Making your own printed circuit board (PCB) might seem a daunting task, but once you master the steps, it’s easy to attain professional-looking results.
Printed circuit boards, which connect chips and other components, are what make almost all modern electronic devices possible. PCBs are made from sheets of fiberglass clad with copper, usually in multiple layers. Cut a computer motherboard in two, for instance, and you’ll often see five or more differently patterned layers. Making boards at home is relatively easy, but limited to one- or two-layer designs. Here’s step-by-step instructions how to create a one-layer board for a blinking LED circuit. For PCBs, this exercise is the equivalent of a beginner’s “Hello World” program in software.
This primer first appeared in MAKE Volume 02
. Includes embedded video.