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Forum Index : PCB Manufacturing : Help please with PCB making with Press n peel

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Joined: 31/10/2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 320
Posted: 08:39am 04 Nov 2019
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I have successively used Press n peel to make at least 2 double sided PCBs several years ago.
But over the last few days, I have been trying without success to do another PCB & don't know why it is not working.

I followed the Press n Peel instructions.
i.e. I rubbed the bare copper with steel wool, then washed it with soap & water, then washed the soap off and dried it with a lint free cloth.
But after much ironing, only a few slight traces of tracks were visible.

I also used a procedure I found on an electronics forum which is essentially the same but it uses isopropyl alcohol rather than soap & water.  The result was slightly better, but certainly not adequate.

I really don't know why it worked previously but not this time.  I used the same HP Laser printer.  Could the P n P film by out of date?

I also heard that the PCBs can be made by simply printing the image of paper rather than the P n P film.  But apparently it takes a lot of work to remove the paper.  However, if it works, I will do it that way.

Any assistance will be appreciated.


Joined: 07/09/2016
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1236
Posted: 10:06am 07 Nov 2019
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I never used PnP but I am aware of it.

I did make two small pcbs using the toner transfer method from glossy photo-paper, worked well and basically the same idea as PnP. I understand some have used glossy magazine paper also but I never tried it. I haven't persisted with the heat transfer method.

I always seem to be changing my methods because in truth I don't make a lot of small-run PCBs myself that much - my preferred method (not really PCB) for singles is (amazingly) to back-wire using really fine enameled copper wire and the net-list. I can get really good density on proto-board using this but is is time consuming - I find it quite therapeutic. No good for 100% surface mount of course. I used this method with my frequency counter that used a heap of DIP chips on an old eurocard. Only took a couple of hours to break the back of it.

For PCBs in 1s & 2s Traditionally I used to do photo-transfer but  it was so infrequent I was alway hunting-for/repairing the UV exposure unit and finding that my store of light sensitive board was beyond it's sell-by date and giving poor results etc. Don't like the process for it really (expose, caustic, etch...) too many opportunities to muck up.

For small runs, I have a fool-proof method for you but it requires a laser etcher - a suitable one is available really cheaply now - with caveats(!). Simply prepare the board and spray with matt black car aerosol, then etch the pattern directly to the copper - it burns away the paint and then when you etch it with ferric or whatever, only the laser etched traces are removed... means your etchant lasts forever coz the copper load is tiny and it makes nice PCBs for ground planes etc. here's the vid that got me into it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hFNj86L7sk&t=41s ... might help you as it did me.

For multiple runs, PCBs are so cheap to get done in China now that I go to JLC for just about everything  where I need three or more. The quality is really good.

my 2p
Edited 2019-11-07 21:26 by CaptainBoing

Joined: 31/10/2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 320
Posted: 06:41am 09 Nov 2019
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Thanks CaptainBoing,
That would be a good solution but it's rather complicated.
I only want to make a few PCBs.
However, your link led me to a host of others so here are some examples.


I hope these may be of interest to others.
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