I’ve built a copper plating station

As I was designing more and more circuit boards, I got increasingly annoyed with waiting up to 8 weeks for a batch of boards. Also, ever so often I noticed errors in the layout after sending it away for manufacture. So I started acquiring the tools and skills to make my own boards.

Here’s a cross section of a 0.3mm hole.

Initial tests with toner transfer were promising, but showed that the toner transfer process was very sensitive to dirt and dust, of which there’s plenty in my lab. So I quickly ┬ámoved on to photoimaging the layouts, which worked a lot better in my dirty environment (especially after I discovered an extremely simple wet lamination process).

This is a tiny test board with 1.0, 0.8, 0.7, 0.4 and 0.3mm holes, in rows of two. The board is 1.6mm thick, BTW.

With the ability to image, develop and etch boards with feature sizes down to 4/4mil (when using actual laser exposed film, 5/5mil with laser printed transparencies), the only missing link was a way to plate through holes and vias.

Another test board, etched and tinned. The .8 and 1mm holes are all off center due to a CNC mishap, but all the other holes are successfully plated through.

So I designed a cheap and easy to build copper plating station. The full project log is over at hackaday.io. There is even a short video. Check it out:

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3 Responses to I’ve built a copper plating station

  1. Hello,

    I can't find any contact info in the site so forgive me for using the comment section. I'm Andrei and I would like to feature you on the home page of my website.

    If you are interested, please let me know. I hope we can communicate via private message.

    Hope to hear from you soon.


  2. Alexander says:

    Hi Andrei, what is the address of your website? I'd like to have a look at it before I decide if I want to be featured on it.



  3. Modelist says:

    Hello Alexander!
    I can not compile a file for the project. Do you have a a ready .hex?

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