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PCB etching, drilling and cutting

Custom printed circuit boards (PCBs) are a great way to shrink projects, make more reliable connections and have better, cooler more professional electronics to your projects.

To get started with making a PCB, you first need to have your PCB artwork ready. There are several softwares which can be used to make these. The ElectroShop computer has eagle, KiCAD and Fritzing installed for designing circuit boards.

Custom printed circuit boards (PCBs) are a great way to shrink projects, make more reliable connections and have better, cooler more professional electronics to your projects.

To get started with making a PCB, you first need to have your PCB artwork ready. There are several softwares which can be used to make these. The ElectroShop computer has eagle, KiCAD and Fritzing installed for designing circuit boards.

Once you have the artwork ready, mirror the image and print it on the transparency sheet. Make sure that the scaling is turned off or set to 100% .

  • Print out the design on the transparency sheet. Head to  AC/DC room
  • Start the heater and air pump in the etching tank.
  • Peel back the protective plastic film on the copper board. Position the transparency on the copper board and tape it in place.
  • Place the board with the transparency inside the UV exposure unit.
  • Close and secure the plastic lid and start the vacuum pump.
  • Close the lid, set timer and start the UV lights
  • After the exposure, switch off the lights and vacuum pump. Open the lids and take out the board and transparency.
  • Remove the transparency and set aside.
  • Put the pcb in the developer tank.
  • After the image has developed and copper layer is clearly visible, take out the board from the developing tank and wash under the tap.
  • Attach the board to the clips and suspend it in the etching tank. The etching should take around 10 to 20 mins (the exact time of course depends on the complexity of the design and how much area has to be etched. It is a good idea to monitor this step of the process)
  • Pull out the board when done, wash under running tap water.
  • Drill the holes once dry.
  • Solder the components on and done.
Shreyasi KarPCB etching, drilling and cutting
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