Masking PC Boards

Masking is simply the process of insulating the areas of the copper plating you want to keep, so the etchant can remove the rest. Depending on the type of mask, the process may be positive or negative.

Masking

PC Board blanks must be cleaned

Before it can be used the PC Board blank must have all oil, dust, and fingerprints removed by cleaning.

Photoresist

Photoresist is a photgraphic emulsion that is also a good etchant mask.

Laser Printer Toner Transfer

It is possible to build complex circuit boards using a laser printer and toner transfer paper.

Etch Resist Pens

Actually laquer-based marker pens from Sharpie (Industrial markers).

Tape and Pad

This is an old method, suitable for non-plated perfboard.

Etching your own Prototype PC Boards

The PCB etching process usually involves immersing the PCB in a copper etchant.