Laminator Control

This is a simple project that adds digital temperature control to an otherwise fixed-temperature laminator (or other heating device). Most laminators are designed for document pouch lamination, which is too hot for UV resist film and too cold for toner transfer.

The table at the right shows temperatures I've found useful for various purposes. Wet lamination is for when you rinse the PCB and UV resist film in water, and while they're still wet, overlay them and squeeze out the excess water. Laminating above the boiling point of water may cause steam bubbles to de-laminate the film. For dry lamination, you want the ideal temperature for the film, but you have to avoid air bubbles some other way. If your toner isn't listed, you have to experiment to find some temperature that's hot enough to make the toner plastic and sticky, but not hot enough to make it liquid and deformable.

Temperature Use
200°F 93°C Wet Lamination
240°F 115°C Dry Lamination
320°F 160°C Document Pouch
340°F 170°C HP Toner
370°F 187°C Brother Toner

A few notes about this "picture" - it's not a photo of the board. It's the output of PCB's image exporter, which has an option for photorealistic output. The actual board I made looks like any other home-brew board - bare copper on FR4, tinned, not so neat, etc.

Note that the board layout is intended for home-brew fabrication. It gets cut in half and trimmed down past the outer copper border, and the two halves connect together with a short cable.

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