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Laserable Paints

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This has been a side project for some time now and recently I started messing around with it again. The process involves a ball mill for mixing the paints so it doesn't progress very fast but it does allow for doing several projects at once.

The goal for this project has been to make paints that can be set or cured with the laser. Some of the recipes are meant to be conductive paints while others are meant for making PCBs. The paint I've been working with lately has been the etch resist paint and since I got some decent results, I thought I'd share some pictures with you all. The others I would like to do are the solder mask and hopefully the paint for text and graphics over the solder mask paint.

This recipe was attempt number 2 and while the consistency was spot on for what I was trying to achieve, it had poor adhesion. The batch I have in the ball mill now, I'm hoping will adhere better.

seems pretty ridiculously awesome.

Interesting! Is the drying and hardening independent processes?

Thanks! It's coming along fairly well. A few more tweaks to the recipe and I should be there.

Yes, the drying and hardening are independent. Just let it dry after you apply it and it sticks to the board until you wash it off with water. The heat generated from the laser hardens it and should bond it to the copper. Of course the bonding part is the problem that I'm adjusting the recipe for.

Basically I'm taking powder coat and turning it into a liquid paint but the additives I'm adding to make it into a fluid paint is keeping it from bonding. Once I find the right ratio it should bond good enough to withstand the etching process and then be able to be wiped off with a solvent. I'm hoping to use alcohol for removing it but worst case would be acetone.


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