Yonderknight

Masking PCB's With Vinyl Stickers?

10 posts in this topic

Hi,

I have a couple of questions about etching PCB's. I've never tried it before, and I've read through the various methods of masking them. I don't have a laser printer, and I don't want to order any special paper. Also, the whole transfering process with a hot iron seems like a real pain, which I would probably mess up.

I have a friend with a vinyl sticker plotter that can cut pretty intricate designs on sticker paper, and I was wondering if it would be possible to mask a PCB by cutting out the track patterns onto a vinyl sticker and sticking them onto a copper board. I figure if permanent marker works, then stickers should too, but I've never tried this so I wouldn't know.

Any ideas?

Thanks!

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For uv process you can do this. But you can't etc with the vynil on it ;).

It should be no problem if the Vinyl leaves no residu.

Why don't you try it on a small piece of pcb and tell the outcome of it.

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Hrm yeah, I guess I'll try it out. I was just wondering if anyone had any guesses as to what would happen.

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As TwinX said, for photoetching it would work, but it wouldn't be cost effective. Nor would it work for intricate, small pitch stuff. I don't think you'd be able to use it as a stencil either.

I use a photocopier and standard photo paper, which works just fine.

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As TwinX said, for photoetching it would work, but it wouldn't be cost effective. Nor would it work for intricate, small pitch stuff. I don't think you'd be able to use it as a stencil either.

I use a photocopier and standard photo paper, which works just fine.

I use a laser printer and vinyl sticker, which works very well. Look at this: http://electroni-city.com

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I use a laser printer and vinyl sticker, which works very well. Look at this: http://electroni-city.com

Looks good. I did some similar pcb making with photopaper. But lately the results are less then optimal. Maybe i give this vinyl foil a go. Now where do i find Oracal 641 in W-Europe....

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Don't forget that for boards that aren't really intricate, you can usually get decent results drawing the traces with a permanent marker (like a "Sharpie")

If you want slightly more controlled results, maybe you could find some dry-transfer (letraset-style) circuit board markings. Radio Shack used to sell them, I don't know if they still do.

Look at the pictures on "step 5" on this page: http://haroldsbeambugs.solarbotics.net/Index3.html

... you just rub them on to the copper clad board with a pencil. Years ago I had GREAT results doing this, but now I'm using toner transfer for the rare occasions I make boards.

You can get AMAZING results submitting your Eagle files to Laen's group panel order, where for $5 per square inch you get 3 copies of your design, double-sided, solder masked. I have used his service a few times and the quality is excellent, and it's a great value if you don't need a huge board. His website url recently changed (from dorkbotpdx.org):

http://oshpark.com/

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Laen's PCBs are really excellent, I recommend them whenever I can, so I do it here as well!

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Laen's PCBs are really excellent, I recommend them whenever I can, so I do it here as well!

For prototyping i use the toner transfer method. However if that is successful i def. want to try Laen's service. Those pcb look really good.

Edited by Shuriken

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Looks good. I did some similar pcb making with photopaper. But lately the results are less then optimal. Maybe i give this vinyl foil a go. Now where do i find Oracal 641 in W-Europe....

You can try not Only 641 but any other Oracal type: 640, 651, 8800. You can go to your supermarket and search for it. Try search for Orafol or Orapaper.

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