Using 3D printer to make circuit boards.

Greetings,

I saw one other post about this in the Bar Sport forum, but it was old and I didn't want to necro it, so here goes.

What about using a 3D printer to print the plastic onto copperclad, then using etchant solution to remove the copper? Would the PLA/ABS come off in the solution?

Any other material that can be melted and applied in a similar manner?

How about using wire solder in a nozzle heated enough to melt it? You could brush the board with a thin layer of flux prior to printing it with lead to make it stick better.

73, David Boucher, KD0PLS www.arrlmidwestconvention.com

wax?

thing is a 3d printer cost a good pile of money, and wont come close to the quality of even simple toner transfer or photo masking which is already cheap and plentiful

If you have a 3D printer, you'd get far better results for a PCB by replacing the extruder head with a drilling head. Then you could mill your own PCBs.

Osgeld: wax?

thing is a 3d printer cost a good pile of money, and wont come close to the quality of even simple toner transfer or photo masking which is already cheap and plentiful

Wrong. Some are even under $400.00, However I recommend the Rostock MAX from www.seeMeCNC.com And very high quality, down to 800 microns and better.

[quote author=James C4S link=topic=152466.msg1144578#msg1144578 date=1362536842] If you have a 3D printer, you'd get far better results for a PCB by replacing the extruder head with a drilling head. Then you could mill your own PCBs. [/quote]

Working on it ;)

KD0PLS: What about using a 3D printer to print the plastic onto copperclad, then using etchant solution to remove the copper? Would the PLA/ABS come off in the solution?

Why go through all of that trouble?

http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=16784.0;prev_next=prev

Google "homemade direct PCB printing" and similar searches to find more...

Alternatively - you could use a CNC mill to mill away the copper on a board to leave "tracks"...this is a fairly common thing in the homebrew CNC world...

I’ve seen a few videos on the milling process and they didn’t look fine enough to allow for SMD mounting. Maybe I’m seeing the wrong videos? I’ve also seen information on the direct print process. The toner transfer method is what I do now and was just wondering if there’s a way to get it done with a 3D printer, since the nozzle size is sub-millimeter.

Good responses so far! Thanks so much!

73,
David
KD0PLS

I've seen a few videos on the milling process and they didn't look fine enough to allow for SMD mounting. Maybe I'm seeing the wrong videos?

Or someone is using the wrong machine. Our guys make PCBs for SMT components on a Haas TM pretty regularly. Takes all freakin' day because the mill only has a 4000 RPM spindle (it's designed for machining, not PCB milling) but other than that it works great for small stuff. I know they've done 100 pin LQPF, I think some no-lead stuff, and smaller passives (0603 for sure, and I'm fairly certain 0402).

-j

Interesting. I may have to see about attaching a dremel when I get my printer made.

73, David KD0PLS