May 7, 2013 AT 2:00 am

Making 2-Layer Circuit Boards with a Laser Cutter

Making 2-Layer Circuit Boards with a Laser Cutter

I’ve kind of been obsessed with trying to make circuit boards on my laser cutter since I got it. Other people had already done this by using spray paint as resist – then laser-etching the paint off non-trace portions of the board. This process still requires chemical etching – which I’ve been trying to avoid.

I had some success several months ago – making crude PCBs by laser cutting thin steel – but those boards aren’t good enough for surface mount components or anything complicated.

So – if I can’t make good boards without chemical etching – I figured maybe I could use chemicals in conjunction with the laser cutter to make some decent 2-layer boards.

After a few failures – I came up with the process documented in the video. It works pretty well! I suspect if streamlined a bit – you could go from Eagle to working board in under 90 minutes.


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2 Comments

  1. Just on a side note: copper fumes are highly toxic. So be careful and have perfect ventilation.

  2. Assuming the registration is still solid post etch, I wonder if the laser would proficiently remove the FR4 from the through holes. That should 1) eliminate tooling, 2) produce cleaner holes.

    You could probably even increase the annular ring ID to allow for more registration slop.

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