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 CNC Router PCB Boards 
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Post CNC Router PCB Boards
The machine arrived on Thursday, built up an old PC and set it up.

Takes less than half an hour to design and make a small board!

It is not noisy, can't really hear it in the next room.

In the past I have been limited to making boards early on Saturday morning, when the toddler is still asleep and nobody else wants to be in the kitchen, so this is going to be a big gain for me.

Attachment:
cnc1.jpg
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This is the first one, scrappy old board (just in case)

The tip of the tool was a bit big (I started the machine without turning on the spindle motor and damaged the tip), but it is still fine.

Just waiting for drill bits to arrive from China, and it will drill all the holes for me too!


It all sounds very easy, but I would not suggest it for someone who is not OK on PCs and software, and being able to read and modify G-code helps too.
There are a huge number of variables, during creating the Gerber file, then for the isolation plot and converting it to G-code, nothing that patience wont sort out, but I think it would be almost impossible to tell someone how to do it in detail without spending a very long time.

It's not difficult, and not trying to put people off, just be prepared for a challenge :)

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Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:57 am
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 CNC Router PCB Boards 
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Post Re: CNC Router PCB Boards
Should have got one years ago!

Just designed a board with fine tracks, finer than I would normally use, just to try it, and although it is not perfect, quite usable.

I think I would have had problems etching it anyway.

The only thing I would like is for the spindle motor to be controlled by the programme, I keep forgetting to start it!


Attachment:
cnc2.jpg
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Sat Jun 28, 2014 12:37 pm
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 CNC Router PCB Boards 
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Post Re: CNC Router PCB Boards
Sounds like you're going to have a ball with it. :good:

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Sat Jun 28, 2014 12:45 pm
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 CNC Router PCB Boards 
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Post Re: CNC Router PCB Boards
ei9ju wrote:
Sounds like you're going to have a ball with it. :good:



Yes, especially now the process is becoming more familiar.
Did a board for an ESR meter, and made it without any wondering if it will be right, start in the right position, just set it up and clicked start.

It's going to make more difference to my building than anything else I have ever bought.

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Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:47 am
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Post Re: CNC Router PCB Boards
Post a link to the machine you're using Steve

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Sun Jun 29, 2014 2:15 pm
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 CNC Router PCB Boards 
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M0BVL wrote:
Post a link to the machine you're using Steve



http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CNC-3020-ROUT ... 3a9108a12d

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Sun Jun 29, 2014 2:20 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router PCB Boards
Looks ok ,what software do you use for the g-codes?

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Sun Jun 29, 2014 2:28 pm
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 CNC Router PCB Boards 
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M0BVL wrote:
Looks ok ,what software do you use for the g-codes?


Do you mean to create them, or run them on the machine?

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Sun Jun 29, 2014 2:33 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router PCB Boards
well both really ?

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Sun Jun 29, 2014 2:37 pm
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M0BVL wrote:
well both really ?


I'm using Mach3 on the machine, as the machine I'm using won't run Linux properly (video driver).

Then I'm using linegrinder to make the isolation plots from the Gerber file, and it creates the G-code as well.


There are a few alternatives for the isolation plots, but not much alternative to Mach3.

It is not a one stage process :)

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Sun Jun 29, 2014 3:13 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router PCB Boards
It used to wind me up going from all formats to iges then back to what ever ,long over due a standard !!!
not used mach3 main software here is onecnc expert/professional xr3-5 then the cad is inventor .Have you bought this just for prototyping of pcb's then steve or are you using it for something else ?

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Sun Jun 29, 2014 3:29 pm
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M0BVL wrote:
It used to wind me up going from all formats to iges then back to what ever ,long over due a standard !!!
not used mach3 main software here is onecnc expert/professional xr3-5 then the cad is inventor .Have you bought this just for prototyping of pcb's then steve or are you using it for something else ?


Its mainly to make PCBs for projects, be it prototypes or finals for my own use.

As I mentioned, the chemicals, toddler and kitchen limit me more than a little.

I will also use it for cutting parts for RC aircraft, cases and other things a small machine can be used for.

The problems and limitations mentioned in another thread don't really exist, like any other machine, you need to know how to use it and compensate for various alignment issues etc.

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Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:27 pm
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G3EJS wrote:

The problems and limitations mentioned in another thread don't really exist, like any other machine, you need to know how to use it and compensate for various alignment issues etc.



Sounds good Steve ..ill look forward to seeing some of the projects :good:

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Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:43 pm
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I would very much like to hear how you find tip life. Glass fibre based materials are extremely cruel to cutters, drills and saws. I have been thinking of a similar machine for a while, but my fear is that, being very ignorant of coding and all the various layout file formats, I might spend more time messing with settings than making boards :) Please update this thread with any opinions you get in longer term usage! Good luck with it Steve.


Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:41 am
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Post Re: CNC Router PCB Boards
The bits are a small fraction of the cost of photo etch resist, developer and etchant!

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Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:55 am
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