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Recommendation on laser printer for pcb transfer

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joeh100

Member
Hi, new to the forum. I'm getting back into electronics as a hobby and I'm interested in doing the toner transfer method. I'm currently trying to choose a printer and would like any recommendations from anyone already doing this.

Thanks,

Joe
 

MrDEB

Well-Known Member
use a laser printer and PULSAR system

have tried several other methods and the Pulsar system really works well.
do not buy a BROTHER printer as the toner is different.]
set print density to highest level =5 most likely
I found using the laminatror they sell works rather well but a hot clothes iron works almost as good.
foir etching I found using 1 part muratic acid and 2 parts hydrogen peroxide works very well. IMHO its better than the high priced dark brown stuff ???
good luck
 

joeh100

Member
What printers are people currently using with good results?

Specifically what models, not just brands?

Thanks,

Joe
 

HarveyH42

Banned
HP 1020, results were good with the toner cartridge that came with it. Barely useful with a recycled/refilled cartridge (which seems to be never ending...). Figured I'd mention the experience, save some grief. Saved $20, looks great on paper, but doesn't transfer well, a lot of pinholes. Boards still work so far, just lucky I suppose, but was worth saving $20. Might be just the company I got it from, but still a gamble.
 

Mr RB

Well-Known Member
Try setting the laser printer to "heavier paper" setting too, it usually runs the paper slower and puts down a thicker toner layer.

Then rub a small amount of cooking oil into the back of the paper with a cotton ball, just enough so it goes transparent. This lets you see better to line up the artwork and PCB, and also allows better heat transfer through to the toner and pcb when ironing. It seems to make the toner release from the paper and stick to the PCB better too.
 
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Rauljay

New Member
I have 2 HP Laserjets. I use the old 3P for toner transfer onto overhead transparency film an then iron-on. You can acutually do 2-sided boards by drilling two corners through pads, and then lining up the second side.

I don't know about sending cooking oil through my 3P (might try mineral oil instead), but had an idea the other day with dollar store (Elmer's white) glue and a foam brush. I'm going to try and slightly dilute the glue (easier to spread on) and paint the mylar film using the foam brush.

If everything goes well, once ironed-on, the warm water soak will allow it to peel quite easily. I'm using 3M Highland 901 transparency film, and it has a mottled texture on one side - that's the side I will try painting with glue.

OTOH, complex boards go to the overseas board house done with AutoTrax EDA PCB layout. Have fun!
 

Boncuk

New Member
When making a deep black print, especially large areas, most laser printers automatically cut back on the toner resulting in a greyish print, which is unusable for films as well as for toner transfer.

the printer must have the option to disable that function for equal toner distribution.

I use a FUJIXEROX Docuprint 203A with excellent results.

Boncuk
 

Hero999

Banned
I use a Canon LBP-660.

It's obsolete and doesn't officially work on XP (I'm using NT drivers which aren't 100% compatible) but is good enough.

I am using a recycled toner cartridge which isn't perfect so I fill any gaps in with a marker pen after transferring.
 

Rauljay

New Member
You can also double print onto the film to get more build-up of toner - it can be done. It helps to use slight pressure when the paper first feeds, so that registration of the image is consistant. Your milage may vary.
 

joeh100

Member
which printer

If you guys had to buy a new printer right now, which would u choose. I'll probably be buying from newegg.com.

I've also heard that the HP "P" series are not great. Right now, I'm leaning towards the lexmarks. Actually the brothers have the best reviews. To bad they won't work for PCB design.
 

Sceadwian

Banned
Why won't the brother work for PCB design?
 

arhi

Member
Why won't the brother work for PCB design?
not sure about "all brother" but the few in question use toner that is not based on plastic but on something else ... it is much harder to be released from paper and it is not etch resistant (as it is not plastic but based on some organic stuff).

not that those LED printers - do not work too (I think one of the brother printers that does not work is also LED printer)
 

Autarchex

New Member
I recently bought a cheap HP laser printer from Staples for $99, with a $50 rebate if you bring in any old junk printer to recycle. Unfortunately I don't remember the exact model, but it is their lowest-end model. I haven't even unboxed it yet since I bought it to go with the cupric chloride etch reactor I'm building, and it isn't finished yet. But if it turns out alright, it will certainly be the cheapest *new* laser printer I've ever laid eyes on...
 
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