Toner as PCB resist (perilously close to OT)

Roy J. Tellason rtellason at
Fri Jun 16 09:46:30 CDT 2006

On Friday 16 June 2006 01:27 am, Scott Quinn wrote:
> A while ago (late '80s, early '90s) I heard a suggestion for using copier
> toner as PCB etch resist (draw on paper, copy onto overhead transparencies,
> iron onto the PCB). Now that PCB layout software is available easily, as
> are laser printers, has anyone here tried it? I'm wondering how well it
> would resolve for finer-pitch DIP/SIP packages, or if the etchant would eat
> through the traces.

This _is_ being done,  and the technique is called "toner transfer" if I'm 
remembering right.  There were a couple of yahoo groups that were devoted to 
this very subject.

The two tricky aspects of doing this were getting the right paper,  so that 
toner adhesion would be good and transfer to the copper would be also,  and 
you of course want to remove the paper at some point and leave the toner 
behind,  and also applying sufficient heat and in a consistent way to make 
the transfer happen and adhesion good.

A few people were using the fuser portion of an otherwise defunct laser 
printer to do the actual transfer part,  and getting good results,  as well 
as a few other things.

A search on "toner transfer" in yahoo groups should turn some things up...

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