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'[OT] how to get copper loose from PCB (was PCB ex'
2003\01\05@175204 by Ronald van Aalst

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Hi list,
I am modeller as well as PIC-hobbyist.

If I could make small copper parts for modelling
using standard PCB's and the standard PCB etching process,
that would be great.
(amazing what you can do with flat parts!)

Anybody any experience (maybe by accident)
on how to get the copper foil loose from the
PCB ?

Thanks & regards,
Ronald van Aalst


{Original Message removed}

2003\01\05@180450 by Shawn Mulligan

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One sure method of removing copper clad from the substrate is to use heat.
For example, if a soldering iron tip is left on a trace for too long it will
lift/unglue it. Given that, you may be able to use a heat gun to supply
controlled heat and an X-Acto knife to lift the tiny parts.

What a good idea. Alternatively, perhaps you could purchase a thin sheet of
copper and glue it to a substrate of your choice, choosing/experimenting
with glues, given removal of the copper as your eventual goal.


Ronald van Aalst wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2003\01\05@191734 by Mike Harrison

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There is a solvent which will dissolve epoxy resin - I think it can sometimes be found in
paintstripper. Takes a day or two but will nicely delaminate PCBs - I remember once dissolving part
of a 6-layer PCB - look really cool!

..but what can you do with shapes of 35 micron copper foil...?

On Sun, 5 Jan 2003 16:04:10 -0700, you wrote:

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2003\01\05@192821 by PicDude

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Interesting.  Not sure how to separate it, but you
can buy copper sheets from hobby stores.  Perhaps
lightly tack-glue the sheet to a non-metallic base
(like the fiberglass PCB, etc) to make your own "PCB"
that can be easily separated after etching.

Cheers,
-Neil.



> {Original Message removed}

2003\01\05@210743 by Jake Anderson

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something i have heard of (but not personally tried)
get your thin sheet of copper (or other metal)
paint both sides with just a spray pack gloss paint (you will see why later)
then scribe through the paint the shapes you want

here comes the fun part

get a vat/bucket big enough to easily hold the sheet
fill it with water and you may need to add salt to taste (helps with
conductivity)
connect the negative (i think) side of a powersupply to the sheet and
put something like a nail in the vat connected to the positive side of the
powersupply (make sure the two don't touch)

what happens is the metal atoms exposed to the water become ionised and go
into solution getting plated onto the positive electrode thus seperating the
pieces.

there will be a minimum voltage for the process to work but i think it will
have to be under 5V maximum
running it at higher voltages wont cause too much of a problem.

one of the advantages of this is you can pick the thickness of your sheet.

things to be aware of

the edges of the piece you make will be INCREDIBLY sharp(like, "oh... i just
sliced my finger off" kinda sharp)

its possible to pull a lot of current so pick your source carefully and keep
an eye on the current draw.

some of the byproducts of this reaction are hydrogen and oxygen gas (those
go boom in a big and interesting way) the quantaties produced are fairly
minimal but there is no reason to take the risk, hydrogen is explosive with
air over an incrediblly wide range of concentrations. so keep it in mind and
use in a moderatly well ventilated area away from sparks and flame.

If you are doing copper its likley that the solution will turn blue from the
copper going into solution, copper isnt so bad but aluminum and the like are
pretty nasty from an environmental POV so keep that in mind when you dispose
of the water, (if you are concerned when you have finished the cutting part
you could probbably use a carbon electrode (inside of a lead (graphite)
pencil?) connected to negative and let it precipitate the copper out on the
positive electrode).

{Original Message removed}

2003\01\06@020557 by Roman Black

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PicDude wrote:
>
> Interesting.  Not sure how to separate it, but you
> can buy copper sheets from hobby stores.  Perhaps
> lightly tack-glue the sheet to a non-metallic base
> (like the fiberglass PCB, etc) to make your own "PCB"
> that can be easily separated after etching.


Why not just etch the copper sheet by itself, of better
yet a brass sheet as used in solder stencils?
It means you have to do a mask on both sides of the
sheet but the good side is that it will etch twice as
quick, and give better edges. :o)
-Roman

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2003\01\06@075209 by Bob Ammerman

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Accurately aligning the masks on both sides of the sheet might be a problem.
However if one side is completely masked and the other has your desired
pattern you might get pretty good results.

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems

{Original Message removed}

2003\01\06@154517 by Barry Gershenfeld

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>you may need to add salt to taste (helps with conductivity)

>some of the byproducts of this reaction are hydrogen and oxygen gas (those
>go boom in a big and interesting way)

Maybe chlorine gas as well (from the salt)

Barry

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2003\01\07@135943 by Peter L. Peres

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On Mon, 6 Jan 2003, Mike Harrison wrote:
*>..but what can you do with shapes of 35 micron copper foil...?

Electrolytically thicken them in CuSO4 solution to desired thickness
(takes a long time) or use as stick-on decorations (scale modelers use
lots of those). They actually etch their parts out of thicker copper
flashing stock (aluminium also works). This is masked on both sides with
identical masks. Been there. It is a very work-intensive procedure. The
price of parts made like this is so high that no-one can afford them.
There are some professional places that do it. Spehro had an address I
think.

Peter

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