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DIY Toner Transfer Paper (cheap and easy))

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

  1. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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  2. ChildOfVision

    ChildOfVision Member

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    I agree that the Pulsar's TTF is the "real stuff" (better than P'nP blue), but I also think that the gummed paper is VERY good alternative. My "gummed collage paper" (mentioned before) gives excellent results - the only difference is the slightly longer time of soaking (10-15 min due to the glossy coating on colored side). Then the paper just floats on the surface of the water, leaving only pure toner without ANY paper residue - just like Pulsar's. Then you can apply TRF Green or White. I haven't tried TRF Green yet, but I tried White TRF with great results. I don't see any alternative to the Toner Reactive Foils, but they are not so expensive. When I try out a combination of (my) gummed paper with TRF Green, I will post results here (maybe with some pictures)!
     
  3. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    As I understand it the green TRF for PCBs has a finer grain and will do a better job of following the details.

    The foil and paper together from Pulsar run less then 5 cents per square inch. Still a good deal. My wife want to so a somewhat different process that will require large amounts of the paper. If it were just PCBs I am not sure I would bother.
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. HarveyH42

    HarveyH42 Banned

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    10-15 minute soak? I'd be etched, and drilling holes by the time that paper releases. What's the price on the collage paper? I haven't experimented much, since I started using the Pulsar paper, get a usable board pretty much on the first try, every time. I do occasionally have some problems along the edges, but figure its from handling the copper after cleaining, and before the transfer. Been leaving a wider margin, and hasn't been an issue since. It's well worth the time saved.
     
  6. ChildOfVision

    ChildOfVision Member

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    If I order Pulsar's TTP directly from Dipmicro it would cost me approx. 25 USD (I'm in Croatia). 12 sheets of gummed collage paper costs me ~2 USD at local store. It gives essentially same results (with longer release time) as I described before. So, I don't care if soaking time is even 30 min for such savings of money. I repeat: there is no alternative for TRF Green as I know.
     
  7. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    For what its worth you can get pulsar's TRF from Mouser and even PulsarProFx.com. Not sure how shipping from the US to Croatia compares to Canada to Croatia. There is also a UK distributor.
     
  8. ChildOfVision

    ChildOfVision Member

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    Pulsar TTP from Mouser = 12,33 EUR (~18 USD) and I'm not sure about postage...
    Dipmicro.com = 16,30 USD + ~9,50 USD s&p...
    I can't order from Pulsar because they still do not have Paypal option...

    But in any case I don't have particular need for Pulsar's paper while my cheap gummed paper works good for that purpose.
    TRF-Green costs me about 14 USD (directly from dipmicro.com) which is quite a decent price for a product that has no alternative and lasts "forever".
     
  9. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    Why do you keep saying directly from DipMicro when TRF is a pulsar product ?
     
  10. ChildOfVision

    ChildOfVision Member

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    I say "directly from dipmicro" because they sell Pulsar's products (and some other electronic stuff) in ebay. If I order something "directly", outside ebay from dipmicro.com it costs me 1-2 USD less. For now dipmicro is the only source for me (in Croatia) for Pulsar's products. I also buy electronic parts from futurlec.com, but they do not offer Pulsar's things.
    (sorry, my "google-translate-english" is awful!)
     
  11. RogerTango

    RogerTango New Member

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    Many places, like restaurants, have stalls outside the door, sometimes just inside... that have houses for sale by various realtors. The paper is slick and fairly thick. I have been using that to do toner transfers with 100% success for some time now.

    GL,
    Andrew
     
  12. Winston

    Winston New Member

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    Is that store a national chain? If so, which one? And what is "gummed collage paper"? Is that what it's called on the label its package? Do you have a part number or brand. I can find nothing about "gummed collage paper" in a Google search. I've found "Acrylic Image Transfer Paper for Laser" that's meant for collage image transfers:

    http://www.artmediaonline.com/artProducts/viewProductInfo.asp?productID=27096

    Is that it?
     
  13. CraigHB

    CraigHB New Member

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    I have a couple boxes of UPS shipping labes I got for super cheap on eBay some time ago. I've been experimenting with that for the waxed label paper method. I actually bought them for their intended use, but they've turned out to be a great source for label backing paper. There' similar to to this but the ones I have are the official UPS ones.
     
  14. OlPhart

    OlPhart Member

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    Oven?

    Just read Entire thread...whew. It seems:

    > Purpose made toner transfer paper makes the process straightforward, after tinkering out variances in your tool set.

    > Laser label paper is attractive to me as I get the labels And then the paper. The extra tinker & process time is fine, got Plenty to do while waiting.

    Now for my query: I haven't seen any use of a standard oven for transfer to PCB. I thought I read, in several places, that at the proper temperature, you could leave paper & board for a prolonged bake.

    So, how about sandwiching paper & PCB between 2 aluminum plates: AL / PCB / toner paper / AL. Put it on the oven rack, with a "decent" weight on it, set the oven to xxx degrees and let it bake for a "while". What say? <<<)))
     
  15. ChildOfVision

    ChildOfVision Member

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    @Winston: Sorry, I was not notified about new posts until now!
    "Gummed" means "water activating glue" like on postage stamps. This is that paper (scrool down to see text "gummed paper").
    It is manufactured in Germany and I have found it on local bookstore. It is simple (colored) paper with that "water activated glue" on the back so children do not need to use glue - they just licked it (it is harmless starch glue) and do collages. I really can't understand why many people never heard of it. Look a little in bookstores selling school equipment!
    In my #373 post on this thread you can see that one can find ordinary (not collage) gummed paper - it is used for labeling (packages for example, as you said); I don't know is it available now on ebay.
     
  16. CraigHB

    CraigHB New Member

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    I've actually had limited success with label backing paper. It's good because you just peel it right off, no soaking or rubbing, but I can't seem to get it to do a complete transfer every time. I may need a hotter iron. I'm only getting about 250F out of the iron I'm using. That's measured with the probe that came with my DMM. I may not be getting the toner hot enough to work well with label backing paper. I get more reliable results with photo paper. I tried magazine paper for the first time on a PCB I just did and got results as good as the photo paper. It's easier to remove than the photo paper so that's a plus.

    The "lick-n-stick" gummed paper sounds like a good one to try. Though, the whole idea is to find a reliable inexpensive medium. If gummed paper is too costly, it would be better to buy the starch paper made for toner transfer discussed earlier in this thread. My complaint about that stuff is the cost. Photo paper is fairly inexpensive, the label backing paper I have was cheap, and magazine paper is free.

    As far as using an oven, you might have a hard time getting even pressure over the entire transfer with plates. I think you'd have to used machined steel with some kind of clamp. I've had trouble with the toner getting squished out of shape before. It would be tricky to keep that from happening with plates. That's what's good about the iron, it's cheap, easy, and it works pretty well.
     
  17. ChildOfVision

    ChildOfVision Member

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    12 pcs of A4 or letter-size gummed collage paper at the local store = about 1,5 USD. Cheap enough?
     
  18. Gayan Soyza

    Gayan Soyza Active Member

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    Here some of my home made PCB stuff done with toner transfer method.

    Here we don't have any press & peel or pulsar or any dedicated PCB making papers.

    I used normal A4" papers.Also sometimes using "poster papers".
     
  19. ChildOfVision

    ChildOfVision Member

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    Quite decent work if you ask me!
    I know how you feel, believe me - same thing here by me and I live in Central Europe:(!
    Can you please tell me: 1) are you using a laminator? 2) What etchant do you use?

    You can see my post HERE (if link works) - to the last post!
     
  20. Gayan Soyza

    Gayan Soyza Active Member

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    I use just an old IRON.

    I use Ferric Chloride.
     
  21. ChildOfVision

    ChildOfVision Member

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    Thank you very much!
    That just confirms my suspicions that for toner-transfer one should use FeCl3, NOT muriatic acid + peroxide - that mixture is too aggressive for toner (also for permanent markers, like Sharpie or Edding, if you use them)!
     

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