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DIY Toner Transfer Paper (cheap and easy))

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Rolf, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. Wond3rboy

    Wond3rboy Member

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    I use a thin cheap paper that works well, atleast by my standards(gets the job done). I did buy a paper on which they print photos with a laser printer.It has a sort of a plastic lamination on one side. Will try to see if it works out.
     
  2. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    People have been experimenting with using various things for toner transfer for about 20 years. The only thing new in this thread is the use of alcohol to melt a paper coating and provide a release. The rest have been tried numerous times.

    I would like to point out the pulsar paper costs about 1.6 cents per square inch and provides 100% release because the starch liquefies when wet. The paper floats off the PCB. Any process where you need to pull the paper away from the PCB is more likely to lift fine traces. It can be had from Mouser and Digikey in the US and Flighline Graphics (paper only) in the UK.

    I am not saying others papers or P&P do not work.
     
  3. Hero999

    Hero999 Banned

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    One thing I want to try is PVA or similar water soluble paper adhesive thinly painted on to pain copier paper and left to dry. The idea is it will dissolve when soaked.

    Another idea is rice paper but that's probably more expensive than nay proprietary paper.
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. mramos1

    mramos1 Active Member

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    Has anyone tried something like hair spray on plain paper? Will stink when it fuses I bet, but a thought? Maybe the hair spray will give easier up in the water or iso-rub soak.

    Not sure what wax or other coatings will do to the laser printer.

    I still use hammer mill business gloss, works great as long as you scuff up the the back of the paper after the first 5 seconds of the soaking process. It is coated on both sides.
     
  6. DirtyLude

    DirtyLude Well-Known Member

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    Photo Paper.
    3V0 has gotten to me, and I'm going to order some Pulsar paper on my next Digikey order.
     

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  7. Rolf

    Rolf Member

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    End of the Road.............

    Looking back on all my inconsistent experiments; I think the only one worth while and it is not my idea, is the one using laser label backing paper.
    With some careful shopping you can (on eBay) get a 100 sheets for $ 15.00. And that is essentially free since you can use the labels for their intended purpose.
    I used for comparison during my experiments and I think it compeers favorable with some much more expensive commercial transfer papers.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2009
  8. Rolf

    Rolf Member

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    My wax paper experiments has not left any visible degradation on my regular print quality.

    What I have learned is that laser label backing paper is the best, by far, of the unconventional transfer papers. And it is also essentially free, if you use the labels.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2009
  9. Rolf

    Rolf Member

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    The problem with some glues are that after they have been baked, they are no longer water soluble. I have found one that dosent change, it is Elmer's Washable school stick. Comes four to a package, cost around one dollar.
    I tried it on the freezer paper, the transfer came off clean after an extended soaking (didnt time it, probaly should have used warm water) and a little rubbing with a finger to remove the glue. See photo below:
     

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  10. mramos1

    mramos1 Active Member

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    Rolf, hope you have a spare printer :)

    So what is laser label backing paper? Is this a office depot thing and that is the actual name? If so I will try some. No real label on it I hope. I hate labels in the laser, spent too much time pulling them out for others.

    No one like the hair spray idea I guess. I have not tried this, it was just a thought.
     
  11. Rolf

    Rolf Member

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    It is the paper that the labels are stuck on.
    If you are not going to use the labels get the ones that have just six on a sheet.
    Make sure they are the laser type or else they might come off in the printer.
     
  12. mramos1

    mramos1 Active Member

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    And you print on the back side of it?
     
  13. Hero999

    Hero999 Banned

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    Simple, don't bake it then. Why would you bake it?
     
  14. Rolf

    Rolf Member

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    How do you get the toner on to the copper without heating it to about 300°F for several minutes??????????????? Is that not essentially baking every thing on the transfer paper?????????
     
  15. Rolf

    Rolf Member

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    No the front side.
     
  16. Hero999

    Hero999 Banned

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    Oh, you mean iron it, yes fair point but you don't have to use the highest heat setting do you
     
  17. mramos1

    mramos1 Active Member

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    What if your layout runs through the cuts in the labels?
     
  18. Rolf

    Rolf Member

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    I don't go by settings, I go by temperature.
    P-n-P recommends 300°F +/- 25°F, So I set my iron to 300°F with a thermocouple thermometer. That happens to be between wool and cotton on my iron.
     
  19. Rolf

    Rolf Member

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    You use the label backing paper AFTER the labels are used or removed.
     
  20. DirtyLude

    DirtyLude Well-Known Member

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    I tried the Muriatic Acid/Peroxide etchant today and it worked well. I think I'm going to stick with it.
     
  21. mramos1

    mramos1 Active Member

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    I did a couple boards that way today and they come out so nice and a lot faster. So Ferric Chloride is out for me.

    When I did my first board with water, the waste was blue (1/3 1/3 1/3), without the 1/3 water, it seems to turn green. Either way it works.

    Now I have 7 bottles of Ferric Chloride and a bag of the powdered version I will probably never use.

    I have not tried doing them in a zip-lock plastic bag yet. But next ones I will try that method.
     

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