can the reprap print circuit boards?
January 12, 2013 06:25PM
I've done some searching, and haven't found anything touching on this subject. Well, I've seen some people printing boards and then filling the slots with solder or wire paste or whatever, but what i want to know is, can I print a layout on a copper clad board, then etch the board (Similar to toner transfer, just not having to transfer it smileys with beer )
VDX
Re: can the reprap print circuit boards?
January 12, 2013 06:55PM
... it's possible - you should have really good adhesion on the surface or use a paste-dispenser with solved ABS-juice, what's better suited than solid plastic filament.

We had some threads and discussions for this - read here


Viktor
--------
Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org] -- Deutsche Facebook-Gruppe - [www.facebook.com]

Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
Re: can the reprap print circuit boards?
January 12, 2013 07:06PM
Never mind, Sorry!

-Cameron

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2013 07:16PM by cameronm.
Re: can the reprap print circuit boards?
January 13, 2013 09:23AM
IMHO, isolation milling is much simpler: no hazardous chemicals and the same machine can do the drilling.


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: can the reprap print circuit boards?
January 13, 2013 11:37AM
The RepRap cannot "Print" circuit boards, in the same way that it can print a 3D object in palstic. I can be used in various ways to assist in the process. Some have use etch resist pens to draw the traces on copper clad. Others have managed to mill the copper off with a small rotary tool. I've heard you can even cover the copper with kapton, and use a vinyl cutter blade to slice your traces.
VDX
Re: can the reprap print circuit boards?
January 13, 2013 02:54PM
... some draws etchresistant traces with a felt tip ... others fix a dremel on the Z-axe and mill isolation traces ... or paint the copper black and burn isolation traces with a laser and etch them free ...


Viktor
--------
Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org] -- Deutsche Facebook-Gruppe - [www.facebook.com]

Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
Re: can the reprap print circuit boards?
January 13, 2013 07:06PM
VDX Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ... some draws etchresistant traces with a felt
> tip ... others fix a dremel on the Z-axe and mill
> isolation traces ... or paint the copper black and
> burn isolation traces with a laser and etch them
> free ...


I've been thinking a Dremmel flex shaft would be a great reprap toolhead. :-)

mount the Dremmel on the frame and make a flex shaft holder that can attach to the X carriage.
Re: can the reprap print circuit boards?
January 13, 2013 09:41PM
Dremmel flex shafts have massive end play which makes them useless for milling. I haven't investigated whether there is an easy way to fix it.


[www.hydraraptor.blogspot.com]
Re: can the reprap print circuit boards?
January 14, 2013 01:46AM
We tried transferring laser printed patterns over as an etch mask - worked well. We also tried making conductive polymers.

Short answer from a tired innovator: Mill the PCB the way everyone else does it grinning smiley.
VDX
Re: can the reprap print circuit boards?
January 14, 2013 02:27AM
... if you have a CNC-mill, then isolation milling and drilling is the best/easiest methode for single-count PCB's without using chemistry.

Equipping a RepRap-ptinter with a milling head (dremel) is possible, but the milling quality depends highly on stiffnes and rigidity of the frame, so not optimal for the common rod-frame printers.

You can attach a diode laser to the head and 'engrave' a coated or painted raw PCB - attached are some images, where I've tested cutting with IR-diodes at 1Watt or 2Watts of output power through a 0.3mm thick adhesive plastic sheet ... the cutted lines were 0.2mm wide, but can be optimized for 0.1mm.

In the past, when 'cutting' lasers weren't available, I've used green LED's, lathed the clear body to a sharp tip, painted it black and filed the tip to the wished opening diameter (had different from 0.1mm to 1mm) ... then fixed this LED's in plotter-pens and 'photo-plotted' my PCB's or photo-masks on photographic films, that were sensitive for green ...


Viktor
--------
Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org] -- Deutsche Facebook-Gruppe - [www.facebook.com]

Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
Attachments:
open | download - 1Watt-IR.jpg (93.5 KB)
open | download - 2Watt-IR.jpg (92.4 KB)
Re: can the reprap print circuit boards?
January 14, 2013 07:17AM
Quote

Dremmel flex shafts have massive end play which makes them useless for milling.

Glad to see somebody made the same experience as me. So far I've heard several "my flexshaft has zero play".

Possible solutions are light spindles, mounted directly. Like the Proxxon Micromot 50 (230 grams) or the Mantis 9 spindle [makeyourbot.wikidot.com] (bottom of the page).

In general, spindles sold as "handpiece" are close to ideal. Sometimes they need some minor tweaking to make then entirely play-free.


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
VDX
Re: can the reprap print circuit boards?
January 14, 2013 07:40AM
... the amount of 'play' depends on the bushings - common (cheap) flexshafts have gliding bushings with noticeable play, what's increasing with time ... but you can find more expensive 'play-free' ones with ball-bushings too.

Some years ago I've DIY-ed a small milling head with two radial and an axial ball bushing and attached a 'glider'-flexshaft, what was nearly perfect ... then got a flexshaft from a dentist drill ... but don't use it anymore, as my CNC-mill can carry a milling head, what's much more sturdy/rigid ...


Viktor
--------
Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org] -- Deutsche Facebook-Gruppe - [www.facebook.com]

Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
Re: can the reprap print circuit boards?
January 14, 2013 09:24AM
I bought a couple of cheap clones first and wasn't surprised they were rubbish. Then I forked out good money for a genuine Dremmel and was surprised the flex shaft was no better.


[www.hydraraptor.blogspot.com]
Re: can the reprap print circuit boards?
January 14, 2013 09:43AM
I've just bought a prusa mendel rod printer (haven't gotten it yet so i don't know even where to look for modding or anything yet), though looking, I've seen people set theirs up with a pen (sharpie type) to draw the circuits on the board then etch it, I would THINK the ABS would do the same as the marker, but would it stick well? would it be thicker or thinner than a fine point sharpie?

since it is the rod type printer, milling is probably not a gunna work? (though I do have half the materials to build one of the 'home made' cnc mills, so I may end up doing that too smiling smiley )

I think the etching process would make more professional looking boards than milling....

Though i do like the vinyl/paint and laser method... how cheap can one get with laser attachment? I've seen some on ebay for like $30, but I don't know if they're of 'burning power'....
VDX
Re: can the reprap print circuit boards?
January 14, 2013 10:06AM
... you can evaporate black paint with a BluRay-diode with 405nm @200mW power and even better with a 445nm-diode @1W - ye higher the wattage, the faster you can 'draw' lines.

You'll need a focussing lens and a current regulator (e.g. LM317 with 2Watt-resistor) adjusted to the needed current - I'm driving my diodes with not more than 90 percent of the max. specified current, so they'll have 'near endless' lifetimes if not overheated.

I've got some of the 405nm/445nm-diodes for around 30€, some of them even together with the focussing lenses. For the 445nm-diodes you can ask the seller, if he can add a spare lens - mostly they're salvaged from Casio-laserbanks with 24 of the diodes with corresponding lenses and the lenses would normally be thrown away eye rolling smiley

But be carefull with this powers! - even the diffuse reflection can damage your eyes, so you should shield/cover the working area. You can set a box around it and view/adjust the laser working with a web-cam ...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/2013 10:11AM by VDX.


Viktor
--------
Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org] -- Deutsche Facebook-Gruppe - [www.facebook.com]

Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
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