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PCB Etchant Agitator

Speed up the etching process during small-scale PCB production

This is a device for agitating ferric chloride etchant when making printed circuit boards (PCBs) — the etchant dissolves the exposed areas of copper on the board, leaving the printed circuit pattern. The machine could also be used in the photographic developing process or for etching of other materials.

The PCB etchant agitator under test
The PCB etchant agitator under test

The machine moves the etchant over the PCB rather than leaving it static, making the etching process quicker. In a commercial etching tank, this would be done by blowing air through the etchant instead.

The driving mechanism simply tilts the etching tray at an appropriate speed around a pivot point at its centre.

The driving mechanism close-up
The driving mechanism close-up

Built in January 2003