Printing Prototype Circuit Board with Form 2


#1

I’d like to use our Form 2 to print onto a circuit board to make prototype boards. Has anybody tried this? I’m wondering if all I need to do is build a custom build platform that I can mount a circuit board to that such that the circuit board is at at the same z-height as the factory build platform. Any advise would be appreciated.


#2

Probably won’t work out to your satisfaction. If you do this with a populated board, the component z-heights will vary and you’ll never get the PCBA close enough to the bottom of the tank to cure your first layer. If you do it with a bare board, you’re going to need to solder parts to it afterward and the printed components may not survive the heating required.

If you want to put features on the PCBA like covers/shields for components, the better way IMO is to just put some holes in the FR-4 that provide mounting points for the features you print, and then attach your printed components with glue or screws (or you might be able to do “snap fit” with pins that fit through the holes).


#3

Print onto a PCB? Wow that sounds exciting! What is your goal?


#4

I would like to print onto a blank PCB board, then etch the board and remove the printed material.


#5

Instead of using a photomask you want to actually print material on the board? First layers over cure so you can’t get very thin traces. They did something similar on the F1+ but directly used the UV laser to activate the photosensitive layer. Not sure if this is going to work for the F2 as you cannot change laser power.


#6

Do you know of any links to the attempts with the F1?


#7

Check out the OpenFL thread. This can be done using presensitized PCBs.


#8

Frew, you’re talking about using the laser to expose a treated PCB, which is then etched. Basically the same process as used to make a plate for a printing press, except Copper instead of Aluminum or Zinc or Steel.

The OP looks like he wants to use resin printed on a blank PCB as his etch-resist. He’d then etch the board and remove the cured resin to expose his circuit… so he’d need to mount his PCB to the bottom of the build plate (or a substitute build plate) and print directly to the board. I suppose he could just stick the board to the bottom of the build platform and use the fine tuning to move Z up by the thickness of the board. But I don’t think it’ll work. I bet resin won’t stick to copper very well.

Your idea is better if for no other reason than it’s probably a lot less messy.


#9

OP could have the build plate milled with a socket that is the same thickness as the PCB board, so that the upper surface is flush with the build platform…

Is a 3D printed build platform possible? Or would the resin just fuse together? If it’s possible, then no milling would be necessary.


#10

I don’t really know much about PCB boards, or what you are exactly trying to do, but I did stumble across this resin awhile ago and it dawned on me that it might be helpful for whatever project you are trying to do.

Electrically Conductive Resins
Zero VOC
Fast Curing
Available in -V420 or -V470 for curing by UV-light, LED lamp or laser up to Violet 420nm or Blue 500nm.

https://bucktownpolymers.com/rcpolymers00.html

I am in no way affiliated with these guys, but I am VERY interested in some of their exotic resins and how they could be used.