Hacked Gadgets Forum

June 24, 2006

Photo Etch Circuit Board Process

at 6:02 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

What you need to photo etch a circuit board

You will need protective equipment, some chemicals and a few tools. * Rubber Gloves, don’t skimp on these get some that are nice and thick * Splash Goggles * Copper etchant * Drano * Sodium Bicarbonate In the picture there are two types of etchant, ferric chloride and ammonium persulphate. They both do the same job but ammonium persulphate is clear and easier to show the etching process. Ferric chloride is dark and stains everything…
Two pieces of heavy glass will be used to hold the board and artwork in place while it is being exposed.
Four plastic containers will be used for various processes. The use of plastic as opposed to metal is important in many steps since some of the chemicals we will be using can eat through certain metals.
A method of creating ultraviolet light (UV) is needed. This light will have to be held in a fixed position above the circuit board for long periods of time so a jig will have to be built to hold the light source.
Artwork of the circuit design will be needed; the nice thing about this process is that the design can be used over and over.
Of course you will need the actual copper clad circuit board. Since we are doing photo etching the circuit board will have to be coated with a photo reactive coating.
Some small drill bits will be used to drill the holes for mounting components. If you are only using surface mount devices drill bits may not be needed.