Toner transfer PCB production

Does anybody use a hot roll laminator for printing PCB designs onto copper board? How well does it work? Which model?

All the ones I can see advertised cannot handle the thickness of a 1.5mm pcb, or is it possible to force one through a small machine :)

let me know what you find out - I am usign eagle to lay out the board but not sure how to print the black image for transfer - anyone have any links where I can understand more about the full process from layout to print toner on copper board

Take a look here http://www.riccibitti.com/pcb/pcb.htm.

The toner transfer method is convenient for quick one off boards but transferring the toner onto the board reliably is a bit hit & miss.

I thought maybe a laminator could make the results a bit more reliable & reproducible.

maybe, most direct printing methods i have seen (inkjet and plotter) usually requires modifications to the machine so the pcb would go tru

and course that could be totally dependent on the machine

Just a few words of warning:

I wanted to go this way too and spend about 150$ for a laminator and special transfer paper. I had to hack it for higher temperatures (worked) and the 1.5mm thickness limit gave me trouble as well.

End of story:

The laminator stinks like hell at raised temperatures, 1.5mm PCBs have to be forced through the device, double layer boards don't heat up enough for reliable results. It turns out that my laser printer's toner seems to be the problem. The temperature band between no sticking and total meltdown is very narrow. I couldn't even get it to work using a regular iron.

My personal conclusion:

Using UV exposure is much less hassle, doesn't stink and no burned fingers. Also alignment for double sided boards is quite simple.

Good luck!

I use a Heat Laminator for toner transfer. It works great. I have a GBC "Creative". It's a full paper width Laminator but to be honest, none of my PCBs have needed that width yet.

I also have another one from GBC that is used that I would be willing to part with. I bought both (just in case I had trouble with one). The first one worked great so second (narrower) one is unused by me. I want to say it's 8" wide... need to check.

I let it warm up. Attach paper (I use cheap glossy photo paper) and run it through 6 times in quick succession. Great results. My printer is LEXMARK E260D with standard toner. So why my results are so different? I have no idea.

Stink? I have no stink to speak of.

i used to do toner transfer but i found a way thats cleaner (tracks) heres my post about my uv light box. i use uv light to make mine http://www.arduino.cc/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1260766059

Yeah, I have had a uv exposure setup in my back yard workshop for many years but occasionally when the temperature has been -7 degrees like this week I am not too inclined to go out there and defrost the water supply just to make 1 miniscule board.

I can sense a whole heap of replies coming from North America & Scandinavia saying that -7 is a heatwave but not in SouthEast UK it isn't ;D

I’ve been using a laminator and think it does an excellent job. I hate ironing in general, and the laminator ensures a consistent transfer result. I use a GBC H210 that I got off EBay, and I laser print onto catalog paper taped onto a regular 8.5"x11" sheet, set to “transparency.” I didn’t modify the laminator at all, and while it seems to get stuck a bit, the board always comes out the back with no ill effects to the pattern.

Not tough to do even 2-sided boards as long as you treat vias like extra components (i.e. not too close to other components) and solder a clipped lead to connect the top and bottom traces.

People certainly get fantastic results with the photographic method, but apart from the cost of the laminator (I think it was <$50 US delivered), toner transfer is dirt cheap-- not much more than the price of the copper clad board.