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Hello,

So I plan on making my own board here soon and i've found enough guides on how to make my own with a copper clad.

My only issue is that I don't want that puke green or that poop brown color for the board so I was wondering how do you get a colored board like the Arduino?
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I don't think you'll find much choice in "hobby quantities", but you might be able to find blue.   

Making your own board is not that easy and color is about the last thing I'd worry about...    I encourage you to try it if you want to...   I made some homemade boards a million years ago, but when I was in college we had a lab that would make boards per our supplied artwork* for under $10.   I've never done it myself since.  (I hope to never do it again! smiley-wink )   Now, if I really needed to use a PCB, I'd pay a couple-hundred bucks and have some professionally made.



* This was before Gerber files, and we had to create 2X artwork on mylar film with black tape & stick-on "doughnut pads", etc.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 03:52:21 pm by DVDdoug » Logged

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You can get other colors from professional board houses, but you usually need to order lots of boards and pay a premium. I've never seen blanks other than brown or green. Some small order 'batchers' can use other colors. Dorkbot will make boards in purple http://dorkbotpdx.org/wiki/pcb_order

Anything else will require some experimentation:

Dip a light brown board in die after etching and stain the core.

Use the lightest brown, single sided board you can find and paint or die the back side. It might "bleed through"

Paint the board after etching and carefully sand with fine grain sand-paper on a flat surface (glass, ceramic tile) until the paint is removed from the higher copper, but not the lower core.

Color in all the open spaces with a permanent marker or paint pen.

Black-out the surface the same way you do etch resist. Laser print a "layout" with black in all the open areas (or print the inverse layout of the etch resist design) and iron it to the board after etching. Could you use a color laser printer?.

Spray paint the board after it has been populated and tested. I've sprayed boards flat black to look for hot spots with a thermal camera.

Make your own circuit board blanks. Glue thin copper sheets to whatever insulating substrate you want then etch normally. You may need to experiment to find the right substrate and/or glue that isn't damaged or stained by the etchant. You could do some really cool things with colored glass or plexiglass.

Draw simple circuits with conductive ink or use point-to-point wiring on your choice of substrate.

Good luck and if you find something, let us know.
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Well i've already designed many boards and I've ordered from dorkbotpdx before, I don't want purple for this application though.  I need something black or cobalt blue.

I'll check out some places.
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There are basically 2 ways to do it yourself.  1) use a color DYE process. There is a youtube vid about this.  2) use a tinted conformal coating.
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I use SeeedStudio's fusion. They have a couple of different color options.
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Hm, that seedstudio fusion looks very promising!
I think i'll be going with that. 

Would you happen to know how long it takes for them to make it and ship it within the us?
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Would you happen to know how long it takes for them to make it and ship it within the us?
The boards are manufactured in 2 or 3 days.  It takes 1-4 weeks for honk kong air to ship them.  I've received some boards in as little as 7 days, and some boards in as long as 30.

This time of year tends to be faster.

Sometimes, if I can find $100 of other stuff to buy, I can start to justify higher cost shipping items.
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Okay so I'll just keep in touch with them on how much longer.
Sounds good!

Yea i have a few more things I need to buy ($57 worth of smd components not including the microcontroller, servos, drivers, wire, and enclosure)
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Okay so I'll just keep in touch with them on how much longer.
You can ask them, but once they give the box to HKA, there's nothing Seeeed can tell you.

You'll get a tracking number to let you know where in the process the shipment is.  However, the resolution of information is vague.  It'll generally sit at "waiting for process" at HKA until you get "In transit".  After that, it's a matter of whenever it clears US customs.
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Board colour depends on the solder mask. Very few people making their own boards apply solder mask.

I haven't used Seeed Studio, but I have used the similar service provided by ITead Studio (Seeed copied them):

http://iteadstudio.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=19_20&zenid=qa08tp07o8bn54mjpo155e5o16

They both use the same manufacturer. ITead seems somewhat faster, the boards get made in about three days, and they then take about 10 days to get to me here in the UK. Seeed is actually across the road from the road from the board company, so they ought to be faster. All three companies are in Shenzhen, across the border from HK.
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I think i'll stick with Seeed studio since i've heard of them and people seem pretty happy with them.
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