My new CNC toy

cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
8,250
Another reason I can only do a small number of holes at a sitting.
Neck or back?.... my weakness is my shoulders-neck area, actually.... they hurt like hell after a prolonged drilling session. But yes, I know what you mean when you say it can be therapeutic.
 

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spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,830
Both. I have a mild case of scoliosis so it can be especially tiring for me.

But enough of that. What do you think of the results?
 

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spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,830
I think I might still be engraving tad too deep. I would think I should get the same appearance in traces as when etching with chemicals? I am seeing more of a 3D effect in the traces. When I etch with chemicals the traces are almost flat on the PCB.
 

cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
8,250
What do you think of the results?
You mean what do I think about that piece of c**p that you just posted??? ... Just kidding here, dude... I'm really jealous, actually :D, I think your work is beautiful.

I've done all of my PCBs using etching techniques, and now I'm beginning to see that for prototyping purposes maybe milling them is a better choice.
Question, can you run one trace between two pin pads separated by 0.1", such as in a standard IC chip?
 

ISB123

Joined May 21, 2014
1,236
I have a mild case of scoliosis too and I noticed that it's not the spine that hurts but the muscle which takes most of the load because of unsymmetrical spine. I fixed my problem with Deadlifts and bent over rows.

I think that board would look nicer with a bit smaller depth but still looks fine to me.
I'll be building my CNC Laser engraver soon so we will have some results to compare.;)
 

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spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,830
I've done all of my PCBs using etching techniques, and now I'm beginning to see that for prototyping purposes maybe milling them is a better choice.
Question, can you run one trace between two pin pads separated by 0.1", such as in a standard IC chip?
Not sure what you mean. But the width of a trace is going to be pretty much limited by the with of your bit. The smallest I have seen so far is .1 mm but depending on the angle of the bit and the depth you engrave is a factor too. One of my problems getting started. I was setting my bit size at .1mm because that was the size I had but I actully should have gone larger.

This calculator will help you to calculate the actual size.

The next thing I want to look at is auto-leveling software.
 

cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
8,250
Not sure what you mean. But the width of a trace is going to be pretty much limited by the with of your bit. The smallest I have seen so far is .1 mm but depending on the angle of the bit and the depth you engrave is a factor too. One of my problems getting started. I was setting my bit size at .1mm because that was the size I had but I actully should have gone larger.

This calculator will help you to calculate the actual size.

The next thing I want to look at is auto-leveling software.
Yeah... I'm guessing that a perfectly flat board is a challenge when dealing with this PCB technique.
 

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spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,830
I have a mild case of scoliosis too and I noticed that it's not the spine that hurts but the muscle which takes most of the load because of unsymmetrical spine. I fixed my problem with Deadlifts and bent over rows.

I think that board would look nicer with a bit smaller depth but still looks fine to me.
I'll building my CNC Laser engraver soon so we will have someresults to compare.;)
I am engraving to -0.0034 which seems about right but I agree it is still a bit too deep. I wonder if my z axis to off a bit.


Are you going to cut the copper with the laser? Or just paint the PCB and cut the paint, etch with chemicals?
 

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spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,830
Yeah... I'm guessing that a perfectly flat board is a challenge when dealing with this PCB technique.
You can help the problem a bit by milling a flat surface in your spoils board. It at least gets you a flat surface to start out with. I did that and took forever to mill a 6x4 inch area. I was using a 1/4 inch router bit. and it was noisy as hell! ;)



I am guessing that with smaller boards it is not going to be much of an issue. But as the board size increases so does the differences in heights of the board.
 

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spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,830
Actually, what I do right now is use the laser toner transfer technique, which has its advantages and weaknesses.

What I have been doing for a few years now. It will be nice to not have to deal with the chemicals but now I need to worry about fiberglass dust. :( I do have a vacuum hood for the CNC. But I need to do some mod work on it. Need to get some lighter material for the skirt. What came with it was some pretty heavy material that looks like cut up PVC tubing.
 

cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
8,250
What I have been doing for a few years now. It will be nice to not have to deal with the chemicals but now I need to worry about fiberglass dust. :( I do have a vacuum hood for the CNC. But I need to do some mod work on it. Need to get some lighter material for the skirt. What came with it was some pretty heavy material that looks like cut up PVC tubing.
Can you post a pic of said skirt?
 

ISB123

Joined May 21, 2014
1,236
I am engraving to -0.0034 which seems about right but I agree it is still a bit too deep. I wonder if my z axis to off a bit.


Are you going to cut the copper with the laser? Or just paint the PCB and cut the paint, etch with chemicals?
As you said I'm going to paint the pcb and then burn the traces in.It would take a 1000W laser to cut metal.:(

Can't wait to see it... make sure to tag me when you finally post it :)
Will do , the project should be completed this month or the next one.I'm currently working on "CPU" board which should have been already done if damn PCB program didnt screw me over by changing pad distance from 2.54mm to 3mm.
 

ISB123

Joined May 21, 2014
1,236
Interesting... do you mean to say that you'll actually vaporize the cooper on the board with the laser?
No, the board will get painted black as it absorbs the most energy. After that paint will get burned off with the laser exposing the copper to be etched away. Using laser should make using very thin traces possible because lasers have very small focal point. Painting the board black allows the use of weak lasers ,generally in range of 200-500mW. And those lasers are very cheap mostly in range of 2-3$.
 

cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
8,250
No, the board will get painted black as it absorbs the most energy. After that paint will get burned off with the laser exposing the copper to be etched away. Using laser should make using very thin traces possible because lasers have very small focal point. Painting the board black allows the use of weak lasers ,generally in range of 200-500mW. And those lasers are very cheap mostly in range of 2-3$.
That is very, very interesting indeed... do you mean to say that a normal laser diode of the type used in DVD/Blue Ray read/write drives has that capability, if used properly?
 

ISB123

Joined May 21, 2014
1,236
That is very, very interesting indeed... do you mean to say that a normal laser diode of the type used in DVD/Blue Ray read/write drives has that capability, if used properly?
With proper focusing they are powerful enough to cut light materials and engrave wood.Good thing about those lasers is that they are mass produced so they are mostly cheap and durable enough for few thousands hours of use and can be overdriven to get more power out of them but their life shortens .
 
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