The Process of Handmade PCBs
Since PCBs produced by manufacturers are expensive, if you are not in urgent need of your boards, hand-made is a good choice. Below, we conclude the process of hand-made PCB in four simple steps:
1.A hand-made PCB started with the circuit design in a PCB design software, but this time it is saved in PDF format so that it could be printed on laminated paper using a random laser printer. PDF does not change the size of the circuit, so it is the recommended format. The printed circuit board will be placed on a copper plate, after all the paper is etched away, the black paint on the paper will stick to the plate.
2.The first thing to do after placing the paper on a copper plate is to iron over the laminated paper when the PCB board is put on the plate for at least five minutes, so we can make sure that all the paint is adhered on the plate. Remember that improper ironing can cause short circuits.
3.In this step, you must prepare a solution of warm water, hydrogen peroxide and acid. The ratio between water and peroxide is about 2:1, add a small amount of hydrochloric acid, and then immerse copper plate into the solution. Within about 10 minutes, all copper in the board will be etched away except for the area where the paint is applied
4.The final step is to remove the paint from the board with acetone, exposing the connection.
However, hand-made PCB boards have many shortcomings. The most serious is the poor connection quality which may lead to short circuit; the lack of solder mask makes it susceptible to the impact of external force and shorten its service life. Another obvious disadvantage is that the maximum layer of a hand-made PCB made in this way can’t exceed two layers. This means multilayer printed circuit boards are hard to make at home or in the workshop.