Stovetop Toner Transfer

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Stovetop Toner Transfer

Postby t0mpr1c3 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:10 pm

I have been trying out a new technique for toner transfer. Heat a cast iron hotplate on the stovetop to 175oC, as measured on a thermocouple, then turn the heat right down. Put a sheet of paper on the hotplate followed by the copper clad board, image side down. Then apply pressure with a rolling pin for 2-5 minutes. It might work for double sided, too.

http://smokedprojects.blogspot.com/2012 ... nsfer.html

In my blog post I use it to make a prototype Magic Mouth shield - but get the image reversed, so that it ends up back to front. I used it anyway, soldering the components bent leg style :)
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Re: Stovetop Toner Transfer

Postby ian » Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:18 am

Nice!

I don't miss the toner transfer process at all though :)
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Re: Stovetop Toner Transfer

Postby t0mpr1c3 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:21 am

Ah, there's nothing like a bit of kitchen chemistry... :)

I used this technique to make a couple of single sided Arduinos recently.

I also tried the vinyl film method just now, using an offcut of Kittrich Clear Liner which is inexpensive glossy transparent adhesive PVC sheet (less than $5 a roll). I stuck a rectangle of the liner on a sheet of paper and printed the resist mask image on it. I transferred the image to the copper clad board by pressing lightly with iron on the maximum setting (160 oC) over a rolling pin for 1 minute, then carefully peeling off the plastic film while the board was still hot. I was worried that the 16 mil traces looked "hollow" and went overboard with a Sharpie. I think I worried unnecessarily although it was not a big deal -- the traces were easy to touch up without paper fluff everywhere. The board etched satisfactorily with no defects and far sharper detail than I have ever achieved with paper transfer. For example, the board was noticeably easier to drill because the tiny drill-aid.ulp lines were properly etched, making it easier to centre the bit.

This is definitely a method I will try again. The disadvantage of hollowing of black areas is outweighed by the fidelity of the transfer in other respects and the ease of touching up. It also requires less heat, pressure, and time than paper transfer.
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Re: Stovetop Toner Transfer

Postby dolabra » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:35 am

I thought there was a Vinyl thread around here somewhere, but this is all I found..... anyway I was doing a small board and struggled to get a good transfer with paper (I tried various papers). So I tried the vinyl method using electrical tape (the board is tiny, 0.4x0.8 in). It worked great. I'm going to have to get some vinyl, interesting that you had good luck with PVC.
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Re: Stovetop Toner Transfer

Postby t0mpr1c3 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:30 pm

AFAIK the terms PVC and vinyl are used interchangeably.
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Re: Stovetop Toner Transfer

Postby dolabra » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:01 pm

Oh --- I didn't realize that I thought the vinyl referred to non-chlorinated polymers. I guess that's what I get for assuming a marketing name related to the composition. Anyway, I'm going to look for some shelf liner to try.
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Re: Stovetop Toner Transfer

Postby dolabra » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:48 am

I did a very successful transfer using 2" packing tape. It was the clear very thin kind, I put it on a piece of paper and put it through the printer. It took me a few tries to get the transfer to work perfectly, the temperature seems to be very important. I used 50% power on my iron. More than that and the transfer smeared and less and I only got partial transfer. At 50% power and about a 1 min of very gentle rubbing with the iron, I got 100% transfer of the toner. It was pretty cool.
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Re: Stovetop Toner Transfer

Postby t0mpr1c3 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:49 pm

Packing tape - that's great! I will certainly try that. :-D
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