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Toner transfer hardware options

Discussion in 'Circuit Simulation & PCB Design' started by camerart, May 30, 2017.

  1. camerart

    camerart Active Member

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    Hi,
    Moved from TONER TRANSFER PAPERS.
    I tried the yellow transfer paper, with good results and got into conversations about what option there are for the hardware.
    Using a laminator with a multi approach, where the paper goes through the rollers more than one time, to give enough heat to the paper. I prefer to slow the rollers down so the paper has only one pass.

    Here's MOSAIC's last suggestion.
    [usually, the motors are synchronous, slowing them down via triac chopping heats them up and makes them stutter.
    Slowing them down via gearing is an option if u can find gears to work.
    Increasing their heat is an option for metal geared units else the gears melt and distort.

    Since most laminators have a reverse option to remove jams built in, I exploited that with the mod. to have a PCB laminator or a regular laminator function at the touch of a button.]

    Are there any photos of laminator motors in situ?
    Camerart.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017
  2. camerart

    camerart Active Member

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    Hi,
    Just did a test.
    Sandwich: plastic-silicon-Transfer paper-PCB-transfer paper-silicon-plastic, wrapped in rubber bands. Placed in Microwave for 20 mins. The plastic was starting to melt, but the transfer almost worked, so this needs investigating.

    I tried the silicon in the microwave on it's own, and it got hot, so this appears to be how the heat could be injected.

    Questions: If anyone knows, the dangers of materials like the ones above?
    + The temperatures needed to transfer the image?
    + The max temperatures of known silicon etc? (I believe food silicon-200C Industrial-300C ?) (The silicon I've been using is very soft and can be cut by pushing my nail into it)
    Please reply. C.
     
  3. camerart

    camerart Active Member

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    Hi,
    The method I have chosen is to use two plates to compress a sandwich of Metal-Silicon sheet-Image-PCB-silicon sheet-Metal. (Double sided possible) Clamp together with Screws/Bolts and place in toaster for a time found by experiment. Leave till warm (Not sure about the actual temperature) peel apart and Circuit!
    Here is an image of my first sandwich, this is app 30x50mm, also an image after soldering most of the components.
    I am trying next with larger/thicker plates.
    C.
     

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  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. Superdat

    Superdat Member

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    Different! I would have some concerns about using a toaster, all the ones I have seen have very accessable heating elements.
    Other than that, it's sort of like a laminator without the rollers.
    I used a solid state A/C relay to slow my laminator motor down.The motor was stopped then restarted before it lost all momentum. There is no noticeable increase in heat from the motor. After some tweaking of the On to Off ratio, I managed a stutter free speed reduction. I think I got about 4:1
    Works well on a single pass, but my laminator does have heat adjustment and a high maximum temperature (170C +).
    I've also stopped using the commercial transfer paper, I found it is so non sticky that small detail sometimes falls off or at least goes missing somewhere.
    I've gone back to using satin finish magazine paper and I get much better results. IMO the extra hassle of soaking the paper to remove it is worth the inproved quality.
    I notice on your PCB that some of the holes are incomplete. This was happening to mine until I went back to magazine paper.
    To avoid jams I cut the transfer paper to size then masking tape the leading edge onto regular A4 which has an image of the pcb printed on it as a reference.
    I found that a whole sheet of magazine paper jams very easily.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
  6. Pommie

    Pommie Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I've given up making my own. When you can get ten 50x50 mm double sided boards made for $20 ($2 each) it just isn't worth it. Also, with smt I can now fit most projects into 50x50 mm.

    Mike.
     
  7. camerart

    camerart Active Member

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    Hi,
    Hi M,
    As I keep having to change my designs (poor planning) this would be quite expensive and not as quick for one off tests, but I'll look out for a similar company here, in case I ever get better at accurate designing.
    Thanks, C.
     
  8. camerart

    camerart Active Member

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    Hi S,
    Sound like you've got a good system. I'm still waiting for larger silicon sheet to try larger PCBs, and the plates I've had made.
    The toaster is a 60s one and as in the throwing out area after all of these years. (Only because one of the contacts fell off) The elements are better than the good quality ones we've got today. There are metal rods separating, the 'toast' from the elements, and I switch on from the wall socket.
    A friend of mine was explaining about the holes on the tracks, and that he sprays his with Acetone to spread them before transferring, I've yet to try this.
    Thanks, C.
     
  9. Superdat

    Superdat Member

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    Pommie said: I've given up making my own. When you can get ten 50x50 mm double sided boards made for $20 ($2 each) it just isn't worth it. Also, with smt I can now fit most projects into 50x50 mm.

    Hi,
    That's fine if you can find something to do with the other 19! I'm very much into one offs and usually much larger e.g. 100x160
    I know that SMD would make them much smaller but my 20:20 vision is more like 2:2 now ;-) So DIY isn't really an option. I can mange 1206 resistors/caps which helps with size reduction. For me doing everything myself is part of the interest, I get to design a circuit, layout the pcb, make the pcb, program the microprocessor, debug and fault find, then use what ever I've made. I don't just copy whole circuits, I may use other ppls work as a reference of how to do something, but once I understand the concept I do it in a way that takes into account my abilities, available hardware etc.
    I have made one item that isn't readily available (auto dew heater for telescope) but it would be easy to copy and probably quite expensive if it was made as a commercial item so I haven't looked into going any further with that. I'm also retired so I'm not looking for a new career.
    I think most hobbyists are into one offs, anyone who can do something with 20 identical pcbs (without giving them away for free) is likely semi or full professional. Then time and accurately reproduced pcbs is as they say money. I'd say there's a whole spectrum of ppl with a variety of reasons for DIYing to paying someone else to do it. You do what's right for you.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
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