Today, hackers and manufacturers can get low-cost PCB manufacturing services. We admit that making our own circuit boards at home is not as attractive as it used to be. However, even though professionally made circuit boards are cheaper and easier than ever before, making them at home is still unparalleled when you have to have a usable circuit board by the end of the day.
If you find yourself in this situation, the new DIY PCB production method detailed by [adalbert] may be exactly what you need. This unique method uses desktop fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printers in all its stages, from creating templates based on exported circuit board designs to heating UV soldermask to accelerate the curing process. This may not be an ideal choice for dense panels with fine pitch components, but it is certainly useful for many prototypes.
Small “bridges” need to be added manually to hold the molds together.
[adalbert] has well documented the process through the step-by-step guide published on hackday. IO, and also played a video, you can see it after the rest.
However, if you are looking for a short version, you need to obtain 2D DXF from PCB design software, convert it into 3D, and then print it. It was then placed on a copper clad laminate coated with soldermask and exposed with an ultraviolet light source. After that, the unexposed mask can be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol, leaving the PCB design.
You still need to chemically etch the circuit board. If you use through-hole components, please drill holes manually. But compared with some old-fashioned methods of making your own board of directors, this is relatively simple. This technology also looks promising for small-scale production, because the mold can be reused indefinitely.
If your 3D printer is resin type, don’t worry, you can also use them to make PCB. We also saw impressive circuit boards produced by cheap laser engraving machines and cheap CNC routers.