that mess somewhere else !  >:D )
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: IconicPCB on August 16, 2015, 10:06:19 pm
Deathwish,

Yes there is online info. That is where I found it.

Look for  Industrial-level quality PCB through hole plating on Instructables.
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: IconicPCB on August 16, 2015, 10:10:51 pm
I have built my milling machine and use the milling process to build professional level both single/double sided as well as multilayer boards.

Present fabrication limitations 0.3mm holes and 6 thou features. Spindle speed and runout at the production speed are critical. The spindle usually runs at 40KRPM but it is capable of 100KRPM in case of very fine tooling.
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: tautech on August 16, 2015, 10:32:11 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovKw6YjqSfM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovKw6YjqSfM)
Yes, and statistics can be  :-/O to show any point of view the film maker wants.  |O

Fact is Glysophate (Roundup) has a LD50 lower than common table salt.
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: TheElectricChicken on August 17, 2015, 06:16:43 am
Fact is Glysophate (Roundup) has a LD50 lower than common table salt.

It has 6 more letters in it's name too (nod) huh ? huh ? (nod) you know what I'm saying.
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: PsychoMaster on August 17, 2015, 09:37:49 am
Hi Folk
I used the guts out of an old printer to be able to print straight  onto copper board and after hours of cutting and gluing and a nice wad of dosh I made a total heap of crap. Got to have a go though eh?
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: george graves on August 17, 2015, 11:30:17 am
Fact is Glysophate (Roundup) has a LD50 lower than common table salt.

I've been around guys like that.  They work so hard convincing people, they (almost) drink the kool-aid that they say. But, they have really nice boats, and a house in Spain. Personally - I'd kill myself before becoming that guy....but maybe he said that before he did too.  It's amazing how your view on the world changes once you become the person you never thought you could be.
Title: Re: copper printer
Post by: Deathwish on August 17, 2015, 11:36:29 am
I looked glyphosphate up , it is not non harmfull to humans, and as so many of these people like to say in the security or law enforcement - if you have nothing to fear you have nothing to hide , so drink up.