Printed circuit boards or PCBs are the heart of electronic devices. You can find them on computers, TVs, calculators, industrial machinery and more. PCBs for commercial applications made in factories. But many people also make PCBs at home, especially those interested in hobby PCB.
As you know, you will need several tools to make a PCB. All of these tools make up the PCB kit, which you should always keep handy. Today, we will show you how to make a PCB toolkit. You will be able to do the professional job in a breeze by the time you reach the end of the article.
1、Do You Know What A PCB Kit Is?
A PCB kit is simply a collection of resources. You will need the funds if you want to make your PCB. Will have the required tools, accessories, equipment and items to make PCBs.
What you put in the tool is up to your choice. That means your PCB kit may differ from the bag of another person. There's no reason to fret over this as it's normal. You rest your worries if you have the minimum tools to make your PCB. After that, it's up to you what you want to include in your kit.
You can either make your kit or purchase it from a store.
In the next section, we will explore the tools that you must have in your PCB kit.
Image 1: DIY electronic Kit and tools for electronics assembly
2、Tools And Software For PCB Kit
There are some tools which you need to make a PCB. We will first take a look at those essential tools you need to have in your PCB kit.
2.1 Tools in PCB Kit
Mini drill: You will need to drill holes on your PCB to attach components. The tool is also useful for making vias to connect various layers of the board. Arrange a mini drill or Dremel and keep it in your PCB kit all the time.
Flat iron: Arrange a flat-base laundry iron and store in your kit. It will come handy when you need to iron the PCB layout on the board. Make sure it also has a temperature control feature. You will need to manage the temperature depending on the thickness of the paper.
Printer: You will need to arrange a laser printer or photocopying machine. You will use it to print the PCB layout on the paper. Don't make the mistake of using standard inkjet printers. The ink is soluble in water and won't stick to the article.
Saw: You may need a saw to remove the excess PCB board portion.
Soldering iron: You may have to use the soldering iron to fix components on your PCB. Also, keep some flux handy.
Latex gloves: You should keep a pair of latex gloves in the PCB kit. The gloves provide protection and prevent injuries.
Eye protection: Arrange a pair of goggles or eye protection. You don't want any chemical or toxic material going into your eyes while making PCBs.
2.2 Materials to Arrange
Now let's take a look at some of the materials you need in your PCB kit.
Printing paper: You can keep three types of paper in your bag to print the PCB layout-
● Photo paper
● Glossy paper
● Magazine paper
PCB board: This needs no explanation. You will use the board to make your PCB. Boards can be of various materials. So choose according to your preference.
Copper: Copper is an essential item in your PCB kit. You will use it to make the traces on your PCB.
Marker/Pen: ou may need a fine tip permanent marker to draw the marks on your PCB by hand.
Sandpaper: You will need sandpaper to remove the paper from your PCB. It is also useful for restoring and cleaning the board.
Etching solution: You can use various etching solutions for your PCB. We recommend using Ferric Chloride. It's the most common and easy to get.
Plastic container: You will need the container to hold your etching solution. Always use a plastic container and stay away from metal containers.
Ruler: It is an optional item. You may need a ruler for measurements and determining trace widths.
Plastic tweezers: This will help you hold your PCB while you clean or wash it. Never use metal tweezers as they may rust.
Cutter/compass: You may need a sharp tip object to remove excess paper.
Soap and brush: After etching, you may need to wash the board. Use a laundry soap and brush that you keep in your kit. Cleaning will expose the copper traces of the PCB.
Image 2: PCB Kit
3、Take You Through The PCB Layout And Design Software
You will need to develop the schematic of your PCB before you make it. Using software is the easiest way of creating the PCB layout. You will find a range of solutions, both paid and free. Some of the top PCB design software include-
● Autodesk Eagle
● Altium Designer
● Allegro Cadence
You can also try out free PCB design software. They are ideal if you are a beginner and don't have much technical knowledge. Here are a few free solutions you can check out-
● Osmond PCB
● DesignSpark PCB
Now we will tell you how to make the PCB kit.
4、How to Make Your PCB Kit- The Process
By now, you know the tools and materials you need for your PCB kit. Next comes the question of how you make your kit. So here are a few ways to help you out-
Look Around Your Home
Most of the tools and materials you need might already exist in your home. For example, you may have tweezers, iron, sandpaper and other items lying in some part of the house. So conduct a thorough search and collect the things that you need in your PCB kit.
Visit Your Local Store
You can source all the tools and materials locally. Just visit your neighborhood electrical and hardware store. They are sure to stock the items as they are ubiquitous. You can also ask for a discount for buying items in bulk.
Check Online Stores
Various eCommerce platforms like Amazon and eBay also sell tools for PCB kits. You can Google 'buy PCB kit' and get a list of online stores selling the items you need. Before buying, ensure that the products and the seller have good reviews.
Lookout for Readymade PCB Kits
You will also be able to find readymade PCB kits. They contain the essential items you need to make a PCB. You can save money by buying a complete PCB kit instead of investing in separate pieces.
● Make a list of items you want to include in your PCB kit
● Compare prices of different stores to find the most affordable rates
● Buy from reputed online sellers
Image 3: Tool wall
5、How to Maintain Your PCB Kit
You need to care for your PCB kit if you want it to last for a long time. So we thought of giving you some tips to facilitate maintenance of your equipment-
● Use a big box or container to store tools
● Always put back the tools in their respective places after use
● Clean tweezers and other material right after use
● Keep a soft cloth to clean kit items
● Store in a safe area without disturbances
● Replace any broken or malfunctioning tools at the earliest
Image 4: PCB Kit
Making a PCB kit is not a difficult task. But there are some precautions to take-
● Don't make the mistake of using cheap PCB tools and materials
● Always include safety gear like gloves and eye protection in your kit
● Don't use metal containers while etching
● Use plastic tweezers or tools if you don't want them to develop corrosion
● Store your PCK kit in a safe place
● Keep your PCB kit out of reach of children or pets
● Dispose of chemicals like etching solutions in a safe place
In the next section, we will go over some precautions related to your PCB kit.
Image 5: Tools
Making a PCB kit is a professional job. You can follow our guide to make your PCB kit in easy and simple steps. Then you can use the equipment to keep making PCB after PCB.
Get in touch with us if you want a professional hand. We manufacture high-quality PCBs meeting your exact specifications. We are here for all your PCB-manufacturing needs.