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Author Topic: DIY PCB transfer media  (Read 2408 times)
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Hello All. After having tried transferring a laser print from magazine pages and obtaining 'not good enough' results and being reluctant to spend money on photo paper while not being sure what the 'right' photo paper is, I came across some info on the net about another transfer media. I have rolls of this stuff on hand so it was a cinch for me to try. Right off the bat, with no fiddling around, it worked very well. Below are some images.



The media is cheap sign vinyl. Here are some pluses:
It's cheap and should be availabe at a local sign shop or the internet.
It transfers every bit of toner to the board.
It readily releases from the board. No saturation in water or rubbing of remaining paper is necessary.
The back of the vinyl is adhesive so no need to tape it to a paper carrier.
- Scotty
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How'd you get it thru the printer? Cut it down to 8.5 x 11" size?
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Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years. Check out the ATMega1284P based Bobuino and other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17.
Arduino for Teens available at Amazon.com.

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Can you post a link?

Another option is the Press-n-Peel transfer paper. (needs a laser printer)
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How'd you get it thru the printer? Cut it down to 8.5 x 11" size?

Print the PCB image on paper. Cut a piece of vinyl to cover the image. Remove backing from vinyl. Adhere vinyl over printed image.The original printed paper becomes the carrier for the vinyl. Run the paper with the vinyl affixed through the printer again.

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Can you post a link?
http://www.beacongraphics.com/bgllc/amazing/items.asp?cc=IC600

There are many other manufacturers of the same stuff.

- Scotty
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Code:
Print the PCB image on paper. Cut a piece of vinyl to cover the image. Remove backing from vinyl. Adhere vinyl over printed image.The original printed paper becomes the carrier for the vinyl. Run the paper with the vinyl affixed through the printer again.
Then how do you transfer it to the PCB? Hot iron? or just stick it?
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Is this in parts or what I've seen then cut the vinyl and use that I also seen something like the OP is taking about You pull the   vinyl  copy to the backing and they ironed  it back to  the vinyl  then put the vinyl on the copper and ironed that on.

But I have not tried that But I do have the vinyl and I'm going to try this this weekend I wish the OP will post a link.
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How well does it work for thin pitch? (0.5mm) The problem I have with my photo paper is that with fine picthes (less than 1mm) the photo paper gets transfered and stuck in between traces along with the toner. I end up having to scrape in between traces with a knife.
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A step by step GUIs would be good, but as I understand it, is this the sequence?

you print onto normal paper just so you can see what you need to cover with a vinyl 'patch'.

Then cut a piece of vinyl just big enough to cover the area to print, leaving the rest of the paper uncovered.

Then run it through the printer again to print the PCB onto the glossy side of the vinyl.

I guess you then transfer from the vinyl to copler by using an iron, heat press or laminator?
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Yeah, I'm not seeing the rationale for the 2nd printing either.
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Yeah, I'm not seeing the rationale for the 2nd printing either.

I'm thinking that it's so you can just use a small section of vinyl the right size for what you want. With sticking it to the paper then you can put it back through the printer.

The alternative would be to put a full vinyl sheet tthrough the printer and then cut out a small section afterwards.

I'm guessing as much as you, but that's the only thing that seems logical to me at the moment.
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The vinyl is not see thru tho, how do the layers stay aligned/registered?
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There two ways to use the  vinyl . First one you buy a $400.00 dollar cutter. http://www.instructables.com/id/Fast-and-Easy-PCB-Prototyping-with-Vinyl/

And the one tho OP is taking about the vinyl paper that keeps it from sicking you remove it print on it place the vinyl back on and iron it peel the vinyl place on copper and iron it on then just peel it off and etch. I been looking for the second way can't find the link. http://en.electroni-city.com/
« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 11:35:24 pm by be80be » Logged

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Found a video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=FtmJdCBjwXY

and supplies to get
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=oracal+651+vinyl+roll&_sacat=0&_odkw=oracal+651+vinyl&_osacat=0&_from=R40
« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 11:47:50 pm by vasquo » Logged

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Definitely looks promising. I'll have to try this one out. Just have to find this vinyl stuff locally.
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Then how do you transfer it to the PCB? Hot iron? or just stick it?
Heat and pressure are required. I happen to have a heat press so I use it but an iron would work.

Quote
And the one tho OP is taking about the vinyl paper that keeps it from sicking you remove it print on it place the vinyl back on and iron it peel the vinyl place on copper and iron it on then just peel it off and etch. I been looking for the second way can't find the link. http://en.electroni-city.com/
Link is good. Thanks for that. No, the substrate that the manufacturer uses to carry the vinyl is not what is printed on. It's the vinyl that is printed on. Once it is printed it is placed onto the board, print side down, and the toner is then transferred to the board using pressure and heat.

Quote
I'm thinking that it's so you can just use a small section of vinyl the right size for what you want. With sticking it to the paper then you can put it back through the printer.

The alternative would be to put a full vinyl sheet tthrough the printer and then cut out a small section afterwards.

I'm guessing as much as you, but that's the only thing that seems logical to me at the moment.

Correct.

Quote
you print onto normal paper just so you can see what you need to cover with a vinyl 'patch'.

Then cut a piece of vinyl just big enough to cover the area to print, leaving the rest of the paper uncovered.

Then run it through the printer again to print the PCB onto the glossy side of the vinyl.

I guess you then transfer from the vinyl to copler by using an iron, heat press or laminator?

Also correct.

Quote
How well does it work for thin pitch? (0.5mm) The problem I have with my photo paper is that with fine picthes (less than 1mm) the photo paper gets transfered and stuck in between traces along with the toner. I end up having to scrape in between traces with a knife.

You will not have that problem with vinyl. Only the toner gets stuck to the board.

Thanks for the video link vasquo, that helps very much to make the process understood.

As for two sided boards, clear vinyl is available. Otherwise I was thinking that transferring to one side of the board and then using a couple of drilled via holes to index the other side would work.

- Scotty
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 07:20:50 am by scottyjr » Logged

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