If you have ever had a project where you custom designed a circuit, you know how useful it would have been to develop a PCB (Printed Circuit Board) based on your design. Doing it commercially can get expensive fast, so why not do this at home?Alberto Ricci Bitti, a professional programmer and designer, has a great howto on his website which explains how you can essentially print out the circuit board onto any old thin magazine paper. Image courtesy hinkelstone
All that is necessary for this neat little project is a laser printer, a few household items and the circuit board components and chemicals, available at your local electronics retailer or online.
After designing the circuit, either by hand or by other free PCB design software available, you essentially use the magazine paper to print out your design, and then use the paper to transfer the ink from a laser printer (or copier) to the copper, wash away the thin magazine paper, and then etch the copper that is exposed using a solution. Finally you scrub off the plastic laser toner and you have a prototype circuit board.
In under an hour you can go from design to working PCB, making this a project that you might find yourself using more than expected if you frequently design circuits using breadboards.