Making the PCB

A project log for NeoPixel SmartWatch

A first attempt at a wearable that interacts with Android notifications and has a few other neat features.

dominicDominic 05/27/2015 at 02:220 Comments

There are a few ways of making one-off pcbs, but I used the laser printer method. Hackaday actually has a really great tutorial for this here. On my first attempt I used parchment paper but it didn't come off cleanly when ironed onto the copper clad board. I ended up using magazine paper; it doesn't matter if it has print on it since only the laser toner is transferred onto the circuit board. With the iron I have, I had to press down for 5 minutes on each side for the toner to transfer cleanly. Next step was an HCL + H202 solution that etches away all remaining copper that isn't covered by the toner. My finished product wasn't perfect, so I tinned all the copper traces and checked with a multimeter to make sure all the connections were intact.

In my opinion, unless you need super low tolerances, the laser toner pcb etching method is a quick and easy solution for DIY projects.

(Pic is before tinning traces)