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My Method Of Making PCBs
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My Method Of Making PCBs  This thread currently has 971 views. Print
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December 13, 2014, 4:52am Report to Moderator

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Hello Everyone

As it pertains to this subject and many other subjects that I will be discussing in this forum, a lot of my documentation exists elsewhere.  The good news is that you just basically get a summary of what I have learned.

Making your own PCBs is not for everyone.  It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and experimentation.  There are easy ways and there are hard ways, and some methods are better than others.  I initially started making PCBs because I had special projects in mind and I could not afford the cost of having custom boards made, for all the various projects that I intended to make.  So for the past several years, I have devised my own method and tools for making PCBs, and I am always striving to perfect it.  My method is far from perfect, but my PCBs are now turning out much better than they did in the past.  And it is during the course of my current project, which is a 3D printer build, that all my efforts and invested time are starting to pay off.  This is especially true, because there are four custom boards involved in the project.

When I first started making PCBs, I had built an exposure box, but this box would only expose one side at a time.  After fiddling around with that for a bit, I decided to make a double-sded exposure box, but by doing so, I realized that things would get much more complicated.  When making double sided PCBs, both sides must be in perfect alignment during the exposure process, to ensure the accuracy of the holes that must be drilled.  My method is and has always been about accuracy, more so then quality, although I strive for quality as well.  Throughout the years, many folks have disagreed with my methods, but they work for me, and I am happy with that.  I personally believe that most of the naysayers never had any luck with making their own PCBs, so they had to bash someone out of jealousy.

As previously mentioned, it is all about accuracy with me.  My exposure box demands accuracy for proper alignment, so I built a saw that will cut PCB material within 0.001", and for drill my holes accurately, I invented a manual PCB driller(although a CNC driller has been on the burner for years).  At his point, dinner is cooking and I am getting a little tired of writing, so I will attached several photos, which should convey my dedication and setup.  In the photos below, you will see my prototyping table which includes my exposure box/cylinder, my diamond blade PCB saw, and my latest invention, a manual but accurate PCB driller.  As this thread goes forward, I will describe each of these items in more detail, and most likely, they will each have their own thread for a full discussion.  Instead of trying to fit all the photos in one post, I will upload each to a seperate post.  In this post, I will attach photos of my prototyping table.

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December 13, 2014, 4:59am Report to Moderator

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And here you will see my diamond blade PCB saw.

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December 13, 2014, 5:02am Report to Moderator

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And finally, my latest invention, a highly accurate, manual PCB driller.

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