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PCB Laser Etching

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Vagulus, Jun 9, 2018.

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  1. Vagulus


    May 6, 2018
    I received the following from another forum. I though it might be interesting to some members here.

    Check this out from Marco Reps

    All his videos have some great info. He has PCB laser etching nailed. He's done this one and some following on how he upgraded it. Amazing results possible.

    You can get the engraver here:

    and a UV laser 405nm which has a sharper focused dot (see Marco Rep's videos) than the 445nm ones here:

    Got one myself but they're so cool it's got used for everything other than etching PCBs. Soon though....

    It is a bit of an Ad and I cannot give this any recommendation, this is just FYI.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
    FuZZ1L0G1C likes this.
  2. timff


    Apr 13, 2018
    The traditional chemical etch or a PCB is a comparatively slow process compared to what I would imagine a raster (or even vector) scan using a laser. A concern I would have is that the transition of the copper to a vapor (an thus its removal) would risk sputtering and thus leaving potential electrical shorts in areas of close trace proximity. Also variations in trace and pad size would greatly influence the heat (light intensity) needed to remove a particular point of copper. This might lead to areas of excessive heat and possibly contribute to potential delamination problems.
  3. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

    Nov 17, 2011
    The laser isn't used to vaporize the copper, it's used to vaporize the masking paint followed by traditional etching.
  4. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    I've been using the laser ablation method of PCB manufacture for some time.

    edit: See here.

    Recently I've seen an approach where a blue laser is used to expose photosensitive PCB.

    The problem with all the laser ablation techniques is getting all the resist layer off without damaging surrounding resist. This is less of a problem if you're using the laser to expose the board, but then you need to be careful about stray light fogging the emulsion.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  5. FuZZ1L0G1C


    Mar 25, 2014
    Thanks for the share @vagalus.
    Definitely going to investigate this option further...
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