How to Etch Presensitized PCBs

24 Mar

In this tutorial we are going to learn how to etch using Presensitized Printed Circuit Boards.

Presensitizing method is one way of processing circuit boards by using UV light exposure. Compared to toner transfer method, this method brings a more accurate result when it comes to PCB printing.

Before we start, we need to gather the materials first.

  • Presensitized PCB
  • Developer
  • Etching solution (Ferric Chloride Powder/Solution)
  • Acetate
  • Laser Printer
  • The balls to do it. Because I tell you, pre-synthesizing does quite of a long job. It’s worth the effort though.

This is how it looks when we are exposing it to a high intensity light.

It can be a station with fluorescent tubes, or just a simple fluorescent lamp.

Printing the Layout

Let’s start by having our circuit layout printed. As show on the pictures above, the layout must be printed on a transparent material, for example acetate.

Printing the acetate should be done by a laser printer, not just an ordinary inkjet printer.

Ink printed on acetate will not stick. They’ll just give you undesired results.

Using toner from laser printers well, does the job.

If you don’t have any laser printers available in your home, just look for the nearest photocopier stand and ask for a photocopy on acetate, they already know that they’ll use a laser printer not unless they’re noob. ;D

And I guess the rest can be shown here. It’s a tutorial from make magazine.

Instead of ordering from, we have our local site here in the Philippines —->

Here’s the site directed to the PCB section.

The developer in e-gizmo is in a form of powder. You’ll need to dissolve it using warm water

And, there you have it. Universal PCB developer.

Locally, etching solutions such as ferric chloride are in a form of solution, or powder.

In case of powders, just do the same process with the developer.

And there we have it. My board’s a bit messy though.


Posted by on March 24, 2011 in Tutorials


Tags: , , , , , , ,

4 responses to “How to Etch Presensitized PCBs

  1. Ronald Monty Montemayor

    September 1, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Boss, this is about etching a PCB, and not making a “Pre-Synthesized PCB” (because you buy those, you dont make those).

    Also, it is “Presensitized”, and not “Pre-Synthesized”

    just my $0.02

    keep it up.

    • k3ndro

      September 4, 2011 at 8:09 pm

      Oh. My bad I apologize for the honest mistake. Thanks good sir I appreciate the correction vm.

      • Nurv

        October 17, 2013 at 9:36 am

        dead link na po ata yung sa e-gizmo. and parang wala po atang developer sa e-gizmo


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