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laser diode pcb maker, engrave metal

Gadget

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Dec 28, 2013
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I picked up the Elekslaser A3 pro and it does a fine job of making traces and pads on painted copper board. Then just etch the copper as normal, remove the paint, and you've got a professional looking circuit board.

It also removes powder coat. I've used it to make some nice looking "yeti" cups.

You really can't beat the price of the Eleks, either...I mean, for what it can do, I haven't found a better offering.

-G
 



GrahamRounce

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Jan 19, 2017
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8
If you really want to try a laser for making your PCBs then IMNSHO you ought to use UV sensitive resist on your board and 'write' your pattern with a 405nm diode laser. Then you can just develop the resist and etch the board conventionally.

Even at only 100mW or so your write speeds can probably exceed 100mm/sec. And the single mode 405nm diodes can easily be focused to a spot size of 100um with simple optics
That's exactly what I want to do!
I've previously made a printed-film exposure box, but was disappointed with the reproduction of fine detail - bits of track missing, etc.

I used 50 or so standard 20mA uv leds (going through glass - it was an old scanner box tbh). The exposure time was only 40 secs, so I was hoping that with a laser tracing the layout 20mW (4 x the power of a pointer, and focused right down) would be plenty.
You don't think so?

Re the "100um with simple optics", I've been searching the inet for the last couple of days, but can't find much in the way of practical guides for the focusing, with diagrams, giving the depth of field etc. Some retailers are more helpful than others, but you can't expect a lot of free tuition. Can you please guide me to an explanation of these "simple optics"? (I take it I won't be able to use a ready-made module?)
Thank-you very much!
 

WizardG

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May 9, 2011
Messages
963
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In this case simple really is just that. The single mode 405 diodes can be focused pretty darn well with just a single lens in front. Something like one of DTR's 3-element lenses might give you a cleaner 'dot' at the cost of a little power.
 




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