Think & Tinker, Ltd.
P.O. Box 1606, Palmer Lake, CO 80133
Tel: (719) 488-9640, Fax: (866) 453-8473
Sales: Sales@ThinkTink.com, Support: Support@ThinkTink.com
Think
&
Tinker
Ltd.





SkypeMe at
"thinkntink"
lgotre50.gif (5234 bytes)
Tel.: (719) 488-9640
Fax: (719) 481-0464
Home.gif (1964 bytes)
Think & Tinker, Ltd.
Printed Circuit Fabrication
Checklist

To get an idea of how to set up your shop for a smooth work-flow, download this sample floor-plan.

Process step Equipment Comments  
Format copperclad, backing material and entry foil drill press, dowel pins Insert registration holes and assemble "book"
Drill holes CNC drill  
Blow holes clear and spray rinse compressed air and sink with hand wand It is necessary to remove all of the dust and drill debris from the drilled holes.
Dry board oven (100°C for 10 min)  
Activate holes with conductive ink conductive ink, squeegee, vacuum cleaner or compressed air gun Drilled holes are filled with conductive ink which is blown out leaving a thin, uniform coating on the holewalls.
Cure ink oven (100°C for 15 min) Conductive ink is cured at 100°C to maximize adhesion.
Clean copper cladding abrasive brush, scrub cleaner, sink with hand wand (rinse with tap water) Residual ink must be cleaned from the surface of the board and the copper roughened to enhance the adhesion of the electroplated copper.
Dry activated board oven (100°C for 10 min) No water should be left in the holes. It can impair the adhesion of the plated copper.
Copper plate board for 30 minutes at 20 ASF acid copper electroplating system Pull the board out of the plater and examine each hole to ascertain that each hole is plated without gaps or voids.
Flip board top to bottom and reinsert into plater.   Flipping the board will help compensate for the tendency of the plating system to deposit slight more copper on the bottom half of the board.
Copper plate board for 30 minutes at 20 ASF acid copper electroplating system  
Rinse board, blow dry, and dry in oven triple rinse tanks, sink with hand wand, compressed air, oven (100°C for 10 min) All residual plating solution and rinse water must be removed from the board.
Laminate both sides of board with photoresist roll laminator,  photoresist  
Align artwork on both sides of board and expose photoresist with calibrated UV source UV source, UV exposure gauge The easiest way to align the artwork is to align the round pads in the circuit pattern with the holes drilled through the substrate.  The eye is surprisingly effective at detecting any misalignment between concentric circles.
Set exposed board aside in a light-tight container for 15 minutes dark poly bag Setting the board aside for a few minutes after exposure will give the photopolymer time to fully cross-link. This will insure that optimum results are achieved during developing
Develop photoresist pattern dry-film developing system Develop until pattern is fully defined. If necessary, scrub vigorously with kitchen sponge or soft brush to remove residual photoresist from areas of tight geometry
Rinse board, blow dry, and dry in oven triple rinse tanks, sink with hand wand, compressed air, oven (100°C for 10 min) All residual developing solution and rinse water must be removed from the board.
Dry board / photoresist oven (100°C for 10 min) This last drying step will toughen the film and enhance adhesion between the photoresist and copper.
Etch board etcher Etch for 1/2 specified time, flip board and etch for remaining half.
Rinse board, blow dry, and examine areas of fine geometry for shorts triple rinse tanks, sink with hand wand, compressed air,  loupe magnifier or stereo microscope  
If shorts are present or the board is not completely etched, return to etcher for 1 minute etcher Repeat step above until board is completely etched.
Strip photoresist Corning Ware dish with 5% solution of NaOH Lightly scrubbing board after the resist is soft will speed up stripping.
Rinse board sink with hand wand All stripping solution must be rinsed from the board.
Microetch circuit etcher Dip in the etcher for about 5 seconds to chemically activate the copper surface.
Rinse board, blow dry, and dry in oven triple rinse tanks, sink with hand wand, compressed air, oven (100°C for 10 min) All residual etching solution and rinse water must be removed from the board (especially solution trapped inside through-holes).
Laminate with soldermask dry-film laminator, soldermask Laminating the board while it is still hot from the oven will enhance adhesion to the copper. If the board has areas of closely spaced circuit elements, use wet lamination techniques to insure that no air is trapped between parallel traces.
Image soldermask with "pad master" UV source, pad master artwork Using transparent diazo artwork makes aligning the pad master MUCH easier.
Develop imaged soldermask dry-film developer Develop until pattern is fully defined. If necessary, scrub vigorously with kitchen sponge or soft brush to remove residual photoresist from areas of tight geometry
Cure soldermask UV source, oven (100°C for 30 min) The post developing curing step renders the soldermask impervious to virtually any solvent or corrosive that the board is likely to be exposed to.  Of course, it also makes the soldermask almost impossible to remove.
De-panel individual circuits if panel consists of multiple, independent circuits CNC driller/router  


Established 1990

On the web since 1994

Payment Processing
Sales: 1-(719) 488-9640    Tech Support: 1-(719) 488-9640    Fax: 1-(866) 453-8473
Copyright © 1994 - 2014 Think & Tinker, Ltd. Updated 2/13/2014 8:36:55 AM