I´d like to do myself a PCB for a printer 3D RepRap. I need guidance please.

Greetings to everyone. It is a pleasure and an honor to be part of this community.

I'ma person who loves electronics, although I haven´t much knowledge.

I would like to make a PCB for a RepRap 3D printer that controls it perfectly, in order to learn as much as possible. The concept is the acronym DIY (do it yourself).

If any of you would be so kind to give me advice guidance on that, i would be gratefull :

  • What is the best choice easier for what I want? (I have no experience with PCB').

  • How I can become the complete kit (including software and tools as multimeter welder ect ect ....).

  • Can you give me an estimate about how much can cost me everything?.

Best wishes to everybody :-).


It is very hard for someone with no experience to make a double-sided circuit board at home.

Etching PCB's at home is not difficult, but it does take some practice to get it right. Large boards and small components make it especially difficult. It is likely that it will take a few tries to get the process right, so I recommend making some smaller boards first to gain experience. Here are some tutorials on making boards:

http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Printed-circuit-board/ http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-A-PCB/ http://nospecifictopic.blogspot.com/2005/06/how-to-make-pcbs.html http://homepage.tinet.ie/%7Eei9gq/pcb.html http://quinndunki.com/blondihacks/?p=835

Really the only thing you need to buy to make PCBs is the etchant, which will be around $10 USD. This assumes you access to a laser printer and photo paper or use magazine paper.

The total cost of making an entire RepRap board will depend on where you get the parts. If you don't have access to parts, buying in small quantities if not cheap. You will probably not save money over buying a kit.

As for tools, cheap soldering irons start at $10-20 USD and will work in most situations. More expensive soldering stations will have better temperature control, more available tip sizes, perhaps adjustable temperature and more power so it will heat up faster and you can solder larger pads and parts.

Digital multi-meters also start in the $10-20 USD range and go up to many thousands of dollars. Cheap DMM's will work most of the time, but won't last as long and are more likely to be damaged if you touch high voltage. You can get pretty good units for $30-50.

I hope this answers your questions.

Steve Turner

Thank you very much for the link johnwasser :-). Yes, i think so, double-sided circuis board may be very ambitious for me. Even this project one-sided i am thinking may be very ambituous.... Sorry for being long to reply. I have been very busy.


Thank you very much for the plentiful information Steve :-). No doubts that it answers me quite questions, thank you very much again.

Sorry for being long to reply, i have very busy, and sorry for my estrange english :P.


I can't quite tell from the OP if you are set on actually manufacturing the PCBs yourself, but if not you can use a commercial PCB manufacturer. I use 4PCB (Advanced Circuits) and both their service and quality is excellent. I've heard a lot of good things about BatchPCB, most of all that it is dirt cheap but it takes a bit longer.

As for laying out the PCB, I believe there is a free version of Eagle that has certain limitations - most notably board size, but it may still suffice for your application. Otherwise many of the board houses offer their own free software. 4PCB has their own software for making schematics/board layouts that will generate industry-standard gerber files.

Thank you very much for the information SVFeingold :-).

Best wishes.