Construction of the Printem Film

A project log for Printem - Instant Printed Circuit Boards

A novelmulti-layer film that lets you quickly and easily make flexible copper PCBs all using normal, unmodified home printers

varunperumalvarunperumal 08/22/2016 at 23:520 Comments

The Printem Film is a self contained film that contains all the materials necessary for the creation of a copper PCB. In the current version, the Printem Film has 5 layers as show below

This is a brief description of the stack, for more detailed look, please wait for more project logs or you can also read the full paper here

1) The substrate is made of Acetate paper, the kind you use to print slides on for old style overhead projects, this is what the PCB will be finally formed on ( currently working on using a high temperature resistant alternative )

2) Then we coat this substrate with a UV curing adhesive, these adhesives basically bond and activate when exposed to UV light, this is the active component of the Printem Film

3) Then we have the conductive foil, in our case this is a copper foil bought from a crafts store, silver, gold and tin foils can also be used as long as they are thin enough, we are looking for a similar thickness as to the decorative gold foils you find in craft supplies

4) The holding adhesive basically holds the above layers to the peel off layer below . This has to be an adhesive that is strong enough to hold the stack together but weaker than the UV adhesive in its cured state ( More details to follow in the posts to come )

5) Finally the peel of layer is simple card sock that is thick enough to block light

All the layers above are arranged in the order as show and put through a roller press to bond them together into a single sheet. Once the sheet has been formed its ready for use. This seems like a lot of work to do. But the vision is that you will be able to buy sheets of Printem Film and use them without having to go through any of the above steps.

The next log will go into how all the above materials work together to create the final result.