Have been trying to solve my circuit transfer from printout to the copper clad. Have failed mostly.

  • Have used laser printout.
  • Have used inkjet printout.
  • Have used high resolution print.
  • Have used different printers
  • Have cleaned the copper clad properly using wire mesh.
  • Have used ethanol wet transfer from A4 print to clad
  • Have pressed hot iron on the print and the copper clad
  • Have left hot iron for more than 5 mins
  • Have let the clad cool down in air

I have done everything that I found should be done. In summary, the transfer is never clean.

Please suggest.

latest transfer from laserjet using hot iron

  • \$\begingroup\$ The surface looks way too rough on this photo. What were the results with a smooth board? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 4, 2021 at 12:56
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ And what material did you print on? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 4, 2021 at 12:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe watching this video by BigClive (a Youtuber) will help: youtube.com/watch?v=W_oDBp_wgJQ \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 4, 2021 at 13:12
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Email the Gerber files to a company in China, along with $10 or so. Wait ten days for the postman. Job done. \$\endgroup\$
    – user16324
    Commented Nov 4, 2021 at 13:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ DamienD: Used normal A4 printer paper I cleaned this board using wire mesh. Results are mostly same in a smooth board too. \$\endgroup\$
    – thevikas
    Commented Nov 4, 2021 at 14:22

1 Answer 1


I've done the toner transfer method many times with nearly 100% success rate. Here are the keys:

  1. Must use laser printer (ink jet will absolutely not work)
  2. Use glossy paper. Plain/matte paper will not work
  3. Make sure laser printer isn't set to 'toner saving' mode or some other mode that reduces the amount of toner.
  4. Prep the PCB board surface - buff it with scotch brite or steel wool, don't worry about fine scratches, you want to remove the oxides. Clean with an evaporative solvent, I use brake cleaner. Don't let the clean board sit around, use it right away. And don't touch surface, your fingerprints will reduce bond of toner.
  5. Use a laminator, not an iron. You need heat and pressure. A plain $20 laminator works just fine.
  6. Run it through the laminator 10+ times. Board gets HOT so wear gloves.
  7. Immerse it in water to soak the paper, it will float away and leave the toner on the copper surface.
  • \$\begingroup\$ It worked for the first time! Dont have laminator so had to use clothes iron. used photo paper + laser + high quality print + keep the Iron ON and pressed on the copper clad for 10 mins + water to dissolve the paper (instead of pulling it). The ferric chloride did its job. What is best for removing the ink that was left on the board? Nail polish remover (ethanol) did not do anything. \$\endgroup\$
    – thevikas
    Commented Nov 5, 2021 at 10:55
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ My go to chemical for removing the toner is acetone, it dissolves it immediately. So if your nail polish remover indeed contained ethanol instead of acetone, that would explain why it didn't work. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 5, 2021 at 12:54

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