software used to make the laserprinter PCB etch resist images ?

what software is best used to make the images for the DIY laser printer PCB
resist trick ?
ie. print image on the laser printer, iron on copper cover board, wash away
paper, disolve exposed copper, remove the plastic, drill holes .....
thanks for any help,
rob
Reply to
robb
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It depends on what format your original layout is in.
The software needs to be able to read the original format and then print it in the proper size and orientation.
--
RoRo
Reply to
Robert Roland
PCB
thanks for help, i should have been more clear. I do not presently have a format or layout yet i was just going to draw some simple traces for simple project to experimant with the DIY PCB.
I tried using the word processor (for about a minute) but that has obvious drawbacks with precision, scaling and line creation problems so i thought there might be some shareware/freeware PCB drawing or printing software i could use to create the PCB mask.
seems like it would be better if i started with some PCB layout software then go from there ?
Thanks again, rob
Reply to
robb
Some people around here, among them me, like Eagle from
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They have a freebie version whose only limitation is the max. PCB size of 80x100 mm. Assuming you don't want to do homebrew multilayer boards.
My personal start into the CAD world was some illustration software (I think Aldus Freehand) back in 1990, but that was just an extension of my previosuly hand-inked layouts. Nowadays nobody uses anything but a schematic capture/layout combo, such as the one mentioned above.
robert
Reply to
Robert Latest
You need some sort of EDA or CAD program; a pcb-specific layout program is probably best and there are plenty of freely-available ones to try and see what you like. Freely downloadable ones include Eagle, Kicad, and gEDA/pcb (which I use). There are probably others.
Alternatively, you could use a paint program (gimp, paint, photoshop) if you're careful about the DPI of the image, or any drawing or figure program (xfig, illustrator, autocad), again - if you're careful about the scale.
Reply to
DJ Delorie
You could use a paint program, albeit it might take a few tries to get the scaling right.
I've got paint shop pro v. 4.12 ... Found a download!
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Good Luck! Rich
Reply to
Rich Grise
I am trying to get to grips with a program called ExpressPCB from
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I have not done any pcb work for years and this program is free.
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the_constructor

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Reply to
the_constructor
the_c>I am trying to get to grips with a program called ExpressPCB[...]
More specifically, it is LOCK-IN-WARE. It is designed so that it will ONLY be useful if you order your boards from THAT vendor.
It does NOT produce Gerbers, and to make it print out something you can use yourself, you have to jump thru hoops.
To the OP: As DJ has suggested, look at Kicad. It has a Windoze port.
As you use Outbreaks in Excess as a newsreader, I'm thinking you are not into learning much about software so gEDA on Windoze would too much effort for you.
EAGLE is now DRM'd--more potential hoop-jumping: **The Downside of EAGLE** by Markus Zingg
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*-*-website+reuse+paying.*+*-I-will-switch+cracked-*+*.would.not.help.*+zzz+after-*-*-version-*+copied+*.*.unlock.*.designs+*-*-*-*-exchange-*-*-*-*-third-party+reused+qq+*-*-single-bit-*-*-*-*+useless+*-*-*-projects-could-no-longer-be-opened ...not to mention its non-intuitive interface.
You might also consider TinyCAD.
There are *lots* of ECAD programs available:
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*.design.size.limitations+Demo+GPL+*-*-existent+No+qq+free+Download.version+Student+jj+with.no.limit+Lite+Harry.Eaton+*-*-send-*-*-orders-*-*-*-*-*+Poor.web.site.no.details+vv+freeware+pp+trial
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*-*+zzz+open.source+No-demo-*+qq+qq+Free+ww+ww+uu+free.trial+pp+GPL+pp+pp+kk+kk+kk+kk+kk+free-download&strip=1 If you are ever going to produce a *second* PCB layout, just AVOID paint programs and move on to the real deal.
Reply to
JeffM
At that level, I'd seriously suggest Protel AutoTrax which is freeware.
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also see
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Reply to
budgie
Software WILL NOT solve the paper path problem; that path *MUST* be perfectly straight to allow the passage of a PCB. Also, the printer must allow for rather thick paper ("pasteboard" comes to mind). Damn few printer models had straight paths; you may have to do some difficult reseach and get a used printer.
Reply to
Robert Baer
Huh? The laser printer trick does not pass the PCB through the printer; you're thinking of the inkjet resist trick. Toner won't even stick to PCB material very well when run through the printer directly (yes, it's been tried) - the combination of electrically conductive copper and high thermal mass of the backing messes up the toner/fuser process. You really do have to iron it on separately, off a carrier sheet, to get enough heat and control.
All the inkjet conversions I've read about require mechanical changes to the printer to provide a suitable path for the PCB, usually including making a carrier sled.
Reply to
DJ Delorie
It may not produce Gerbers, I have not looked at that, but it prints out to drafting film on my inkjet printer and to the correct size.
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the_constructor

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Reply to
the_constructor
printer PCB
board, wash away
.....
i read on the various sites about amking copper disolve with a 1:1:1 mix of muriatic:peroxide:water ? is that true or make a good etchant ? and surely they are not refering to the 5% peroxide found in the local drug/food stores ? if not then what % peroxide content would one want to use ?
thanks again, rob
Reply to
robb
I would have to agree with budgie on his reccomendation for using Protel Autotrax. I have tried every freebie layout program that I could find and Protel is by far the easiest to use. I bought Easytrax (an earlier version of Autotrax) back in the old days for $450 and still use it today, but it does require that your computer be able to run DOS programs. I use an old HP Laserjet III that got donated to Goodwill and get excellent results. I guess that I'm too dumb, but I have never been able to get the gerber output to work although the program works very well for printing my boards.
Mike
When truth is absent politics will fill the gap.
Reply to
Mike
Copper will dissolve just fine in the muriatic/peroxide/water 1:1:1 drugstore strength ratio you describe. Depending on how much copper and how much solution you have, the resultant solution AFTER dissolving the copper will be either a bright transparent emerald green or a murky opaque yellowish-green.
The bright green solution can be used to dissolve more copper until the solution turns murky and opaque. At that point, bubbling air (think aquarium pump with plastic bubbler) through the murky solution will eventually return the solution to bright transparent green again, at which time you can dissolve more copper and around and around you go.
A little agitation or bubbling during the etch process helps things along tremendously, as does a SLIGHT heating of the solution (think aquarium glass heater). Use a glass or plastic container (think aquarium) to do the etching.
Jim
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Reply to
RST Engineering (jw)
I really don't think he was referring to feeding the CLAD directly into the printer!.. A simply use of good thick paper or ink jet photo on the glossy side works well after you printer it using the laser printer. Then, iron it on! :)
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Reply to
Jamie
ExpressPCB[...]
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*.design.size.limitations+Demo+GPL+*-*-existent+No+qq+free+Download.version+Student+jj+with.no.limit+Lite+Harry.Eaton+*-*-send-*-*-orders-*-*-*-*-*+Poor.web.site.no.details+vv+freeware+pp+trial
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Thanks Jeff, for help and taking the time to lay it out. now don't read too much into using OE... it is there, simple, usually works and life leaves little time for hobbies. i have had my time and interest with various flavors of OS and sftwr {A/UX, VMS, AIX, SunOS - Solaris (4-10) ,HP/ux, Ultrix, linux{Redhat,SUSE}}bla bla and i even had a linux port on my PocketPC :) but that was an other day thanks again for info i might even try that gEDA, robb
Reply to
robb
laser printer
that has obvious
so i thought
printing software i
to
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thanks Richard, I probably have that software in a box in the basement... downloading will be easier than fnding that though. robb
Reply to
robb
freely-available ones
Eagle,
photoshop)
figure
about
Thanks for reply, I am looking into all these suggestions... robb
Reply to
robb
yes, i saw that, DOS.
I think i threw the last DOS bootable floppy out ages ago. oh well i hope the Dr DOS or some other downloadable form works. might have to break out one of my old PC boxes to test those DOS versions out.
thanks for help, robb
laser printer PCB
board, wash away
holes .....
using Protel Autotrax.
Protel is by far the easiest to use. I bought
for $450 and still use it today, but it does
an old HP Laserjet III that got donated to
but I have never been able to get the gerber
printing my boards.
Reply to
robb

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