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Deposited Conductor PCB

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Steve DeGroof, May 15, 2004.

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  1. First off: This doesn't actually work. It's close but not good
    enough for an actual PCB.

    I was playing around with a product called LaserFoil.

    It's intended to be used for adding foil effects using a laser
    printer. You print a pattern with your laser printer and iron on
    the foil. The foil is actually coated mylar. When you peel away
    the mylar, the coating sticks to the toner, giving a metallic

    Just for fun, I tried printing a PCB pattern on heavy card stock
    and ironing on the foil. The result was a metallic-look pattern
    that looked a lot like copper traces. Not only that but the lines
    actually conducted electricity.

    Now, there are three problems with it:
    1. There is a thin, non-conducting layer on top of the traces.
    You have to scrape away the layer to get a reading.
    2. The conductivity of the traces is poor. The best I could
    get was about 10k over a 1" span.
    3. The traces repelled solder. It was impossible to make a decent

    That said, it occurs to me that a product that overcomes these
    problems is not entirely impossible. What you'd need is a sheet
    of mylar coated in copper or particles, arranged so that they tend
    to spead out a bit (and therefore overlap) when ironed.

    Of course, you'd still end up with a PCB made out of card stock.
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