Press n Peel method to design PCBs
A printed circuit board can be constructed using many different methods , but when you want to do it yourself at home , you can use some easy methods like UV method or Press n Peel method.
But for all methods , doesn’t maters if you will use Press n Peel method, UV method or other method you will need to follow some useful steps like :
1. Create schematic circuit
2. Created printed circuit layout
3. Clean the cooper surface with very thin abrasive paper (or something else ) .
4. Transfer the pcb layout on the cooper surface of a Blank PCB .
5. You must introduce the circuit board in a corrosive solution to remove the unused cooper part and create the traces
6. Clean the circuit board ,by washing with water and clean it using isopropyl alcohol .
The most used methods that are used at home , for creating printed circuits boards are : UV method and press and peel method .
Press-n-Peel method use a Blue film which is a Mylar (Polyester) backed material in which several layers of release agents and resist coatings are applied.
For Press n Peel method you will need : PNP foil ( it is the most important ), Laser printer (used to transfer the printed circuit board on the PNP foil ) , Clothes Iron , Corrosive solution (Ferric chloride ).
To design a printed circuit board using the PNP method you can use the following steps :
1. Print the circuit onto the PNP Blue foil using a laser printer. If the circuit is small you can print the circuit on a A4 paper and cut a piece of PNP foil with a one size larger than the dimension of the circuit . PNP foil overlaps the drawing paper and sticks to the edges with paper tape and than print again the circuit .Watch out how you will put the PNP foil ( with the mate side up ) .
2. You must to cut a blank copper PCB to the same dimensions as the artwork plus a border of 5 mm ore more around the edges.
3. Polish the board thoroughly with very thin abrasive paper (don’t scratch the cooper ). The board should be extremely clean for the toner to transfer onto it , so you can clean after that with isopropyl alcohol or acetone .
4. Heat a clothes iron up to "Cotton" temperature range (approx. 300 F / 150 C).
5. Place the PNP foil on the blank PCB with the mate side on cooper ( with the circuit on the cooper side ) .
6.When the iron has heated up, gently run the iron over the copper/PnP/paper sandwich to get the PnP to begin adhering to the copper and than press the iron firmly and run it over the entire area of the PCB for 5 minutes, ensuring that all areas of the board gets even amounts of heating.
7. Take the iron off the PnP and remove the paper protector. Let the PCP to cool down to the room temperature .
8. Slowly peel the PnP away from the copper revealing the artwork transferred to the board.
9. Put the printed circuit board in a vase with Ferric Chloride , oriented with the cooper side down .
10. After the process is completed ( an you see that all unnecessary cooper was removed ) remove the board from the acid and wash any residue from the board.
11. Remove the toner from the PCB using isopropyl alcohol or acetone .