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A project log for Small PCB Chemical Etching Machine

An etching machine that will fit on your shop bench..

fl@C@fl@C@ 04/02/2015 at 01:220 Comments

Ok... so my head has been bouncing around trying to figure out how to make a small desktop machine that handles acid and other liquids without making a mess....... DONE..

I'm pretty sure I have a concept that will work out.. I'll do some renderings to illustrate the idea...but basically... I'm thinking about building this into a PC case again because they're easy to get ahold of and look cool, plus they have tons of space to mount stuff, etc...

So, the idea is.... Two one inch thick blocks of HDPE... milled out in the middle similar to how you'd see cooling blocks for PC water cooling systems... A hose connector on each end, top and bottom.... the PCB to be etched fits inside the channel.. The whole thing is like a clam shell that closes down on the PCB and has EPDM seals around the edges...

The blocks will also have rotating 'brushes' that contact the surfaces of the PCB to agitate...And will probably be driven by magnetic couplings from the outside of the blocks.. HCl/H2O2 solution is flushed through and over the pcb in a rotating cycle with a shurFlo pump in the first cycle...then a valve switches to water and rinses.... an optical reading is taken to determine sharpness of the traces/edges and if they're below the threshold a short cycle continues until it reaches the defined level... then the system rinses thoroughly and signals that it's done... I thought about a drying cycle, but I'll get to that... Who knows.. :)

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