etching pcb at home (any suggestions)?

i am thinking of etching a pcb
(of arduino
any suggestions ?

wear gloves

stir frequently

heat helps like setting your etching tub in hot water, never heat directly

you can fix toner transfer issues with about 3 coats of sharpie

any suggestions ?

There are some posts already on this topic in this forum and a ton of information on the internet as a whole.


There are some posts already on this topic in this forum and a ton of information on the internet as a whole.

well actually i needed any advice in making a arduino at home
( perhaps i didnt name the post well ::slight_smile: )
any new ideas ?

You could do your own single-sided serial arduino. See the main page here:

Regarding your etching, I’d try this method:

You could do your own single-sided serial arduino. See the main page here:

that was the thing i wanted to try out and will there be any disadvantages of this when compared to the readymade board? :-/


I have Build 3 Single Side boards. I had to modify the board menu so it said SEVERINO with AVR328… but otherwise there seems to be no issues with the Single sided board. It’s fine and fun to make.

I also have been using the EXACT METHODS from that GOOD LINK on fabrication.

I had to modify the board menu so it said SEVERINO with AVR328

i would be really glad to know how to do it :slight_smile:

Well, do you not know how to start? Do you have some copper clad board?

:slight_smile: i just ordered some copper clad board and fe2cl3 ;D and the atmega
and pillward could you let me know how to modify the board menu or atleast give your modification :wink:

Use sunlight instead of a UV chamber. Much cheaper for just one board!

Rather than just “toss you to the wolves” and give you my file… here is HOW it’s done.

And who needs UV when you can just use Toner?

is this step compulsary ? i mean what if we dont modifi i guess it is just changing the baud rate waht help does that do
P.S i am not so clear as to why should we change it :wink: will it work if we dont change

Finally i tried it Today ( Exams wouldnt let me do it then )
the toner dosent stick to the copper clad board im using pohto paper with Cannon Lbp 2900 laser printer i tried it thrice! but no Sucesss :frowning:

I was just wondering about the same process, and I found this handy instructable on a solution you can use to etch infinitely. The solution is also very cheap to make, and has less environmental impact.

I dont hav e any problrm with etching the problem is that the toner is not trnsferred onto the copper clad Board :frowning:

Hi there

If non of the toner is transferring then either it’s not a laser printer that printed the image, used the wrong type of paper, the iron wasn’t hot enough or the copper clad has a ‘film’ or chemical layer that is interfering.

I use matt or semi matt photo paper with an iron set to somewhere close to the polyester setting. Lots of pressure needs to be applied to aid good transfer. I actually use a laminator I converted with a cloths iron thermostat to do the transfer now.

I take it you are cleaning the copper face? I use fine wire wool then wash the copper with hot water and detergent before drying.

I started doing my own 2 years ago and have never had a major issue that a sharpie wont fix.

Hope this is of some help.

EDIT: Read the thread properly. Iron temp is favourite.

If if you get really lucky, you might find a used Heat Laminator at a local 2nd-Hand (thrift shop) like I did.

I was able to get a used GBC Creative Laminator for $14.00 and now I know that I get nice even heat transfer for the toner. I pass the paper and board though the laminator about 6 times in close succession and have nice even results.

And as almost all tutorials recommend, rough up/clean your copper surface. (I use a fine wire brush or very very fine grit sandpaper) and the paper I use high gloss photo paper. I have had good results with generic cheap gloss photo paper as well as with HP GLOSS paper, but I’ve noticed that the HP paper does have some plastic in it… so you need to test if it that paper works for you.

Hi Pwillard

I don’t want to drag this thread to far off course. But, do you find it difficult to remove the emulsion layer when soaking the paper off the boards when using the high gloss?

I used gloss paper for my first few boards and it was hellish to get off. That’s why I now use matt or semi matt photo paper now. It all comes of really easily. I can even, carefully, use a pan scourer to clean the last remnants off to clear the ‘through holes’ for better etching. The scourer is the type on the flip side of a sponge not a metal pad.

Also, my friendly local printers, did some test prints for me on heavy weight gloss paper that they use to do fancy fliers on for other clients. This paper is very cheap and the results were as good as photo paper and soaked off even easier.



Fenrisulfr, can you tell us exactly what type of paper you use? I’ve tried several different types of paper (magazines, circulars, and three different inkjet printer papers) and have not had the degree of success that’s needed to etch a board successfully. If you’ve got a system that works, please share the details with us!