This section will quickly touch on the basics of what our system can do. When done with this page, just mouse-over the "START HERE" button to select more information about each of these subjects.

 

QUICK NOTE ABOUT OUR SITE! Our left-side main menu is structured with drop-down selections. Whatever button you select will stay UNDERLINED. If you hover your mouse over that menu item the drop-down box will further tell you which page you're on in that particular grouping. We have a lot of information here and hope you find this menu design an easy way to navigate. 

MOST IMPORTANT TO READ! CAUTION! Many current laser printer brands DO NOT WORK with our techniques for making etch-resist image masks for etching Printed Circuit Boards and for etching metals in general. Why? About 10+ years ago, Brother brand printers made a significant change to standard laser printers. They wanted a toner that wouldn't stick (or 'fuse') to places like the 'window' of a wallet. You've probably experienced this problem when you'd have a laser-printed paper (like a vehicle insurance card) stick to the inside of a 'window' that was holding it. Your 98F derriere and body weight... over time, partially fused the toner to the plastic window. Their new toner formulation replaced conventional 'styrene' (the fusible element that makes the toner stick to paper) with a very high temperature, epoxy-like element. Conventional laser printer fusers up to this time operated at about 350F. Brother printers using this new high-temperature toner formula, operated at almost 500F. This temperature is way above that of an iron or laminator to achieve toner fusing. The really bad thing now, is that most-all of the other major laser printer brands have recently gone the way of Brother. We haven't been able as of yet to catalog all laser printer manufacturers, but we can say, if you have ANY Brother printer or any 2 or 3-digit HP or Canon printer... our process is NOT GOING TO WORK for you.

NOTE: HP and Canon laser printers with 4-DIGIT model numbers and MOST ALL Photo-Static (conventional) copiers, all work great with our process.

Now, if you have a different brand of printer, you can do a quick test on it NOW to see if your toner will work.
(1) First make a printout on regular white paper of a few paragraphs of 12pt text in BLACK only. Best to use a B/W printer. Your black toner cartridge should be 'low mileage' that will be able to print and a big black box without streaks or fading. Best to ALWAYS use a 'branded' toner cartridge for your printer's mfg name. BIG quality difference between branded and generic. Remember, an etch mask is a high quality graphic-art print! You want a quality, dark, dense printout.

(2) Lay the print, toner-side down, over a blank copper board (or even the non-copper side), or over any THIN sheet of metal. Lay the receiving metal over a heat-safe piece of wood and crank up your iron to it's maximum temperature. Give it a few minutes to max itself out.

(3) Lay the iron over the back of the paper and lean over the iron with all of your weight (feet off the floor if you can!) for 20 seconds.

(4) Use a spatula to pick it up and slip it in a filled sink, letting it soak for several hours. Tthen start removing the paper by softly rubbing over the darjer toner printed areas, while it's under water or the faucet's running water. This will take a while so relax and rub lightly. If your printer toner works, you should see all of the toner on the board. It'll be kind of a whitish/black image because the fibers of the paper have been captured by the fused toner. The edges of the transferred text may get a little ragged but that would be normal for the rubbing abuse. Now, if blocks of text are missing as the paper is rubbed away, well, sorry to say, your toner is 'high temp' as the toner never fused properly under "low" 300F heat from the iron.

Ok, we're done with the warnings about the current sad state of laser printers. Worth mentioning again though, all HP's and Canon's with 4-DIGITS are good and you can find very inexpensive prices on these reconditioned units. Check before-hand that the model you're getting can be driven by your computer's OS! (Mac people never have to worry about such things.) Also keep in mind that 'desktop' copiers (or those down the street at a FedEx store) are also great reproducers of your bad-toner imge into a good toner images. To our knowledge, we know of no conventional copiers that have gone the 'high-temp' route so you're always safe with that as your 'printer'. Alright, end of the bad news and now on with how great this process works...

 

So let's start with what "PCB Fab-In-A-Box" can do. The PCB pic below is a prime example. This double-sided board is less than 1 square inch for starters! Take note of the holes on the sides which are for the final addition of conventional .1" headers, but it's what's IN BETWEEN these holes (SMT capacitors) that makes this the ideal example sent in from one of our customers.

Notice the detail, fine trace pitch and cleanliness. This has never been attainable in the past with the "direct etch" process but due to improved technique, materials and higher resolution laser printers, it's now a reality. This board was made with our .032" thick, 1/2oz copper laminate with an etch time of under 1 minute (without even using an etching tank!)

 

 

 

The process of transferring toner by re-fusing an image to a copper surface began back in the early 90's.

It has come a long way since then, turning it from an 'art' to a 'science' as a dependable, repeatable, high resolution method for instant PCB fabrication.

PRODUCT Capabilities:

  • Single & Double Sided PCBs
  • Board size up to 8"x10"
  • Quick 8 minute fabrication
  • PCBs made "ON DEMAND!"
  • Trace pitch down to .005"
  • Money back guarantee
  • Customer support in the USA!
TECHNIQUE Objectives:

  • QUALITY: High Resolution
  • SPEED: PCBs in Minutes
  • ETCHING TANK: Not Needed
  • PCBs: Single & Double-sided boards
  • OUTPUT: Laser printer (or use any photostatic copier if you only have an inkjet printer)

Mini Mass-Production? Yes! It's simple and practical.

The ideal solution for both start-up businesses and those with low volume or custom products, to be able to maintain control over production costs.

There is no need to send out for a 100+ boards to be made when you can make just the quantity you need 'on demand' plus, there's no wait times! There is more labor involved but that's a simple trade-off for keeping costs extremely low.

 

Prototypes and 1up Special Projects?
You bet... simple, fast and inexpensive!

New product design normally goes through several iterations before everything fits exactly right. Why send off for expensive "proto" PCBs for each redesign or component reposition?

PCB Fab-In-A-Box® allows you to make change after change without the high expense and long wait times of multiple "proto" boards being sent out to be fabricated. DIY and save a bundle of time and money. Of course once the design has been finalized, by all means have a pre-production board made. The point being... with our system, you should only have to pay for a pre-production "proto" board just ONCE!

 

And equally important for prototype boards and most 1up projects, the PCB is only half the game. What about WHERE the PCB is going?

Whether it's a 1-up project or a prototype for developmental R&D, you need the enclosure to look as good as the board, right? Our sister product "DecalPROfx.com" was developed back in 2003 from of the basic concept of this PCB fabrication product. DecalPro enables you to make your own real, pressure-sensitive "dry-transfer graphics" in 8 minutes to give your enclosures a very professional, commercial quality looking finished product. This is a "must see" as there is nothing else like it on the market to enable YOU the end-user to be able to make your own custom images "on-demand" in about 8 minutes. It's a first of its kind and extremely powerful.

The 2" x 3" project enclosure shown above was created with DecalPRO using nothing more than a B&W laser printer then fusing the White foil over the toner image with a "laminator" device we call a Toner Image Aplicator or TIA. DecalPRO also contains 19 special foil colors (grouped into pigments, metallics and special effect foil colors) in addition to converting black toner white! Can you say, "I must be dream'n"? We will introduce you to DecalPRO® later and how it dove-tails perfectly with this PCB Fab-In-A-Box® to give you unlimited power to create your entire project totally in-house, on your schedule, for pennies per square inch. There is nothing on the market that can do for you what this can do... and the best part, it's not an expensive proposition.

Our two processes, this "PCB Fab-In-A-Box" and "DecalPRO" are similar in execution and share common use of the Toner Image Applicator (TIA), the Toner Transfer Paper (TTP) and the White foil (1 of the 19 foils of the DecalPRO system). This redundancy reduces your over all cost to be able to incorporate both the PCB fab and pro graphics for each product you make. Together they are an extremely powerful set of process techniques.

NOTE: If you are new to making your own PCB's or a seasoned user of our products, our Tech Support is always here to help you make perfect, high resolution boards in minutes. Call us anytime!

We're located in Colorado Springs, CO. Our hours are 9am to 5pm MST. Call us at (850) 926-2009 if you have any questions or concerns. Our Tech Support is unmatched by any other company!