For the enterprising hobbyist and prototyping hardware developer, building tailor made PCBs continues to be fairly of a battle. Though there are a selection of ways to go about this, they generally contain printing or drawing a mask that is utilised to expose the photoresist layer on the to-be-etched PCB. Below [Andrew Dickinson]’s Photonic Etcher task delivers an intriguing shortcut, by making use of the UV supply of an MSLA 3D printer immediately soon after converting the project’s Gerber data files into a structure the MSLA printer can do the job with.
The notion is as very simple as can be: given that MSLA printers fundamentally function by making a dynamically updated UV mask (either by way of an Liquid crystal display panel or DLP technique), this means that an MSLA printer can be made use of to expose the PCB’s UV-delicate photoresistive coating, proficiently earning the mask there insoluble during the etching action. This can be accomplished with adverse as effectively as optimistic photoresistive coatings, relying on the use situation.
The noticeable benefit of this strategy is that you never will need an further UV source or any form of separate mask, only an MSLA printer with a big sufficient operate spot to in good shape the PCB you desire to expose. A single limitation of [Andrew]’s challenge at this place is that it can only transform Gerbers to PWMS (Photon Mono) information, but this can presumably be quite simply extended to support far more MSLA printers.