Making PCBs

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 234

Once I finish this semester I am going to build an ATX-840av power adapter for a friend. Instead of using prefboard I would like to make a custom PCB. I figure that since the adapter won't need very fine traces it would be a good project to learn on. I read some about products that allow you print the layout on a laser printer and then iron it onto the board and then etch it. I was also thinking of just getting an etch resist pen and doing the layout manually. Does any one have an experience either way and have some wisdom to pass along.

Also from what I understand now day most PCBs are machined. Do they just use a standard CNC router with a really small bit?

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jt
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 447
Link for artwork?

IIRC, there were schematics, but if you can find actual artwork for the part, I'll check it out. I've done prototyping with signmaking vinyl as the resist and it works very well. I'll try to find one of the old layouts and post a PDF for comparison. If somebody wants to make that kind of Illustrator outlines of closed tool paths, it should be relatively inexpensive to have an engraver rout the actual PCB material or a sign guy cut it in vinyl for etching. If I still have the plotter up and running when you're ready, I'll cut a few sets of vinyl for you to play with and mail it to you.

jt

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g3head's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
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Marker should work fine

Its probably going to be alot easier just drawing the pattern. Connect the dots for the most part. The other methods (photo resist and transfers) are more practical if you're doing more than one board with tons of trace work or designs that use a number of ICs.

KISS

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 234
I wonder if a Dremel would wo

I wonder if a Dremel would work for routing the PCB. As I have been thinking of building a Dremel based milling machine thing. Guess I'll add that to my list of things to do this summer.

The lazy man would rather exert himself than make two trips. -- Slovenian saying

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The lazy man would rather exert himself than make two trips. -- Slovenian saying

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 851
2 choice

1. Hire a fab to make it like PCB express: http://www.pcbexpress.com/

2. Buy etching supplies and do it yourself: http://www.elexp.com/pro-pcb.htm

Dr. Bob

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