Homemade PCBs with a Brother printer - 4mil Traces

  1. Supercap2F

    Supercap2F

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    Supercap2F submitted a new Showcase Item:

    Homemade PCBs with a Brother printer - 4mil Traces

    Read more about this showcase item here...
     
    Supercap2F, Jan 5, 2016
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  2. Supercap2F

    chopnhack

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    Wow Dan!
    I have had good luck with the foreign yellow paper as well as the steaming of the paper off of the pcb. The one drawback I have seen so far with steaming the paper is sometimes the increased temperature and presence of water does oxidize the copper. Mostly cosmetics as the exposed parts get etched away, but I did see on a few of mine some bleed through. 2 and 4 mil is outstanding work!! Being able to use a Brother laser is interesting as all the internet material I have read said that the Brother toner does not work well for toner transfer. You obviously are bucking the trend and with outstanding resolution. Are you using Brother toner or remanufactured ink?
     
    chopnhack, Jan 6, 2016
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  3. Supercap2F

    Supercap2F

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    Hey John!
    When I tried steaming off the paper with other than that yellow stuff I did seam to get worse results - It probably did bleed through like yours too.

    When I do it with the yellow stuff, I didn't go all the way and steam the whole thing off. It seamed to work better if I let the paper and PCB cool down to room temperature before removing it.

    The brother printer I used did have a refiled cartridge in it (from Cartridge World), and it was fairly new. I never got to try a real brother cartridge with this method - It would be pretty interesting to see if I would get different results though.
    Thanks
    Dan
     
    Supercap2F, Jan 6, 2016
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  4. Supercap2F

    chopnhack

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    My best results with non specialty paper was with thin magazine paper. I steamed it off to the point where running it under water lifted it right off! It was very cool. My only issue so far is toner density - I have not figured out how to increase it over the max resolution offered by the machine. There might be a setting that allows for more density.
     
    chopnhack, Jan 6, 2016
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  5. Supercap2F

    skenn_ie

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    If your layout software can do it, it is well worth printing pads with holes.
     
    skenn_ie, Feb 4, 2016
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  6. Supercap2F

    Colin Mitchell

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    Those 4 thou tracks are totally unnecessary and you are only going to get yourself into trouble by using tracks this thin.
    Obviously you have never repaired hundreds of boards and fine tracks from a land can break at the land and it takes ages to locate the fault.
    The least you should be is expand the track where it touches the land.
     
    Colin Mitchell, Feb 14, 2016
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  7. Supercap2F

    Arouse1973 Adam

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    Very impressive Dan, well done. I think the sand paper you used was a bit on the coarse side. You may find some fine wire wool is all you need.
    Good job.
    Adam
     
    Arouse1973, Feb 14, 2016
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  8. Supercap2F

    Supercap2F

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    Yeah, I agree. I did a few without them and the drills turned out kind of bad.. I didn't put them on this board because I didn't intend to drill them out.
    Ouch, Colin. :confused: I just wanted to see small of a trace I could get in case I ever need it. I usually keep them at 20mil or larger.
    Thanks Adam! I did use steel wool but it may have been a little on the course side. :D I have to see if I can find some finer stuff...

    Dan
     
    Supercap2F, Feb 15, 2016
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  9. Supercap2F

    Dalton C

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    What software do you use to make the board design?
     
    Dalton C, Jul 8, 2016
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  10. Supercap2F

    Bluejets

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    Brother laser toner usually does not work with toner transfer as it is not re-fusable.
    i.e. it is made to melt correctly just the one time.
    I must have tried it 20 times or more with no consistant acceptable result.
    Since going over to the HP mono laser printer and even with the el-cheapo replacement toner I get a good consistent finish every time.(HP Laserjet P1102w....mono laser)
    I use the old Circuitmaker 2000 I've had for many years.
     
    Bluejets, Jul 8, 2016
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  11. Supercap2F

    Supercap2F

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    For this one I used Diptrace (it's quick and easy), but most of the time I use KiCAD.
    Yeah, I have heard that it doesn't work but I thought I would try it anyway (since I'm not about to buy another laser printer). It may have worked because I used a non-official ink cartridge. I think that the yellow toner-transfer paper off of ebay is key to making it work this nice though.
    Dan
     
    Supercap2F, Jul 8, 2016
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  12. Supercap2F

    Bluejets

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    mmm..ok.
    I use the blue press-n-peel normally but I'll give this a try as it is a much cheaper alternative.
    Thanks for the link.
     
    Bluejets, Jul 8, 2016
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  13. Supercap2F

    chopnhack

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    I second that - I have had mixed results with other media, including the blue stuff - the dextran coated paper seems to be the best to date for me. I think some of the success is in the fact that the paper and dextran separate when wet vs. the blue paper is more of a transfer off and sometimes small sections don't release. Just my mileage on that.
     
    chopnhack, Jul 10, 2016
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  14. Supercap2F

    Pieter Kralt

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    My experiments using toner transfer did not work except from the time I could use a HP Laserjet 5. (The big and heavy office machine). All other printers I tried did not leave enough toner on the various papers I tried. The HP Laser Jet P2255dn I am using now, also does not fill the traces. The parts that should be black leaks light like a sieve. Now I am using transparants, fill the sieve holes with indian ink and UV lighting to make the etch mask on the copper. I'd like to try your method but bying a Brother printer for it is at least one step too far.

    petrus bitbyter
     
    Pieter Kralt, Jun 2, 2017
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  15. Supercap2F

    alsmith

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    This should work using an inexpensive GDI laser printer- you can usually get generic refill kits for low prices too, so I'd imagine the generic toner would do the job with one if the original toner doesn't work. I know some Brother printers are GDI but don't know if supercap2f's printer is. but Ricoh and others make them too, years ago I had a really cheap Panasonic.
     
    alsmith, Jun 3, 2017
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