I am in the process of etching my own custom breadboard arduino PCB. I felt that it would be appropriate to share my experiences with the crowd
Note that this is not my first time at bat when it comes to etching. I have made about 8 boards so far and have had a lot of fun doing so
The process is actually fairly simple (after the layout and routing part which can be a real pain in the rear end). My process consists of 12 steps:
- Printing your board layout on photo paper
- Affixing the printed photo paper TONER DOWN onto a CLEAN PCB blank
- Ironing the heck out of the bundle of paper and pcb to transfer the toner to the board
- Peeling and washing the paper backing off the board.
- Inspection and repair of any bridges (due to too much pressure) or breaks (due to too little pressure)
- Post etch inspection.
- Clean toner from etched board
- Drilling (worst part in my opinion)
- Apply Silk Screen layer (using same steps as initial toner transfer – optional)
- Coating with Varathane or other protectant (optional)
I will take pictures of my progress from ironing to soldering and will be posting them as replies to this thread as I go (currently at the drilling stage).
I hope you enjoy my ‘guide’ and please feel free to ask any questions you have. While still a novice, I’d like to think the final products speak for themselves