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How do you make photoetched parts at home?

6 replies
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  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Littleton,CO
How do you make photoetched parts at home?
Posted by caine on Saturday, December 6, 2003 5:39 PM
I recal reading an article a while back in FSM about making your own photoetched detail parts at home... but I can't seem to find it. Does anyone know how it is done? There are so many things I would love to be able to manufature to improve my models that sheet styrene just can't do.

I seem to recal there being a couple different methods that could be used, and I assume some require some expensive and high tech manufaturing equipment. I know it involves acids and such, how does one deal with those types of chemicals, particularly disposal?

Hope someone can help Cool [8D]
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: United Kingdom / Belgium
Posted by djmodels1999 on Saturday, December 6, 2003 5:58 PM
There's a very useful bit about it in the October issue of FSM. Bought the stuff I needed but haven't had the time to do anything with it yet!
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, December 6, 2003 6:39 PM
The steps for photo-etching are nearly identical to the process off creating etched circuit boards.
1.) Mask areas that need to be left behind.
2.) Insert into acid bath.
3.) Wait appropriate time, too short not enough metal has disappeared, too long and too much has disappeared.
4.) Take out wash, rinse and use.

The imrortant steps are good masking, layout design and etching time.

Note: It takes quiet a bit of testing and experimenting to get the feel for the right timing, etc.
  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: Shell Beach, California
Posted by mojodoctor on Saturday, December 6, 2003 9:18 PM
I have two articles that I saved from FSM about photoetching. July 1991 and September 1993, but I didn't see the one DJ talks about. Gee, where was I?!

Check these articles out as that is what inspired me to photoetch my own parts. Yes, it's as easy as MadModelFactory says, but remember to practice practice practice.

Also, check on the Kodak information pamphlets No. G-184, Photofabrication with Kodak Resists, and No. G-185, Characteristics of Kodak Photoresists.

Good luck!
Matt Fly fast, fly low, turn left!
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, December 6, 2003 11:29 PM
Biggest mistake that most beginners make is leave too much space between parts in their design, by the time the acid has removed those spaces it will also have started to affect the areas you don't want it too.

The masking only slows the etching process in the areas that you want to keep.

Look at the thickness and gaps of existing parts to give you a rough idea.
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Littleton,CO
Posted by caine on Sunday, December 7, 2003 1:24 AM
Thanks guys! Mojo, I found the Sept. 93 article... turns out that was about the third or forth issue I ever baught... I got lucky on that one. Hopefully I can find all of the stuff I need and start experimenting.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, December 8, 2003 12:17 PM
Radio Shack Sells the PCB Echant you need to do this!!! I picked some up and will try at some point....

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