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Topic: 3d printing PCB (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic


Apr 07, 2017, 09:39 pm Last Edit: Apr 09, 2017, 04:59 pm by Matthijsb00
Hello everyone,

I am going to make a 3d printer which can print PCBs. I would like to ask you what it must be capable of to be of use to you. So far we have come up with these:
The time it takes to print a PCB should be within a reasonable amount of time.
People with basic knowlegde of electronics and programming must be able to use it with reasonble ease.
The maximum voltage of the PCBs must be 5V or more.
The PCB should have reasonable temperatures during the usaged.
The printer must also be able to print the materials a normal 3d printer uses.

Please note that were students and that we dont have acces to a unlimited amount of money.

Thank you for replying


Hoi Matthijsb00, welkom op het forum !

I'm sorry to say, but thus far you guys have not a lot to work on.
Reasonable time, ease and temperatures, what does that mean ?
I read that as "we don't know, it's something we have to work out somewhere along the project"
A maximum of X or more ?
What maximum would that mean in the end ?

So, to have a reasonable chance (ouch, now you got me to do the same), set some hard specifics to work on.
Also, did you guys think about what you exactly want to do ?
Printing PCBs, does that mean to create some substrate, conductors on that substrate, and components ?
How do you guys imagine doing that ?

Or does it mean you take a prefab substrate with copper already on it, and work from that to you end product.
Latter takes very different processes which can without doubt be automated in some production line.
But that can hardly be characterized as a 'PCB printer', IMHO.
Have a look at "blink without delay".
Did you connect the grounds ?
Je kunt hier ook in het Nederlands terecht: http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/board,77.0.html


@Matthijsb00, you might find more useful information and assistance on the RepRap Forum.

Two or three hours spent thinking and reading documentation solves most programming problems.


@MAS3 to be more specific:
The temperature of the PCB must not rise above 50 °C in an area which is 20 °C.
A PCB the size of a Arduino Uno (I dont know the measurements by heard) should not take longer to print than 3 hours.
People who know how to use the printer must be able to print the PCB wil less than 5 actions after providing the schematics of the PCB to the motherboard.
The maximum voltage the PCB can handle must be at least 5V, but if possible we want it higher.
The printer can also be used as a normal 3d printer.

The plan on how we want to make this work is still in progress and depending on what you guys want it can change, but right now we have this idea. The printer will print solder or another conductor on a substrate, if possible also printed. It is possible that the printer will make a substrate with grooves in it where the tin will be an holes where the electronic components will be. However, all this can still change.

I hope I clarified myself enough this time.

@Robin2 I will definately take a look at RepRap

Thank you both


Hi Mattijsb00.

Solder is an OK conductor, but not the best there is.
Building PCB's of which the traces consist only of solder, isn't a good idea.
The traces would be much too brittle.
You do know the melting point of 40/60 solder is about 183 centigrade, right ?

I'm afraid there's a lot to learn about printable materials before you can do something like this.

But i'm still interested in your progresses.
So keep us informed, please.
Have a look at "blink without delay".
Did you connect the grounds ?
Je kunt hier ook in het Nederlands terecht: http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/board,77.0.html


Hello MAS3,

The problem of solder being not the best conductor out there can be solved by printing a thicker layer. The problem of solder being to brittle may be solved by printing another layer substrate on top of the solder, so it is protected on two sides.

I have done some research on different materials but I have found none with a good meltingpoint and resistance. I will do some more research, but at this point solder seems the only option.



Many people have tried this already....

Creating PCBs by 3D printing solder is not a practical proposition, however could be done as a one off. You can
create channels then melt solder into them, but that doesn't really need a 3D printer. You need to pick the solder alloy and nozzle carefully. The substrate can be PLA or ABS, it will probably melt a little before the solder cools. The resolution of the PCB will be poor, but good enough for 2.54mm pitch components.

More practical "PCB printers" use conductive ink, or other conductive materials such as resins which cure at low temperature. In this case you can print directly onto a flat substrate.

In any case, there is no way to create something of production grade equivalent to conventional PCB manufacture. The best you can do is create prototype boards for some simpler circuits. Any circuits involving high power or mains voltage would not be suitable.

I think you would count a success if you got anything working at all, let alone meeting any of your requirements.
Please ask questions in the forum so everyone can benefit. PM me for paid work.


Hello everyone,

Unfortunably the project doesn't go through. It would cost to much money, knowledge and time for us. I learned a lot from the research I did and in a couple of years I think I will try it again.

Thank you all for your help,

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