Creating a image to use for etching your own PCBs

I just started using LibrePCB and think it’s great! The only initial question I have is what is the best procedure for creating an exposure mask for photo-etching a PCB at home?

If not from the application… how about processing the SVG export with something like Inkscape?



The SVG export should not be used for this purpose - it exports the graphics as rendered on the screen, which is slightly different to an image for PCB production.

The only correct way is to export production data (Gerber) and then printing the required layers with a Gerber viewer. gerbv seems to support printing and PDF export, I think this should work but I never tried it.

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I think that’s the method I used when I etched my last PCB.

You can still do it your self. I do, but it requires some photographic skills. It is only practical for a single sided board. There are two cases. Single sided with non plated thru holes (you drill the holes) or single sided SMD style no holes. Whats needed.
!. 4x5 camera
2. litho film
3. developer and fixer
4. presensitized FR4 boards
5. small pane of glass
All are still available, I’ve done it my whole life. Check YouTube maybe.