After soldering quite a few electronic circuits, I wanted to try my hands at PCB Design and Fabrication. It would not only save me time while soldering but also ensure that the connections are correct and that prototyping a new circuit is fast.

The method I use for fabricating my PCB's is popularly known as Toner Transfer Method. It is basically heating of the printed PCB design over the copper clad board, which causes the ink polymers to melt and deposit on to the copper clad, thus transferring the toner on to the actual PCB. 

I design my circuits using a software called Eagle CAD, print out a mirror image using a laser printer and then use the toner transfer method to transfer the pattern onto the copper clad.

After the circuit pattern is on the copper clad, the board is dipped into an etchant, Ferric Chloride being the one commonly used. This eats away the copper that is exposed, thereby only leaving the required connection tracks. 

After etching, the board is then cleaned and holes are drilled for placement of components. The PCB is now ready to be populated and soldered.
Some Electronic Circuits I designed and fabricated.
Step 1: Cutting the Copper Clad to the required size, according to the design pattern
Step 2: Cleaning the copper clad, applying the pattern over it and then heating it to transfer the toner
A look at the copper clad after the design has been transferred over
Uneven heating can cause the toner to not stick in some places, thereby breaking traces. A permanent marker is used to fill up eneven/broken traces
Step 3: The copper clad is dipped in etchant. I made this agitator using an uneven weight mounted on a DC Motor in order to keep the etchant moving
After the board has been etched, it becomes a Printed Circuit Board. The ink from over the traces is removing using Acetone
Step 4: Holes are drilled for components at their respective places. I used the PCB Drill I made to drill perfect, straight 1mm holes
The ready to solder, complete Printed Circuit Board
Some of the other PCB's I fabricated and also used the method as a way to make creative elements
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