Comparing two DIY PCB prototyping processes

Following this interesting heat-less, laminator-free process I decided to test it myself:

I am using high performance toner transfer paper


It-s not cheap, but for few PCBs per week I could survive with about 2,5 EUR per sheet. Following instructions from the video above and this link, I prepared FR4 PCB laminate and mixture of acetone and 96% alcohol in ratio 3 to 8.

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Then I printed FM Radio PCB. Please note, th PDF I have is somehow corrupted and my Kyocera M2626 could not print pads properly, even the pads are visible in preview. I applied some pressure with old rag and waited for the acetone and alcohol to evaporate from the paper. I also applied some pressure with soft roller and heated substrate to 40°C to accelerate the process.

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Then I put the “sandwitch” into the water:

The final result was not promising. I just give up this process for a while.


The procedure from applying the paper on the PCB to delamination of the paper from PCB took 9 minuets and 45 seconds. 


And finally, here is the “classical” procedure just to compare how simple is to produce prototyping PCB with proper paper.

Clean the substrate, print the artwork (same steps as above):


I am using unmodified GBC HeatSeal H220:


After eight passes I put the laminate into the water:

Required time in the water is about 10 to 15 seconds. After that, the paper can be completely removed and toner artwork remains on the PCB.


Finally, here is the closeup of the PCB after etching:


The procedure from starting with clean PCB and printred artwork to delamination of the paper from PCB took 7 minuets and 15 seconds. Additional 6 minitues was for the etching. 


One Comment

  1. David Hackenbracht says:

    Good Job !!!

    That was interesting. I didn’t think about mixing the two. Personally, I try to stay away from doing that sort of thing. A friend sent this link to me after reading about my battle with the laminators. Wish I had learned about this sooner, would have saved some money.