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
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Loading Dry-film Photopolymers
Think & Tinker laminators have been designed to be compatible with dry-film photopolymers from all major manufacturers. All of these products are configured to have a photoimageable adhesive on the inside surface protected by a removable liner (peel sheet) made of polyester or polyolefin. When you are laminating one of these films, it is necessary to strip away the peel sheet just prior to pressing the adhesive to the surface of your substrate (usually copperclad). The following instructions specifically address laminating Think & Tinker photoresist and soldermask, but are applicable to any dry-film photopolymer. Before you start you will need to remove the feed tray and heat shield from the laminator. Set them in a safe place. They will have to be remounted before you can begin laminating.
We might as well get started.
Insert the appropriate adapters into the plastic core of the photopolymer roll. To insure accurate tracking, orient the core adapters so that the set-screws engage the same face of the hex shaft. If you are laminating with film on 3" cores, position the adapters inside the roll about 1" from each end. It is usually easier to mount the adapters to the shaft before inserting into the film roll. Mount the adapters on the shaft so the you can get to the set screws in the hubs after the dry-film is mounted.
If you are using larger rolls of film wound about 6" cores, position the black core adapters (core spiders) so that the set screw in each hub is facing the rib that runs down the inside of the plastic film core. This will insure that set screws bite into the same face of the hex shaft.
Insert the hex shaft through the hubs of the core adapters and center the roll before tightening the set screws. When you are holding the shaft horizontally, with the brass shaft bushing on the right side, the photoresist should hang down off of the BACK of the roll. This orientation will assure that the proper side (adhesive side) of the photoresist is pressed against the copperclad when it is fed through the lamination rollers.
Mount the roll of sacrificial backing material (polyester film, or lint free Kraft paper) onto the bottom hex shaft so that, as above, the film hangs down off the BACK of the roll when the brass shaft bushing on the right side. Position the roll in the center of the shaft. Mount the shaft into the laminator by pushing the brass bushing end into the spring loaded shaft seat and the hex end into the hexagonal receptacle of the film tensioner. As above, make sure that the thumb screws in the core adapters grip on the same face of the hex shaft.