How to Make a PCB at Home
Aug 07th, 2019 | by: Electro Guruji | Views 1619
Views 1619

Learn How to Make a Printed Circuit Board at home using the Iron & Laser Printer method and Ferric Chloride Etchant. A printed circuit board (PCB) mechanically supports and electrically connects electronic components or electrical components using conductive tracks, pads, and other features etched from one or more sheet layers of copper laminated onto and/or between sheet layers of a non-conductive substrate. Components are generally soldered onto the PCB to both electrically connect and mechanically fasten them to it.

Watch the Video
Parts & Materials
  • Copper Clad PCB - AliExpress
  • Ferric Chloride Etching Solution
  • PCB Drill + Bits - AliExpress
  • Sandpaper
  • Paper Cutter
  • Permanent Marker
  • Laser Printer
Export Settings

Once you have finished designing the board layout of your circuit in Eagle, go to Layer Settings and select Hide Layers.

Next, select only the following layers for a bottom layer only PCB:

  • 16 - Bottom
  • 17 - Pads
  • 18 - Vias
  • 20 - Dimension
  • 45 - Holes

Then go to File>Print. Set the Printer to Microsoft Print to PDF.

Ensure that the following settings are also selected: Black and Caption.

Click OK and Save the file in the destination folder of your choice.

Export as PDF
Printer Settings

Print out the PDF file using a Laser Cutter on a sheet of Glossy Photo paper.

Ensure that the print scale is 1.0

Do not change any other printer settings.

Printed layout
Cut the Image

Cut the PCB image to size using a paper cutter and scale.

Cut the design from the paper
Cut the PCB

Mark the dimensions of the image on to the PCB using a permanent marker. Then use a paper cutter and scale to cut the PCB to the correct size.

The copper PCB
Iron the PCB

Sand the PCB using a fine grit of sandpaper and some water.

Place the image directly upon the copper side of the PCB and iron it for approximately 10 minutes.

By doing so the laser printed ink will get transferred from the photo paper to the surface of the PCB.

Remove the excess paper with some water so that you are only left with the stained PCB.

Iron the PCB with the paper
Remove paper with water
Etch the PCB

I made a solution of Ferric Chloride and Water. When we mix these two, an exothermal reaction takes place and hence we must mix the solution preferably in a plastic or glass container. Do not mix the solution in a metal container.

Shake the container for approximately 10 minutes. The acidic solution will slowly etch the unexposed copper. You can speed up the process by adding more ferric chloride.

Ferric Chloride
Final PCB
Drill Holes

I used an electric drill to drill holes for the components. You can also use a manual PCB drill to do so.

I also used a larger-sized drill bit to drill holes for the mounting standoffs.

Final PCB with holes
Support These Projects

Some of the circuits I have made using this PCB fabrication method.

YouTube: Electro Guruji
Instagram: @electroguruji 
Facebook: Electro Guruji
ElectroNoonbs.io: ElectroGuruji

If you have learned something from this tutorial don't forget to Follow me and Subscribe to my YouTube channel for more projects. If you have any doubts or questions, feel free to post them in the comments section.

Final project


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