How to make a custom-designed PCB with your own hands

Before beginning it’s best to know that there are corporations which are devoted to manufacturing these customized PCBs for you; You simply have to ship them the design and they’re going to deal with the remaining, making issues a lot simpler, though, for a value. However, on this tutorial what we’re going to train you is to make a customized PCB at dwelling, though it’s true that in fact you will have to have some instruments that, actually, not everybody has at dwelling in a regular method and, due to this fact, is aimed toward hobbyists DIY (do it your self, do it your self) who have already got some data about it.

What is a PCB and what’s it used for?

PCB stands for Printed Circuit Board, additionally referred to as digital board or printed circuit board. It is a floor made up of paths, tracks or buses of conductive materials laminated on a non-conductive base, that’s to say, it’s nothing greater than a connection plate in actuality to which the parts of the gadget to be manufactured can then be welded. We may say that for instance a PC motherboard really consists of a large PCB.


Printed circuit boards are used to electrically join completely different electrical parts by conductive tracks, whereas mechanically supporting the set of parts via the non-conductive board.

For instance, we may make a PC motherboard by merely connecting all of the parts instantly by cables, however as well as to being a super connection mess, it might all be “on the air” with nothing to assist it; With a PCB we get every part to be organized, with easy accessibility and likewise on a stable and resistant floor.

The PCB fabrication and the meeting of the parts is usually automated, permitting its mass manufacturing and making the set rather more economical and dependable. However, this doesn’t imply that you could make your own PCB at dwelling if in case you have the precise parts and sufficient talent to do it, so let’s have a look at how it might be accomplished for those who determine to do it.

How to make a customized PCB

Obviously, the very first thing it’s best to do is PCB structure, which will be extra difficult or easier relying on what you’re going to use it for (this depends upon you). You can use packages like EasyEDA or PCBWizard, but in addition with very superior instruments reminiscent of Autodesk Eagle. We are usually not going to go into the software program half, however in fact you should have {the electrical} diagram prepared to understand how to manufacture the customized PCB beforehand.

Easy EDA

Once you may have the design made within the software program, you will have a laser printer to print it (watch out as a result of an inkjet printer isn’t value it for this due to the sediments it leaves on the paper) within the type of a mirror and you should make certain that you simply print it in a shiny end paper (You can reuse, for instance, the quilt of a journal for this).

Printed custom PCB

Once you may have this prepared, you will have a piece of CEM copper reduce to measurement to match the template you simply printed. You should make certain that the copper floor is as easy as potential and that it’s fully clear; To do that, clear it effectively with a scouring pad and dish cleaning soap, rinse it and dry it fully with kitchen paper or a dry fabric. Once dry, go over your complete floor with rubbing alcohol to take away any remaining residue.

Copper plate

Now comes a very delicate step as a result of the standard of the printed circuit depends upon it: on a folded sheet, as proven within the following picture, you should put the copper piece and the printed circuit diagram on prime; We keep in mind that it will be important that the paper has a shiny end and that the printing has been made with a laser printer, and within the subsequent step you will note why; Place the print facet on prime of the copper foil and fold the paper.

Custom PCB 2

Now what you may have to do is place it (attempt not to transfer) on prime of a easy and exhausting floor that doesn’t burn simply, reminiscent of a picket plank, and actually iron it with a garments iron at most energy. With this, what we’ll obtain is that the impression of the circuit design is indifferent from the shiny floor that we’ve got used and, with the warmth, it’s transferred to the copper foil.

Iron PCB

With about 5 minutes making use of warmth (or much less, relying on the ability of the iron) will probably be sufficient. Then, very fastidiously and with safety, you should put the copper sheet with the glued paper in chilly water in order that it peels off.

Cold water

When it cools you may take away it and whenever you take away the paper you will note that the print has been etched on the copper plate. If you see that the impression of the scheme has not been fully transferred to the copper plate, you may go over the strains or factors with an indelible marker, ideally black (in order that it exhibits extra on the floor).

Remove film

Now you want a little chemistry, and for this you will have hydrogen peroxide, citric acid powder Y nice salt frequent. In a plastic container, it’s best to add 100 ml of hydrogen peroxide, 30 grams of powdered citric acid and 5 grams of salt. Stir fastidiously (don’t fret, it isn’t poisonous) till it’s a homogeneous combination.


Now you should depart your copper plate on this resolution that we’ve got created; A chemical response will happen (which you’ll pace up for those who warmth it up a bit) and you will note that the digital board begins to bubble gently and switch inexperienced (no, PCBs are usually not normally inexperienced due to this) and after a whereas, blue.

The inexperienced / blue coloration is as a result of the chemical response is separating the copper from the CEM board, and you’ll know the method is over as a result of the board is now translucent. It ought to look one thing like this, and you will note that the black print (and / or the everlasting marker) is exactly in order that the copper half beneath them prevails over the chemical resolution. In different phrases, now the translucent half isn’t conductive however the black half is.

License plate

You virtually have your customized PCB prepared, however now you should have to take away exactly the toner / marker, and for this you may merely do it with a cotton ball and alcohol. You will see that underneath the black, the conductive copper seems.


Now you should use a small drill or electrical punch (extra advisable, the truth is) to drill the factors the place the parts needs to be welded.

Custom PCB Holes

Although we have already got the copper strains made and they’re conductive, it’s advisable to evaluation them utilizing tin with the assistance of a soldering iron.


Once that is accomplished, you have already got your customized PCB fully completed and you’ll solder the parts you want in accordance to the design you may have made.

Custom PCB finished