Click on the photos to enlarge. This sequence set shows the basic steps... transfer printed circuit image, seal the black toner image with the GreenTRF (then etched) and finally wiping off everything with Acetone.This project uses 0402 resistors, 0603 caps, and a 64-pin LQFP device so by using a standard laser printer, SMT boards are easily done. This board has 8-mll traces, 6-mil air-gaps, 20-mil vias, and 10-mil via holes. The board was pre-drilled and routed on a Sherline desktop CNC mill. (Photos Courtesy of David Coombs)
And let's not overlook simple, single-sided PCBs!
Simple circuits are a pleasure to make over the "universal" pre-etched boards (courtesy Radio Shack) which are very close to a total waste of time and money! (Photo Courtesy of David Lampron)
LEFT: Shown here is a 2x EEPROM programmer with a 44 pin PLCC leadless carrier.
Notice the parallel lines inserted into the 'blank' areas of this board to reduce the amount of copper to be etched commonly referred to a "copper pour".
(Photo courtesy of Paul Messer)
This design shows a patterned 'copper pour' to dramatically reduce the amount of etchant needed for a proper etch. Laser printers generally have a hard time to provide high density of toner over large solid fill areas. By merely making a patterned copper pour vs. a solid pour, most laser priners can keep up with the high demand. Just one of many tricks for perfect board imaging.
The "silkscreen" image here is fused onto the top of this board the same way as the circuit image. Toner will transfer perfectly well to copper, fiberglass or composite epoxy material (CEM) type boards. Our system "kit" includes white foil that can then be added to convert the black image to a conventional white silkscreen layer. Depending on the contrast of the type of board you're using, sometimes the black image shows up better.
(Photos courtesy of Steve Hatch of "HorizonsEdge")
Steve Miller, the creator of "Lizard Leg Effects", makes high-end "effects pedals" for musicians. Steve ran across our instant PCB fab and DecalPRO in early 2008. Checkout his website for some amazing products and graphics that he and his wife do completely in-house. There are also a couple of video reviews of his products by major magazines for musicians linked to his site. He saves a bundle by doing his own prototypes then when ready to produce he saves again by not having to pay enormous fees for commercial printing on his enclosures. (Click on LIZARD logo above to see his products)