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DIY Printed Circuit Board

We been experimenting with fast inexpensive ways to create custom printed circuit boards at home. Here’s the process that seems to work the best.

Step 1: laser print your layout on transparency film.


Step 2: Buy pre-treated photosensitive pc board:


Step 3: Cut a piece of the pc board to size.

Step 4: Using a “safelight” that won’t expose the board (a 40W incandescent bulb), peel off the protective white layer:


Step 5: Lay the pattern on the board (treated side up) and cover with an acrylic plate to hold it in place:


Step 6: Expose under a UV photo lamp for 5-8 minutes.

Step 7: UV light makes the exposed parts of the board susceptible to removal using NaOH solution. Place in a NaOH bath until the pattern becomes clearly visible. In my experiment last night this took about 30 seconds. Immediately rinse in a water bath to remove excess NaOH. The bottle says 1 part concentrated solution to 7 parts water. I got better results with a ratio of 1:10:

IMG_0187 IMG_0194

Step 8: Etch away the copper using equal parts 14% HCL and 3% H2O2. Takes 10-20 mins:



Step 9: Rinse in water and dry.