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Author Topic: Troubles with toner transfer  (Read 3514 times)

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Pew446

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Troubles with toner transfer
« on: August 04, 2012, 09:39:35 AM »
You guys have got to help me out. I'm trying to use the toner transfer method to make my PCBs, and so far I've had nothing but bad luck. I've tried with regular copy paper and magazine paper, and so far the best has been copy paper, but the traces come off the board with any kind of pressure. With magazine paper, the traces seem to melt into a puddle on the board and all I get is a giant black smudge. I've tried using lots of pressure on the iron, moving it around a lot, letting it sit for a while, and I even let it sit for 5 minutes which just made my copper clad board bubbly. Please help me find the best method of transferring toner. I need as cheap as possible. Thanks :)

kam

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Re: Troubles with toner transfer
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2012, 22:08:04 PM »
i tried myself this method and did not work very well for thin traces. I only got "good" results with the cover of a magazine which had very good quality paper. Yet again, removing the paper requires a lot of patience and i am not gifted with patience. But then i got normal toner transfer paper from ebay (was cheap enough) and it worked much better. Maybe you should try also

George

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Re: Troubles with toner transfer
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2012, 01:03:11 AM »
The copper surface must also be extremely clean, If not the toner will lift, clean it under running water with scotchbrite or similar, dry then clean again with isopropanol (IPA), if there is a mistake , you can remove the toner with acetone and start again.
If you wish to use something a LOT better than magazines, www.pcbfx.com make a great product, however you will need to use a "modified" laminator to get better results. Also, I've read that the toner used by 'brother' does NOT work, so I hope your printer is not one of those.

cheerio

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Re: Troubles with toner transfer
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2012, 12:35:49 PM »
i use Glossy Laser Paper. always print on the glossy side
you should prepare stuff as follows:
clean the copper of the pcb first with acetone.
clean the copper of the pcb with hcl.
clean the copper of the pcb with water and dry it.

cut the paper at least 1cm around the printed stuff. this prevents unwanted liftoffs.
position the paper on the pcb, put the heatin iron on it and apply pressure for at least 30s.
now you can move the iron over the pcb. for small pcb you do not want to heat for more than 2-3 min. (for larger pcb this method is not very useful)
now you put the pcb in warm water with some soap and wait for about 5 min.
start rubbing from the center to the edges until the paper disappears. do NOT lift of the paper. you have to rub it off.
clean the pcb with soapwater and a toothbrush.


if the traces are damaged, you have not cleaned the pcb enough OR did not heat it long enough.
if the traces become to thick you did heat too long.

kam

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Re: Troubles with toner transfer
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2012, 16:19:36 PM »
one question: copper is one of the the best heat-transfer metals, so... how about pre-heating the PCB in an oven? Would this make any change? Would this be bad? Or irrelevant?  ::)

cheerio

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Re: Troubles with toner transfer
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2012, 18:07:22 PM »
if you do so, the paper will stuck immediately on contact. so you won't have a chance to position it carefully before applying heat and pressure.

Harhus

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Re: Troubles with toner transfer
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2012, 22:51:47 PM »
i used to use a4 sticky paper i peal of the sticky side and print on the glossy side of the part you would trow away once u used sticky side it gives satisfactory results and like others have said copper side needs to be smooth and clean if u leave finger prints after u cleaned pcb u will leave oils that will not allow toner to stick and etching solution wont go trough this oil

cheerio

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Re: Troubles with toner transfer
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2012, 23:52:01 PM »
i used to use a4 sticky paper i peal of the sticky side and print on the glossy side of the part you would trow away once u used sticky side it gives satisfactory results and like others have said copper side needs to be smooth and clean if u leave finger prints after u cleaned pcb u will leave oils that will not allow toner to stick and etching solution wont go trough this oil
right. i forgot:
wear one way latex hand gloves

JesseConant

  • Guest
Re: Troubles with toner transfer
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2012, 11:58:18 AM »
The copper surface must also be extremely clean, If not the toner will lift, clean it under running water with scotchbrite or similar, dry then clean again with isopropanol (IPA), if there is a mistake , you can remove the toner with acetone and start again.
If you wish to use something a LOT better than magazines, www.pcbfx.com make a great product, however you will need to use a "modified" laminator to get better results. Also, I've read that the toner used by 'brother' does NOT work, so I hope your printer is not one of those.
I have tried below instructions before,and found useful then share here for criticism and improvement.I utilized before on single side board.
1.Choosing Paper
The paper must be capable of handling a laser photocopy. A pre-printed glossy magazine page can work well.
2.Printing the Image
The layout image should be printed in reverse. Some brands and models of photocopiers may have a higher-quality toner than others.
3.Preparing and Heating the Copper
When the layout image is placed face-down on copper, it fuses immediately. It can then be run through the laminator again or ironed carefully for at least two to three minutes.
4.Removing the Paper
Soaking the board in hot water saturates the paper so that it can be peeled from the board by hand. A soft toothbrush should be used to remove excess paper fibers. The toner will remain, leaving the board ready for etching.