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instructables

How to Make a Professional Printed Circuit Board: the Complete Guide

by Joebarteam

Hello everybody, today I will show you how to make professional PCB, to improve your electronic projects.
Let's start !

Step 1: Drawing the PCB

If you already have the design of your PCB in a file, you can skip this step

I am using Proteus software to draw my PCBs, but you can also use Fritzing software to do that. The most
important is that you can export your design into a .pdf file. PDF keeps real size so if you print this file to a 1:1
scale, you will not have scale troubles after printing.

How to Make a Professional Printed Circuit Board: the Complete Guide: Page 1
Step 2: Printing the Artwork

Now print the PCB design on transparent sheets


I advise you to print a least 3 copies of the artwork, you will get better results because the opacity will be better at
the exposing step...

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Step 3: Setting Up Chemicals

During these steps, wear gloves and work in a well color ...
ventilated area and wear a pair of goggles. You will
handle strong bases and acids. Some of them /!\ Never pour liquids containing metals into the
evaporate easily in the air. I also advise you to wear a environment /! \ Use a bottle of chemical waste that
lab coat or old clothes because an iron chloride spot you can give to a waste disposal site.
can not be cleaned. It lets a disgusting yellow-brown

Prepare a bath of relelator for prepositive sensibilized Heat the water in a boiler to a temperature of about
epoxy. It I s just sodium hydroxyde ( concentration 80 ° C, once it is hot pour the water into a larger
15g/L ) Let it to the room temperature. container than the FeCl3 one. Place the FeCl3 bath in
the hot water bath.
Prepare an other bath with a solution of iron III
chloride (FeCl3) Also prepare a water bath, (distilled water is better) to
If you want the reaction to go faster, you will need to wash the PCB between each steps. It is also a good
catalyse the reaction between the acid (FeCl3) and idea to keep absorbing paper next to you... When you
copper of the PCB, it means you will need to heat the wash the PCB, absorbe water on it to not dilute the
iron III chloride solution. To do that, I use a hot water next bath.
bath (see pictures) Without this, the result will not be
as expected.

1. Sodium hydroxide bath


2. Iron III chloride bath
3. Hot water bath

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Step 4: Exposing the PCB

Let's set up the UV-light exposure box. brightness is reduced until the PCB is not developed.

Take the first artwork and attach it to the pane with Ready to start ? Go!
adhesive tape. (Be careful about the orientation of the
artwork !) Carefully remove the protective film of the PCB.
Place the sensitive side into the design and secure it
Then add the second and the third design onto the in place with tape. Put all of this into the exposure
first one to improve the opacity. This trick will prevent box, sensitive side facing the UV tubes and close the
UV rays to cross black lines of the design. box.

Now you are ready. You will work with photosensitive Turn it on between 2' to 2'30" no more. During this,
resin, so you will have to work in a place where the put gloves and goggles to protect yourself from

chemicals. Once time is over, switch off the exposure


box, open it and take the PCB.

1. Photosensitive area

How to Make a Professional Printed Circuit Board: the Complete Guide: Page 4
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1. Stopwatch

Step 5: Developing the PCB

Place it immediately into the sodium hydroxide bath, sensitive face up. You should immediately see a blue-purple
color (sometimes grey) going into the sodium hydroxide. Slowly shake the bath until you great see the design.
(Around 30" - 60")

Wash the PCB into the water bath.

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1. PCB into the NaOH bath 1. Before engraving

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Step 6: Engraving the PCB

At this step, the PCB is not photosensitive at all, you temperature, the surface area of copper to disolve
can switch on the light ! and the concentration of the FeCl3 solution.)

Now place the PCB copper-face up into the acid bath When all copper have been dissolved by the acid,
(FeCl3) and slowly shake it back and forward. The remove the PCB and wash it into an other water bath
solution always need to move to the reaction take and dry it out.
place. (About 20' to 40' depending on the water bath

1. Very dark because copper is dissolving into the solution

Step 7: Washing the PCB

Now you need to remove the remaining resin on the circuit. To do that, place the PBC into an acetone bath.
Acetone will become purple. (Around 10" - 20") The copper is henceforth exposed.

Then wash the PCB into water, and you have done !

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1. Acetone

Step 8: Tinning the PCB

It's an optional step but I advertise you to do it because it will help you to solder components and prevent
corrosion.

Place the PCB in a empty bath and pour a little bit of tin II chloride solution on it. It will lay down tin on the circuit.

*** Success ! *** You made a professional PCB !

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Step 9: Drilling the PCB

Use a vertical drill and a 0.8mm drill bit to drill every solder your components on it !
holes, and if the pin of the component is too large to
go through, use a 1.2mm drill bit to enlarge the first I hope you like this tutorial
hole. ( Always start with the smaller drill bit you have,
to drill a precise hole ! It is very important ! ) If you have any question, leave a comment ! ;)

And your PCB is done ! The only remaining thing is to

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