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Nov 21, 2003, 11:42 AM
High Exalted Poohbah
planeman's Avatar

Photo Etching - a "How To" for PCB boards and making small metal parts.


In a couple of the recent threads about making your own IR receivers, IR transmitters, micro receivers, muscle wire actuators, etc., the subject of do-it-yourself photoetching has come up. This thread is to pull together all of the piecemeal photoetching discussions into one coherent thread and add more information and discussion in an area that has been overlooked until now.

I will direct some of the gurus over here.

Have at it, guys!

Planeman
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Nov 21, 2003, 11:55 AM
..teach monkeys to fly..
Marten's Avatar
Excellent article on Stefan Vorkoetter's page. I've used it several times.

http://www.capable.ca/rcstuff/etching.htm
Nov 21, 2003, 12:26 PM
High Exalted Poohbah
planeman's Avatar
Thanks, Marten.

I read it and it is very good. What I have noticed is there seem to be quite a number of methods and tricks. Some photoetch using expensive setups and some seem to get excellent results with inexpensive and almost "household" chemicals and items. I hope we can learn what these are and learn from each other some neat tricks for a cheaper and quicker way of getting the job done.

Keep posting, folks!

Planeman
Nov 21, 2003, 12:42 PM
Only nerd in the village
Planeman, good idea about the thread but a bit overkill to post about it in all those threads. If you want to bring attention to a particular thread, post a suggestion in the "Micro Thread Index"

Brgds

Michael
Nov 21, 2003, 12:57 PM
High Exalted Poohbah
planeman's Avatar
Sorry for the overkill. Just trying to get you, Bulent, J. Berg, et al over here.

Planeman
Nov 21, 2003, 01:21 PM
Registered User
billystiltner's Avatar
Thanks for making the thread.
I'm glad someone else did it besides me I have been starting too many threads lately and was waiting for this one.
Well anyways what are the advantages of photoetching over
say just ironing the pattern from a laserjet printout or plotting with a permanent marker? It seems much simpler to do the latter.
I have no experience with this stuff and have only read info here and a little more so please excuse my ignoramusness.

Thanks
Billy
Nov 21, 2003, 01:29 PM
Sticky Shepherd
Graham Stabler's Avatar
I would suggest that the thread should be etching in general, the method in which the pattern is made doesn't matter and it would be nice is all methods were here.

Graham
Nov 21, 2003, 02:10 PM
Registered User
billystiltner's Avatar
I second the suggestion Graham.

Now to get down to business what can be use as a resist for caustic soda if I were to want to etch some aluminium with it?

I have looked for this but came back empty.

Billy
Nov 21, 2003, 07:12 PM
Sticky Shepherd
Graham Stabler's Avatar
Most paints will probably resist caustic soda. I don't think that photo resist will though as it is one of the components of some developers.

Graham
Nov 22, 2003, 11:01 PM
SpinsMakeTheWorldGoRound

etching aluminum


Billy, I like muriatic acid for etching aluminum,found at pool suply stores. Most resists seem to work with it. I took the aluminum case off of a 45ma battery with it, reduced the weight to 1.1g, but it inflated the battery and burnt the anode through. So it was a total waste of time, so far. Bob
Last edited by Bob Bailey; Nov 22, 2003 at 11:05 PM.
Nov 22, 2003, 11:59 PM
Registered User
billystiltner's Avatar
Bob
I thought the outer layer of the lipoly was some sort of plastic.
If so will the battery work with just the aluminum casing?
Could possibly wrap it back up with something lighter weight.
I only have one at present so I will not mess with it.
Sorry for off topic but I have been wondering about the insides of the lipoly and wondering how dificult it would be to make one if you had the parts you could make your own custom sizes and stuff. Thanks for the tips on aluminum etching Graham and Bob.

Billy
Nov 23, 2003, 02:45 PM
Only nerd in the village
I have tried to make some brass parts by first spraying them with positive photo resist and then exposing them for 15 minutes with a 300W halogen spot. Did not work. All the resist came off in the developer. I will try a longer exposure time and see if that works. I would like a proper UV exposure box but they are very expensive. However the tubes used therein are quite reasonable. Does anyone know what is needed to hook up these UV tubes to mains?

Michael
Nov 23, 2003, 04:02 PM
Crash Master
Gene Bond's Avatar
I used to use a sunlamp. They used to sell them at Kmart, WalMart, etc, for women to get that 'winter skin burn', or 'fake bake'. You might be able to still get them. Or, rent some time in a suntan booth
Nov 23, 2003, 04:20 PM
Registered User
Michael,

I believe a std fluorescent ballast and 15watt eraser or germicidal bulb can be used.

Dave