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PCB fabrication tips: Tools you need to know

Posted: 28 Apr 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PCB fabrication  circuit board  3D printer  DIY 

In a general sense, things can either be done using the hard way or the easy way. Fortunately for you, this roundup will help you with the latter. Designing and producing your own circuit board can be daunting to say the least. Most of us turn to tried and true processes to get them done.

Simply soldering up perfboards and shopping out PCB fabrication are both beyond time consuming. Of course, we want professional-grade prototypes at every stage of the development process. It's certainly getting easier now, with a plethora of alternative PCB fabrication tools and services available.

Needless to say, it doesn't have to be an ordeal to DIY your own board, and plenty of alternative methods are out there that can simplify the process. We feature some of the prominent methods of making your own circuit boards that will help to alleviate some of the issues that entail the manufacturing process.

First up is perhaps the simplest way to produce your own circuit board without turning to commercial manufacturers and entails using a 3D printer. The printer in question is the Voxel8 (from a company with the same name), which has the ability to print almost fully functional electronics, including quadcopter drones, electromagnetic coils and even stacked ICs. The secret lies with its ability print with both PLA filament and conductive silver ink, which allows users to embed the electronics into the object while it's being printed.

Voxel8 3D printer

The Voxel8 3D printer is capable of printing out electronics using conductive silver ink. (Source: element14.com)

MakerBot Replicator 2

Instructable user mikey77 employed a MakerBot Replicator 2 to create a simple LED circuit board. (Source: Instructables.com)


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