Sigh. So tonight I finally etched a PCB in which the artwork was not hand drawn.
Technically it’s not a circuit pattern but an art drawing of Emma Watson but the process will be identical.
I just wanted to put this info somewhere on the internet so that some poor electronics person will find it. Someday I may make a tutorial.
There are 2 tricks: Clean the PCB and Elmer’s White glue.
My equipment: HP LaserJet P1102W and Swingline GBC 3100L (both brand new and with no modifications, purchased solely for PCB making)
The transfer works by coating the white glue on regular paper with a squeegee and letting it dry. This made a very thin coat. Then I run the paper through the laminator to “iron it flat”. Then print on the highest quality setting, cut out, and pass through the laminator 3 times (or more if necessary).
Regular copy paper comes out with pinholes. I suspected the problem was the texture of the paper not the printer or toner. I repeated the attempt with Photo Paper (http://www.keymediaproducts.com/web/en/productos?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=80&category_id=74, expensive stuff), and got very few pinholes, which appeared to be because that PCB went through ALOT of trials and errors
The regular paper came off in one piece but the photo paper had to be manually disintegrated (it says water proof on the bag and they are not kidding).
The laminator was set to 7mil which moves it through at the slowest speed. I flipped the board over for the 3rd pass just to ensure the board was even. The paper fused to the board on the first pass though.
I’ll try with regular glossy paper some time in the future.
I etched with HCI + H2O2 plus a sponge to apply it. It was like wiping the copper off the board. NB: Do that outside; the fumes are pungent.
The results are as you see in the photos.