Pure genius DIY PCB fab


Saw this and thought I'd share. :slight_smile:


I’m almost 100% certain this is how most people in the hobby world make their own PCBs. It’s been done down at the hive before for sure.

Currently I’m working on a UV exposure box for making more accurate boards with what we have down at the hive. I’m working on the controller board which shouldn’t take much more work to finish and then I need to assemble it all. Should be able to get fairly decent boards from this, but it depends a lot on how accurate the laser printer is and how good you are at etching (with regards to undercut from etching and all of that business)!


Ive never seen it done before w/o specialized transfer paper.

I’m similarly old, remembering buying special paper for this. But every single article or instructable I find now for “easy PCB at home” uses the “glossy paper from a magazine or ad insert.”

Which is irritating since it’s not like glossy paper ads are new, so the special paper may have been a waste all those years. I haven’t tried this method to see if the results are as good as the paper designed for this.

We’ve tried it at the Hive when we first got our laser printer, iirc. But I don’t believe the results were as good as using actual transfer paper.

I've found the best paper to use is the cheapest photo paper you can

The method has been around since the mid 90s, but the actual transfer paper gives more consistent results. Photoresist is easier and gives even better results though!

Maybe one day we can get an excimer laser for photolithography. We just need to call up Intel for their old gear, right?


I have played around with it a bit and my results have been mixed. I have gotten some very good results. A lot depends on the quality of the magazine paper, unfortunately I do not know what the optimal quality for said magazine paper is.

For the last few times I have done this I have used inkjet photo paper from staples. It is a bit of a risk sending it through the laser printer but overall it seems to work fairly well. Even then I have run into issues getting complete transfers all the time, but 95% of the traces will transfer w/o issue, I just use a sharpie to color over the areas where the traces are too thin.