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How to make PCB circuits with a sheet of paper

Here I describe a very simple method to make good PCB circuits using only the PCB scheme printed on paper, withoud any need of bromograph, or special and expensive blue paper sheets.
1) Prepare the PCB scheme with any suitable computer program. I use Circad, free for personal use. Here an example.

2) Print the PCB scheme on paper, in a format ready for the PCB development. WARNING! The printed schema MUST NOT BE INVERTED. It would be as the component side view of the circuit. The design programs always have a suitable function. If you use a laser, remember to print on a sheet of normal office white paper (for example, 80 gr/square meter paper), then jump to point 4.

3) If you use a inkjet printer, make a copy of the drawing with a simple B/W photocopier, in your office, in a shop, or whenever you find that. No more simple!
4) Get the copper PCB plate. Clean it a bit with a piece of abrasive paper. Cut the paper schema to a dimension a bit bigger than the final PCB. Put the paper schema on the copper side of PCB, with the printed side in contact with the copper. Prepare a container full of water, such that it can contain the entire PCB.
5) Get a flat iron. Set it at the maximum temperature (often it has the °°° symbol). Heat the paper, for 10-20 minutes (depends on the type of flat iron, 20 minutes if you use a little travel iron, as me). Do not heat too much, the paper would not became brown, as burned.
6) Now the laser ink of the printed schema is melted over the copper. Get the PCB and drop it in the water container. Leave for 1 hour or more, because the paper must soften a lot.

7) Get the PCB, and begin to gently remove the paper with a circular movement with fingers, as rubbing it. Take big care to not remove paper too much, so detaching laser ink from copper.

8) When the white paper is removed, and you can see only the black lines on copper, get away the PCB and dry it.

9) Retouch the break in the tracks and signs, if any, with a tiny black permanent marker.

Note in the photo that the text (+12) now is not inverted.
10) Finally, dry well the drawing putting a piece of white paper on it, and heating with the flat iron at a low temperature.
11) Now etch the circuit with the chemical etchant, as usual. When etched, remove the black ink from the tracks with some diluent (as acetone).


Another PCB made with this technique. The tracks here are only 0.7 mm thick.


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