If you have ever made circuit boards, you know that it can be a little tricky. You need lots of smooth surface to work on and even more smooth surface to cut out the holes. That’s where printed circuit boards come in! These are tiny plastic pieces that can be used as a physical barrier between your electronics and the circuits inside them.
They do all the hard work for you, so it’s definitely the easiest way to make circuits boards the right shape and size. Here’s how companies like FS Tech manufacture and you can make them too:
How to Make a Printed Circuit Board
This is how you make a printed circuit board. All you need to do is cut a pocket-sized piece of rubber, fabric, or another lightweight material, and stick it in the top right-hand corner of the printable piece you’re working on. Then, stick the other piece on the opposite side with the same number of holes. This setup is called a zippered pocket or pocket board. You can use any type of fabric you like. Next, find a surface that is smooth enough to work on and that has the necessary number of holes for the design. You can use cardboard, cardstock, or even your hands. If you’re using a wooden frame, you can use it as a “factory” to help the parts stay in place better. The surface should be easy to work on, not too smooth, and should account for the amount of glue that’s needed. If you want a more rugged surface, add some kind of fiberglass or other strong fiber to the mix. If you’re working on a smaller scale, you can use alder, cypress, or other harderwood to help hold the components in place.
Assign the right amount of solder and prototyping glue
Before you tackle any of the different steps in making a printed circuit board, you need to figure out which steps are necessary and which are not. Start by making sure your soldering iron is set to the correct temperature. It can be a good idea to use a warm iron if you’re doing a smaller scale work and want to make small adjustments to the soldering process. It can also be a good idea to use a hot iron if you want to make larger adjustments to your design and work on large scales. For smaller scale work, you can walnut or walnut-pecan cut the pieces, but you’ll want to use a much more durable material. If you’re working on a larger scale, try using composites of different woods like mahogany or walnut to bring out the extra life in your circuits. You can also use a plastic bag or some other flexible material to help hold your parts in place while you work on the board. This doesn’t have to be expensive, but it will make your work easier and make your parts more durable.
Use foamcore cardboard instead of wood
If you’re working on a smaller scale, you don’t need to deal with a lot of material. You can use a single-use material like foamcore cardboard instead of wood. It’s a lightweight cardboard that you can use to hold multiple types of components, such as vintage electronics, toys, household appliances, etc. You can also use it to hold tools or other items that you want to be able to remove from sight easily. If you’re working on a larger scale, you’ll need to use more material. You can use fiberglass, wood, plastic, or another strong fiber to make a more durable board. If you’re working on a larger scale, you can also add in a few other finishes, such as stain or surface finish, to bring out the beauty and life in your board.
Use tape instead of electrical tape
When you’re making repairs or adding new parts to your circuit boards, you often use electrical tape instead of the soldered wires that go with it. This is often necessary because the power going into the circuit is usually more than one wire. To avoid burning yourself, use electrical tape instead of the soldered wires when you’re working on a large scale. If you’re working on a smaller scale, you can use a twine or other fiberglass fishing line instead of soldering. This doesn’t have as much give to it and means less solder is needed. You can also use popsicle sticks instead of other twine or fishing line when you’re working on a smaller scale. This won’t have the same “thickness” that you might have with larger scale work, but it’s still thin enough to get the job done.
Print your circuit board
After you’ve made your pocket boards, you can use them as a “mold” to make your parts more mobile. This will make them more adaptable to different growing conditions and allow you to use them in more creative ways. You can use them as a “bat” to make tiny attachments for items like a light field glass glitcher or a skydive harness. This will make your board flexible enough to move around and allows you to create new designs with your parts. When you’re finished with one set of parts, you can easily exchange them for a new set and begin a new project. This is especially helpful if you’re doing a more digital kind of project. You can easily exchange the circuit parts between your computer and mobile device without having to take away the board, making the process less time-consuming and effort-consuming. You can also use these parts as a starting point for building out more complex designs using other fabrics or other types of fabric.
Cut out the holes with a digital sander
If you’re working on a smaller scale, you don’t need to deal with a lot of plastic. You can use a sandpaper compound to scrub away any roughness without hurting the exposed connections. You can also use a steel-cut spirit level to see if any of the connections are still loose. This will allow you to check the fit and finish of your board before it’s ship-pnelled, saving you from having to do any additional re-cutting when installing your new parts. If you’re working on a larger scale, you’ll need to use a more rigid compound, like a mild steel plate or glass plate to ensure a more solid, permanent product. You can also use a glass cleaver or other implement that can be used to remove imperfections from a surface. These should be done in rounds, not in straight lines, making it easier to see where you need to do some work and less likely to cut yourself or the board.
Use good mechanical pencils or ceramic beads for build-up on both sides
A simple addition that you can add to virtually any project is a decorative bead or two to help add texture and character to your project. A decorative border can add interest and sparkle to any piece, making it more expensive, but very easy to make. They can also be used as a build-up on one or both sides to help make the construction Looks smoother. Rectangular ceramic beads are a popular decorative accessory for many makers, but you can use other types of beads, such as square or round ones, as a base for your designs. You can use these as a basis for making any kind of decoration you want, not just a decorative border.
Final Words: Should You Make Your Own?
Do you have some extra cash saved up or are looking for a quick and easy project? You can make your own PCBs at home. All you need is a soldering iron and a bit of glue. You can find these at most electronics stores or online. Once you have these parts together, you can use them to make your own circuits boards.