For hobby and learning purposes, I do some PCBs at home, using photo-resist positive development (mainly just single/double layer).

Obviously, I realized that most professional PCBs have silkscreen labeling, so I started to read a bit about it. I've mainly seen 3 processes:

  • PCB printers/CNC: That seems to be the easiest, but it's quite expensive to get.
  • Silk printing: Seems very time-demanding, as to generate the "silk" screen would take long time for a single usage.
  • Ink transfer: Not sure about it, or how it works.

So my question is: What process is adapted for home-made PCB silk-printing? Is that even something usual? Where to get some further info about it?

Some related questions:

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ There is also the UV curable stuff that you expose through a mask, much like etch resistant. though personally I wouldnt bother with silk screen for home made at all \$\endgroup\$
    – PlasmaHH
    Nov 11, 2016 at 14:48
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ A Sharpie marker pen? \$\endgroup\$
    – Simon B
    Mar 21, 2023 at 20:59

2 Answers 2


Toner tranfer is probably your best bet. Look up how people make PCBs using toner transfer. Make your PCB by any method you like, then after it is etched and clean, use the toner transfer method to put the part markings on the board. Of course, you leave off the etching after this second toner transfer.

The markings won't hold up like real silk screen, but its really about the only solution available.


I really suggest that it is less than optimum from an environmental standpoint that persons be using various chemicals to make PC boards at home. Questions like this one are FULLY mitigated by using one of the on-line board ordering services that can provide a full capability PCB including solder mask, plated holes and silkscreen. And if you select a reputable supplier it is much more likely that the handling, recycling and disposal of chemicals from the PC build process are done in an environmentally compatible way.

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ While I agree with your point of view, this answer does not address the actual question(s) asked. It would be much more appropriate as a comment. \$\endgroup\$
    – Makyen
    Nov 11, 2016 at 18:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ Have you seen the Chinese industrial environment? No, neither have the Chinese due to the smog and rolling clouds of noxious gases. And just who is qualified to categorise a company as "reputable"? \$\endgroup\$
    – Paul Uszak
    Nov 11, 2016 at 23:20

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