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Etching - Laser Printers


#1

Robert,

A good etch depends on a good mask or resist. Toner cartridges
contain lots of plastic, believe it or not. not ink.

The plastic gets melted and fused to the paper. making a good b/w
copy. This is the resist for your etch pattern.

You’re on the right track about going Old School…search out and
buy an HP2300. No longer made but readily available, this printer puts
out a LOT of toner, making it ideal as an etch resist. You should be
able to buy one at about $100.

Next you’ll need a laminator… yes, laminator. one that can go up
to about 375 F. It takes this much heat to melt/fuse the toner to the
metal you want to etch. the Apache AL18P is the way to go. about
$175.

And if you are etching 14 gage or thicker, you will need to preheat
your metal on a hot plate…

What paper to print on? PNP?? i’ve had mixed success with it. mostly
bad. but ive had GREAT success with a paper called toner transfer
paper.

You can get it from PCBFx.com. The customer service is GREAT and he
will talk to you and walk you through the process.

Dont etch in a closed workshop. fumes can be bad. outside is great.
use a cheap pyrex container with plastic lid… and put a cheap
aquairum air pump line into the solution to keep it agitated.

happy etching!
steve