The paperless office clearly is an illusion as people continue to print and photocopy incredible amounts of emails, memos and other useless documents that end up in the bin. So if we cannot get rid of paper in the office, maybe we can remove the ink from it and then use the paper again?
An engineering team at the University of Cambridge in the UK has figured out how to erase pages by vaporizing common toners using a laser-based technique that doesn’t damage the underlying paper. The key idea was to find a laser energy level that is high enough to vaporize the toner without destroying the paper on which it is fixed. After many experiments it was found that 4-ns pulses with a wavelength of 532 nm (green light) worked best. [via]
Unprinter removes Ink from Documents – [Link]
As the electronics hobbyist one of knowledge that we have to be familiar with is how to make our own printed circuit board (PCB). Making our own simple single side PCB actually is not require a sophisticated technique and technology as you might think, instead most of the required materials is already available at your home. I’ve started make my first single side through-hole PCB for a simple two transistors astable multivibrator project using just a water proof marker and draw the PCB layout directly on the PCB copper surface.
Make your own Microcontroller Printed Circuit Board (PCB) using the Toner Transfer Method – [Link]
Brad Lyuster of Louisville’s LVL1 hackerspace wrote an excellent guide to etching your own PCBs. [via]
A few months ago, the spoiled electrical engineer that I am, I never would have considered making my own PCBs. Any project worth taking off the breadboard was worth sending to China to get made “right.”
Of course, there isn’t always time and money to send something to China. Today’s installment is the Sumo-bot board I’m trying to put together for the Hive13 sumobot competition. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like poor Snoopy bot will make it to the ring, but the board making process itself is worth talking about.
Toner Transfer and Muriatic Acid Etchant: Making PCBs at LVL1 – [Link]
Rhys Goodwin managed to print a PCB with a silkscreen using a modified inkjet printer. He used a inkjet/toner hybrid method to print the PCB. The hybrid method can stand up to Cupric Chloride etchant which is helpful when you don’t have access to Ferric Chloride. First Rhys Goodwin prints with black ink, then he covers the board with laser toner and finally blow the excess toner and bake the board. With board bake the pcb traces can resist the etching acid. The same method is used to print the silkscreen. [via]
Direct PCB inkjet printing – [Link]
Jmengel shows another way to make two-sided PCBs at home –
This instructable assumes that you know how to generate a layout file using Eagle PCB or similar layout program. I use the toner transfer method of making PCB’s (printed circuit boards) much like many others. The basic idea is to use a glossy paper, print the PCB design on the paper using a laser printer, and to use a hot iron to transfer the toner to the copper. I use the glossy paper that they have behind the counter at Kinko’s. Go to Kinko’s and ask for some sheets of their glossy laser paper, which is really cheap (about 5 cents a sheet). Some people advocate using glossy inkjet photo paper, but I think this is a waste and the cheap glossy laser paper comes off easier.
Anyway, once you have your design and paper, you will need to print the design. The key here is to mirror the top layer so that it will come out correct once transferred to the copper board. It can also help to include alignment marks (the T shaped things in the pic) beyond the edge of your PCB to help you align the two layers.
Two sided PCB using toner method – [Link]
There are lots of people mentioned about using Inkjet Glossy Paper to do Toner Transfer. It can be done. But it is not easy to remove it after ironing. You have soak the PCB in hot water for more than ten minutes. It is quite time consuming. If you cannot remove the coating completely. It cannot be etched.
Cheap and Easy Toner Transfer for PCB Making – [Link]