Me and my group mates is currently on our planning stage of our design project in the fourth year of our program. We are going to make a direct sketch to PCB printer using CNC. I just want to ask, based on your personal experiences, how much time it takes for you to create a PCB using toner transfer method compared to UV light method? This will help us to know the efficiency of our project compared to manual processes. Thanks!


Time will be based on PCB complexity and size. One can not directly say How much time it takes.

And as you are planning to use CNC, it will take less time comparing to toner transfer method. But still it depends on PCB complexity and size.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Toner transfer is fairly quick. Print out with laser printer, transfer to PCB, etch. If everything goes right (don't have to redo the transfer) then the etching will take the longest, but even that is fairly short. If all goes well, half an hour all together. The CNC method takes takes an amount of time proportional to the complexity and size of the finished PCB. The time also depends on how fast you can move the milling head and how fast the milling head can cut copper and PCB material. \$\endgroup\$ – JRE Mar 3 '17 at 9:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JRE...on the bases of your comment, there will be no need of redo the milling in CNC method. So it will be fast with less amount of error. \$\endgroup\$ – karanrp Mar 4 '17 at 10:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ It depends on how fast the machine is, and how complex the board is. If it takes the machine 2 hours to mill your circuit, and I have to do the toner transfer twice to get it right, I am still faster than the milling machine (1 hour for me, 2 hours for the machine.) It depends on too many variables - you can't say one is always faster than the other. \$\endgroup\$ – JRE Mar 4 '17 at 10:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JRE...So that what I have answered. \$\endgroup\$ – karanrp Mar 4 '17 at 11:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ No, you said using CNC will be faster than toner transfer. \$\endgroup\$ – JRE Mar 4 '17 at 11:08

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