Best Laser Printer For PCB 2021

If you’re an electrical engineering student, chances are that you will be assigned a project at one point that involves the usage of a PCB.

It might be exciting to create something out of the box with whatever tools you have, but the process can become somewhat tedious where you are asked to use your own designed PCB.

Regardless of that, you need to get the project done no matter what!

After creating the design, you will need to etch it on the board. While it is possible to use your existing inkjet printer for printing PCB designs, it won’t do a good job in printing transparencies as a laser printer does.

Speaking of which, not all laser printers will live up to your expectations. You need to choose the best laser printer for PCB among the wide range of options. Don’t panic, because here we have shared our tops picks that will help you achieve good grades!

Our Picks Of Laser Printer For PCB

  1. HP Neverstop 1202w All-in-One Wireless Laser Printer
  2. Brother MFC-L2710DW Monochrome Laser Printer
  3. HP LaserJet Pro M29w Wireless All-in-One Laser Printer
  4. Brother HL-L2350DW Monochrome Laser Printer
  5. Lexmark C3224dw Color Laser Printer
Best Laser Printer For PCB

Comparison Chart Of Top 5 Laser Printer For PCB

IMAGE PRODUCT Maximum Print Resolution (dpi) Print Speed (ppm) Paper Capacity (sheets) price
HP Neverstop 1202w All-in-One Wireless Laser Printer 600 x 600 x 2 21 Input: 150
Output: 100
Brother MFC-L2710DW Monochrome Laser Printer 2400 x 600 32 Input: 250
ADF: 50
HP LaserJet Pro M29w Wireless All-in-One Laser Printer 600 x 600 19 Input: 150
Output: 100
Brother HL-L2350DW Monochrome Laser Printer 2400 x 600 32 Input: 250
Output: 100
Lexmark C3224dw Color Laser Printer 600 x 600 24 Input: 250
Output: 100

What Is A PCB Or Printed Circuit Board?

A PCB or a printed circuit board is a crucial component in modern electronic devices. It acts as a foundation for all the other components, such as diodes, resistors, microchips, and capacitors. These components are mounted to the board and are connected using copper wires, through which they communicate and function altogether.

A printed circuit board is typically made of fiberglass reinforced with epoxy resin to give non-conducting properties, and layers of copper circuitry underneath. The number of copper layers depends on the complexity of the electronic device.

For example, simple electronic devices, such as calculators feature a single copper layer, whereas sophisticated devices, like computers, feature multiple layers.

It is worth noting that PCBs are of six types-

1. Single-Layer PCB

Single-layer or single-sided PCB is the simplest type of circuit board involving a single layer of conductor material, such as copper. It is constructed by placing a single copper layer on top of the substrate, then insulating the copper layer by adding a soldering mask, and lastly, adding a silkscreen.

2. Double-Layer PCB

Double-layer PCBs feature the same layers as single-layer PCB, with the exception of the number of copper layers. This type of circuit board has a copper layer on both sides of the substrate. Circuits and components present on one side of the board are made to communicate with those on the other side using wires called leads.

3. Multi-Layer PCB

Multi-layer PCBs consist of more than two copper layers. They are constructed by arranging several double-sided boards on top of each other with adhesive and insulating material separating each board. 

4. Rigid PCB

Rigid PCBs feature a solid substrate that doesn’t allow the circuit board to experience distortion. These can be either a single layer, double layer, or multi-layer.

5. Flex PCB

Flex PCBs have a flexible substrate that allows the circuit board to be bent easily. Like rigid PCBs, they come as a single layer, double layer, or multi-layer.

6. Rigid-Flex PCB

Rigid-flex PCBs consist of rigid and flexible circuit boards connected to one another.

What To Look For Before Buying A Laser Printer For PCB? 

Resolution

The first factor to consider before you buy a laser printer for PCB is the printer’s resolution. That’s because the quality of the PCB design depends on it and you will be adding components according to the etched design on the board.

Most laser printers offer a 600 x 600 dpi resolution by default which is enough to deliver sharp results. Those having a higher resolution will offer better quality prints. Ideally, the higher the resolution, the better will be the image quality.

Color Or Monochrome?

If you intend to print only PCB designs, then a monochrome laser printer will be the right choice. But, if you don’t have an inkjet printer and want to use the laser printer for printing everything in general, it is a good idea to go for the color variation.

Print Speed

The print speed of a laser printer is defined as the number of pages it can print in a minute. If you need to print several PCB designs against the clock, a laser printer that offers high printing speed will be a perfect choice. However, you need to keep in mind that the printer you choose doesn’t trade its print quality for speed.

Paper Type

Usually, PCB designs are printed on glossy photo paper which makes it easier for the etching process. While most laser printers can handle letter-sized papers, others can also handle other paper types, including glossy paper. So you need to make sure the printer you choose is capable of handling a range of paper types.

Connectivity

Do you have the PCB design file stored in your phone or tablet? If so, you might want to print it directly from the device in order to save time.

Besides USB, laser printers these days allow you to print wirelessly from any device via WiFi or Bluetooth. So, look for the connectivity options your desired laser printer offers before you decide on buying it.

5 Best Laser Printer For PCB Reviews  

1. HP Neverstop 1202w All-in-One Wireless Laser Printer | Best Printer For PCB Toner Transfer

Starting with the first PCB laser printer, the HP Neverstop 1202w allows you to do more than just print your PCB designs.

This versatile printer is capable of printing, scanning, and copying documents. Owning such a printer is a cost-effective option because you can save the dollars needed to get either of the tasks done in your local print shop. From printing PCB designs to scanning photos, you are free to do anything in the comfort of your home.

As for its printing capabilities, the Neverstop 1202w ensures high-quality prints at a resolution of 600 x 600 x 2 dpi. It produces dark and sharp texts that are clear enough to read, which means you can view your PCB designs clearly. Plus, it has a print speed of 21 pages per minute, so you can get your designs printed pretty fast!

What you’ll love about this printer, the toner it comes with allows you to print as many as 5000 pages! The printer has an indicator that will allow you to monitor the toner level, and when you run of toner, you can easily refill it without causing a mess on your workspace.

Lastly, the Neverstop 1202w lets you print your designs wirelessly using the HP Smart app. So, if you have your PCB designs stored in your phone or tablet, you have the convenience of printing directly from the device instead of transferring the files to your PC.

Pros

  • Very low cost per page
  • Produces sharp texts at 600 x 600 x 2 dpi
  • Can be used to print, scan, and copy documents
  • The printer is capable of holding enough toner for 5000 pages
  • Offers wireless printing via WiFi and WiFi Direct

Cons

  • Does not feature an ADF
  • Does not print on both sides automatically

2. Brother MFC-L2710DW Monochrome Laser Printer | Best Laser Printer For PCB Toner Transfer

For etching PCB with a laser printer, you might want to take a look at this particular printer by Brother.

The MFC-L2710DW monochrome laser printer is also an all-in-one printer that can do not only printing, scanning, and copying, but also faxing. It features a 2-line display and plenty of buttons to allow you to easily navigate the menu and select a particular function.

Since you’ll be etching your PCB design on the board, we’ll focus on the printing function here. The MFC-L2710DW is capable of printing documents at a blazing speed of 32 pages per minute. But that doesn’t mean it will compromise the print quality because it will output at a resolution of 2400 x 600 dpi every time.

If you’re printing PCB designs against the clock, you can rest assured you won’t have a hard time because the input tray is capable of holding up to 250 sheets. The printer can handle a wide range of media, including cardstock, envelope, and A4 papers. That means you can print your circuit designs without any worries.

Apart from that, there’s an ADF with which you can print instantly instead of loading the paper tray. This saves a lot of time, especially when you are in a hurry.

As for the connectivity option, the printer offers both wired and wireless connections. Whether your design file is stored on your PC, tablet, or smartphone, you can print from it directly.

Pros

  • Features 2-line display
  • Fast printing speed of 32 pages per minute
  • Offers high-quality prints at 2400 x 600 dpi
  • Features an ADF
  • Offers wireless connectivity options

Cons

  • Does not print on both sides automatically
  • When the printer goes into deep sleep mode, wireless printing does not wake it up

3. HP LaserJet Pro M29w Wireless All-in-One Laser Printer | Best Laser Printer For PCB Etching

Another PCB laser printer you might want to take a look at is the HP LaserJet Pro M29w.

This is such a compact, yet efficient all-in-one printer that will let you print your PCB designs, copy documents, and scan documents with ease. It can print 19 pages per minute while maintaining its high resolution of 600 x 600 dpi. Each time you print your PCB design, you can rest assured the quality of the print is good enough to let you view every detail.

Apart from that, this printer is capable of handling different paper types, including A4, envelopes, cardstock, and labels. The input tray has a capacity of 150 sheets, which means you don’t have to refill the tray frequently if you need to print a heap of circuit designs in a single session.

A great thing about this printer is that it helps you save on electricity costs! It automatically turns on when you need to print, and then it turns off when you’re not doing anything with it. Moreover, you can integrate Alexa into the printer for a hands-free experience!

This LaserJet PCB printer is designed to fully work wirelessly. You can print from any device without the need for a USB cable or Ethernet. If you have your design files stored in cloud platforms, such as iCloud and Google Drive, you can print from there directly.

Pros

  • Can be used to print, scan, and copy
  • It has a resolution of 600 x 600 dpi
  • The input tray has a paper capacity of 150 sheets
  • Compatible with HP Smart App
  • Features Auto-On/Auto-Off technology

Cons

  • The setup process is a bit difficult

4. Brother HL-L2350DW Monochrome Laser Printer | Best Laser Printer For PCB Artwork

Here’s another Brother printer worth mentioning in the list, the HL-L2350DW monochrome laser printer. This PCB etching laser printer is something you need in order to print your designs effortlessly.

Like the MFC-L2710DW, this printer can print at a fast speed of 32 pages per minute. Whether you’re choosing a laser printer for your home or office, you can rest assured it will speed up the workflow. Besides, the printer will maintain its excellent resolution of 2400 x 600 dpi, so you can easily view the printed circuit.

Apart from that, the input tray can hold up to 250 pages, which means you don’t have to refill the tray often when you’re printing loads of designs. There’s an ADF integrated with the printer as well to let you print on a single page instantly. This printer can handle various types of paper, such as letters, legal, envelopes, and cardstock.

The HL-L2350DW supports two types of toner cartridges- TN730 and TN760. Both toner cartridges ensure you get sharp prints, but the difference lies in longevity. While the TN730 allows you to print up to 1,200 pages, the TN760 lets you print up to 3,000 pages. Depending on your work volume, you can select a toner cartridge accordingly.

It’s no surprise that you forget to purchase your printer’s cartridges. You don’t have to worry about that because this printer is eligible for Amazon Dash Replenishment, which means you’ll have your toner cartridges arrived on your doorstep before they run out!

With this printer, you are not limited to printing from your PC. You can either connect the printer to your PC using a USB cable or connect it to your phone via WiFi or NFC.

Pros

  • Fast printing speed of 32 pages per minute
  • Offers high-quality prints at 2400 x 600 dpi
  • Offers wireless connectivity options
  • Features an ADF
  • Large input tray capacity of 250 pages

Cons

  • When the printer goes into deep sleep mode, wireless printing does not wake it up

5. Lexmark C3224dw Color Laser Printer | Best Laser Printer For PCB Transfer

If you’re looking for a laser PCB printer that can print both in monochrome and color, the Lexmark C3224dw Color Laser Printer is a perfect choice!

This compact printer is designed to fit in that small space of your desk, yet it is capable of printing your PCB designs efficiently. It can print 24 pages per minute, which makes it good enough to help you finish a moderate workload.

Not only that, but the printer also ensures high-quality output at a resolution of 600 x 600 dpi. When you etch the circuit design on the board, no doubt you will be able to view the details clearly. Even if you print colored graphics for presentations, you will get almost photo-printer quality!

The Lexmark C3224dw uses four individual toner cartridges that can yield up to 1500 pages. An advantage of this cartridge setup is that if you run out of a particular color, you can replace only that cartridge with a new one. Replacing cartridges is also an easy process. 

As for the paper capacity, the input tray can hold up to 250 pages. There’s also an ADF that allows you to print a single page instantly. If you need to print on both sides, there’s no problem because the printer can do so automatically!

Lastly, there are three ways you can use to connect your printer- USB, WiFi, and Ethernet. If you’re printing your PCB designs from your smartphone or tablet, you can easily print with apps, such as Lexmark Mobile Print and Google Cloud Print.

Pros

  • Ensures secure printing
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Ensures vivid color prints
  • Allows double-sided printing
  • Offers wired and wireless connectivity options

Cons

  • Does not come with a USB cable
  • The plastic clips of the toner tray seem like they will break at one point

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which Printer Is Best For PCB Design?

In general, laser printers are ideal for printing PCB designs because they can print transparencies well. However, there isn’t a single laser printer that you can regard as the finest one because your preferences matter. The one that meets your requirements and maintains outstanding performance can be considered the ideal laser PCB printer for you.

2. How Do You Etch A PCB With A Laser Printer?

In order to etch a PCB using a laser printer, you will need to follow these steps carefully.

3. Which Paper Is Used For PCB Printing?

Typically, glossy papers are used for PCB printing. That’s because this type of paper is efficient in transferring and fusing toner, unlike other paper types, resulting in perfectly printed designs.

4. Can You Cut PCB Board?

You can cut a PCB board using various tools, such as a PCB cutting machine, table saw, hacksaw, or a Dremel. Before cutting your PCB board, make sure to clean it properly to remove the acidic flux residues.

5. Can You Laser Cut PCB?

It is possible to cut PCB using a 40-Watt laser cutter. This type of cutter is efficient in cutting very thin steel with enough flux to make a properly functioning circuit.

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that investing in the best laser printer for PCB is worthwhile. You are investing in it not only for your academic tasks but also for work. When you own a printer at home with which you can print transparencies instantly, you can save yourself from frequent trips to the print shop!

Considering the perks of a laser printer in regards to PCB, we have taken our time to do enough research and then selected the laser printers that are bound to give you outstanding prints.

So, choose the one that meets your requirements, and you’ll be ready to go!

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