Easy PCB making idea.

Hi guys, I had an idea how to make the PCB process easy. What if we could positively magnetize a copper PCB board, sprinkle some negatively charged laser toner and bake it for x minutes at 350 deg Fahrenheit? Would it work? The most difficult part would be to magnetize the copper board, maybe we could use a scanner with a modified head?

Waiting for your suggestions.

I could be wrong but I don't think magnetism is involved in the application of toner. I also suspect that the media has to be non-conductive.

Are you mixing up magnetize and electrostatic charge, nether of which can you do to a sheet of copper with or without a pattern.

The most difficult part would be to magnetize the copper board, maybe we could use a scanner with a modified head?

Wouldn't this be the easiest part? In general it would be easier to magnetize metals than non-metals (like toner), no? Also, how would a Scanner-element help? A scanner is light.

Laser printers work with electrostatic charge, not magnetic. Getting a copper board to hold an electrostatic charge (in a desired pattern) is the challenge.

Getting a copper board to hold an electrostatic charge (in a desired pattern) is the challenge.

While your at it you might also consider breaking some other inconvenient laws of physics.
It is the static bit of electrostatic that you can't do. Metals conduct so any charge placed on a metal will flow all over the surface.

In general it would be easier to magnetize metals than non-metals

You can only magnetise certain metals, the others don't magnetise at all, these include copper lead, silver, gold and aluminum to name but a few.

It is the static bit of electrostatic that you can't do. Metals conduct so any charge placed on a metal will flow all over the surface.

Isn't the drum in a laser printer metal (stainless steel or aluminum) - or is it something else (pehaps a glass/ceramic layer over metal)?

From what I recall, an electrostatic charge is placed on the drum, then the laser is used to "discharge" those areas that are to remain white, leaving behind the charge in the areas to receive toner...?

Maybe I have the whole process wrong in my head...

:-?

[edit]I was close:

Apparently, the drum isn't metal - but some really high-tech photosensitive material (semiconductor based, actually)...

So the metal idea is likely out...

;)[/edit]

Thanks for correcting me and bringing me back to earth. But my second easy PCB making idea just bursted into my mind. What if we could build a plotter that would use a Sharpie pen to draw the wiring layout directly to a PCB copper board ? Could a flatbet scanner be modified to act like a plotter, replacing scanner head with a Sharpie pen ?

Waiting for your suggestions.

Given the tolerances, if I was going to use a Sharpie, I would rather draw it by hand.

Toner transfer, an iron, and a few extra seconds with a Sharpie seems like a better option to me.

cr0sh it depends on who is making it, but there is usually a doped layer of stuff on the drum such as selenium, zinc oxide, or cadmium sulfide

selenium was the standard for many decades used by xerox, the original experiments though were done using sulfur cast into plates (which probably stunk and didn't do that great of a job but proved the point)

also its not totally uncommon to have magnetic material mixed in with the toner, as things whizz round a magnet in the spreader bar picks up the material along with the toner which then evenly coats it, as the eletrostatic parts happen the toner flies to the paper, the magnetic material mostly stays on the bar, then is dumped back in the mix

What if we could build a plotter that would ........

Many years ago I used to plot out PCB masters at twice full size onto polyester drafting film using Rotering pens especially designed for the job.

It was a pain, the pens kept drying out, clogging or blotting. Cleaning them was almost imposable. The thought of trying to to that at just full size with a pen not designed for it would send me running to hide. Nice idea but it won't work.

yea the best possible way to print direct onto a pcb is inkjet, and by the time you get the right printer, ink and accessories to just do tiny boards I dont really think its worth it

especially when you can just print on transparency and photo sensitive boards