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RE: [mach1mach2cnc] OT: PCB Milling

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  • JCullins
    I think Eagle is a good choice. I use Orcad and am tempted to change over except for the learning curve. Not that Eagle is hard to learn, but I am time
    Message 1 of 46 , Mar 2, 2009
      I think Eagle is a good choice. I use Orcad and am tempted to change over
      except for the learning curve.
      Not that Eagle is hard to learn, but I am time strapped. (:-)
      If I am not mistaken Greg uses it on the Smoothstepper board.
      Jim

      www.soundlogicus.com
      Plasma THC-300
      Serial Spindle Speed control


      -----Original Message-----
      From: mach1mach2cnc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mach1mach2cnc@yahoogroups.com]
      On Behalf Of Daniel
      Sent: Monday, March 02, 2009 1:12 AM
      To: mach1mach2cnc@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [mach1mach2cnc] OT: PCB Milling

      Roger,

      If you intend to buy it, why aren't you considering purchasing Eagle? I know
      the control side of Eagle is a bit primitive - much like an old DOS built
      program, but on the other hand, once you learn how to use it, it becomes a
      powerful tool, and even enables 3D preview of the board.

      I am about to make my own components in DipTrace for screw terminals...

      Thanks,
      Daniel




      ________________________________
      From: Roger Blair <Roger.Blair@...>
      To: mach1mach2cnc@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Monday, March 2, 2009 8:52:34 AM
      Subject: RE: [mach1mach2cnc] OT: PCB Milling

      Daniel,

      I'm with you on the library being a weak link in the package, and is an
      issue for me also. I have been using the free version for a
      couple of small projects, and monitoring
      http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/diptr/ for a good while, and much like
      current Mach
      development, DipTrace is very actively developing changes. They are very
      good at asking for input and responding back, (currently
      for a version 2.1 to-do list). They have been getting a good bit of flak on
      their libraries, and I am hopeful for this and a few
      other issues to improve soon. They are getting closer to my purchase point,
      but the library is one of the most important issues
      holding me back.

      Regards,

      Roger



      From: mach1mach2cnc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mach1mach2cnc@yahoogroups.com]
      On Behalf Of Daniel
      Sent: Sunday, March 01, 2009 10:16 PM
      To: mach1mach2cnc@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [mach1mach2cnc] OT: PCB Milling



      Roger,

      Actually downloaded it and tried before I downloaded Eagle. And you're
      right, I liked it. And now that I'm familiar with Eagle too,
      I can say that I probably like DipTrace even more than Eagle. There is one
      thing though that made me to move to Eagle. The libraries
      in Eagle are much bigger and most important, can be searched through much
      easier - either by description or part name in all
      libraries at once! Thus I could type "relay" and it would find all the
      components that have the word "relay" in their description.
      Can't do so with DipTrace. It requires part numbers.

      Also couldn't find any screw terminals there...

      If you have any ideas I'd really prefer using DipTrace.

      Thanks,
      Daniel

      ________________________________
      From: Roger Blair <Roger.Blair@...
      <mailto:Roger.Blair%40Comcast.net> >
      To: mach1mach2cnc@yahoogroups.com <mailto:mach1mach2cnc%40yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Sunday, March 1, 2009 11:53:08 PM
      Subject: RE: [mach1mach2cnc] OT: PCB Milling

      250 pin full functionality, libraries, free of cost. Try it, you might like
      it.

      http://www.diptrace.com/downloads/dipfree_en.exe

      Hope this helps,

      Roger

      From: mach1mach2cnc@yahoogroups.com <mailto:mach1mach2cnc%40yahoogroups.com>
      [mailto:mach1mach2cnc@yahoogroups.com
      <mailto:mach1mach2cnc%40yahoogroups.com> ] On Behalf Of Daniel
      Sent: Sunday, March 01, 2009 9:49 AM
      To: mach1mach2cnc@yahoogroups.com <mailto:mach1mach2cnc%40yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: [mach1mach2cnc] OT: PCB Milling

      Hi,

      I would like to make a simple PCB to mount some relays on. After looking
      through the web and exploring few software packages I
      decided on Eagle. There is a freeware version that is fully functional with
      the only limit being the PCB size you can make
      (80x100mm).

      It took me a couple of days to learn it and build my circuit. The problem
      I'm facing now is that the copper boards I have are merely
      0.045mm copper clad. And to be able to transfer about 6A continuous current
      the traces have to be very wide (about 4mm). This
      increases the final PCB size and puts it beyond the freeware limit.

      My question is, is there anybody out there who's using Eagle Professional
      and could take my schematic file and generate the routing
      and output it to some kind of CAM file for me? Or alternatively, any other
      suggestions? Any other PCB software maybe? I tried few
      others but was disappointed (mostly by the poor component library, compared
      to the Eagle's).

      Thanks,
      Daniel

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    • Mark Vaughan
      There is proper artists or engravers mounting tape available that is supposed to be much easier to remove. Don’t ask me where to get it from, haven’t found
      Message 46 of 46 , Mar 7, 2009
        There is proper artists or engravers mounting tape available that is
        supposed to be much easier to remove.

        Don’t ask me where to get it from, haven’t found out myself yet, I presently
        clamp my boards with T bolts and sections of electrical cabinet Din rail to
        spread the load along the material edge.

        I’ve also seen people use holt melt glue from a glue gun and then warm it
        with a hot air paint stripper to release the PCB, finally rolling it with a
        finger from the back on the PCB and base while still soft.



        As for cutters, V cutters tend to be more forgiving than fine mill cutters,
        the tapper end giving the bit a lot more strength than a spindly mill bit.
        You can grind your own, but it’s a bit fine, a simple round D shape on a
        conical point will work but leaves burrs in the material, especially copper.
        Also most V bit’s don’t go right to a point, they have a relieved flat on
        the end so they will cut a small diameter if placed down onto the material,
        I use a lot with a 0.15mm diameter tip. To stop the burrs you need some back
        relieve on the ends and sides and that’s not so easy to grind by hand, even
        with a cutter grinder you tend to need to fiddle with an eyeglass and
        getting an accurate end diameter is a bit hit and miss.

        Now when buying V cutters often referred to as engravers bit from local
        suppliers they are expensive. In the UK I’ve been quoted prices like £22
        each in HSS, and over £30 in fine grade carbide. However if you look on ebay
        under ‘engraving’ there are several good Chinese suppliers, I presently pay
        between £9 and £12 for TEN V bits depending on the V angle and tip diameter,
        postage isn’t much either, it’s not worth hand grinding them at that. I have
        bought from several of these suppliers and what they’ve supplied has been
        better than some of the rubbish I’ve bought in the UK and EU. Also stick to
        carbide which lasts a long time, usually gets chipped due to operator error
        before it’s blunt, a HSS bit is dull before a small panel is complete, or
        gets bent then cuts a bigger diameter.



        As for speeds, for engraving I use 15000 to 24000 in things like trefolit.
        For PCB work I have another router (few days old acquisition and not mach3
        based) that runs at 60,000 rpm making it stable for 0.3mm drill bits. But I
        have run V bits on my CNC mill for engraving before I bought the routers at
        only 3000 to 4000 rpm. If I keep the feed rates low, it’s fine, takes a long
        time to do the job, but works fine.



        Hope that helps



        Dr. Mark Vaughan Ph'D., B.Eng. M0VAU

        Managing Director

        Vaughan Industries Ltd., reg in UK no 2561068

        Water Care Technology Ltd, reg in UK no 4129351

        Addr Unit3, Sydney House, Blackwater, Truro, Cornwall, TR4 8HH UK.

        Phone/Fax 44 (0) 1872 561288

        RSGB DRM111 (Cornwall)

        _____

        From: mach1mach2cnc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mach1mach2cnc@yahoogroups.com]
        On Behalf Of Daniel
        Sent: 06 March 2009 20:28
        To: mach1mach2cnc@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [mach1mach2cnc] OT: PCB Milling - Broken Cutters



        Hi Matthew,

        That double sided scotch tape sounds good. Will look for it. But how do you
        remove it? The one I'm using is pretty tough to be removed. I'm using
        solvent, and it takes lots of it to remove just a few strips, and everything
        gets sticky...

        Since I'm limited in spindle speed, I think I'll be better using multi-tooth
        end mills over single toothed V-cutter. As I said, I tried using a 90
        degrees 4 tooth chamfer mill and it worked out nicely, though not as good as
        with a 1mm end mill, which gave a flat and nice bottom.

        BTW, I think I know why those end mills broke. I inspected them under a
        microscope and they looked a bit dull, thought they were new and that PCB
        was the first job they were ever used for. They looked somewhat roughly
        ground. So I guess this is because they are Chinese cheap HSS (no cobalt
        added) end mills.

        Thew PCB I made (yes, I finished it today :-) ) is two sided and I plan to
        connect the top and bottom by soldering jumpers through. And you were right,
        it is much fun to make my own PCB :-)!

        The drill rack I mentioned was a drill rack for PCB-gcode, not Gerber file
        or something.

        Thanks,
        Daniel

        ________________________________
        From: Matthew Billo <mjbillo@meltel. <mailto:mjbillo%40meltel.net> net>
        To: mach1mach2cnc@ <mailto:mach1mach2cnc%40yahoogroups.com> yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Friday, March 6, 2009 5:18:19 PM
        Subject: RE: [mach1mach2cnc] OT: PCB Milling - Broken Cutters

        Dear Dan,

        When you are unable to put a screw in the middle of your PCB then Scotch
        double sided poster tape (Product number 109 by 3M) has little or no carrier
        to it , has a consistent thickness and holds fairly well. As for tool bits
        I have used broken carbide bits in which I ground down using a Dremel Tool
        held in a vice with a grinder attached and ground a sharp 'V-angle' on the
        carbide bit when it is mounted in the mill spindle. You will need to sand
        the PCB to remove the burrs and inspect the PCB once it is done cutting.
        With this homemade PCB bit you can cut with high rates. If you want a more
        finished cut I would suggest <http://www.pmtnow <http://www.pmtnow.com>
        com> www.pmtnow.com as a
        great source of micro sized end mills, but remember the smaller you go the
        slower you need to cut with the micro sized end mills. Plus they are a bit
        expensive. I use the 0.008" (TS-2-0080-S @ $25.04 each) often which allows
        me to cut just about any PCB that has fairly fine pitches in a single pass,
        which speeds things up. PMT offers end mills down to 0.0004" in diameter!

        For the drill rack problem I am unsure if the problem is in the Gerber files
        or the G-Code files or in the translation. One of the Gerber files defile a
        drill table and the PCB layout software should have a parameter of the
        maximum number of drills used in a process. Good luck finding where that
        parameter is and how to edit it. In the past I have hand edited the Gerber
        files drill table when all else fails. You may cut the holes using two
        methods: 1). The G83 peck drill cycle, which simply drills a hole or use the
        G02 circular interpolation (CW) or G03 circular interpolation (CCW)
        commands. I prefer the G02/G03 commands as it facilitates fewer tool bit
        changes. Sometimes I use the G83 peck cycle to mark the center of all the
        holes and then hand drill using the drill press if there are many different
        sized holes as this is faster than milling in many instances. Most of my
        PCB's are surface mount and designed to be single sided or double sided with
        a minimal amount of electrical connections from top to bottom. When there
        are electrical connection from top to bottom I use a through hole part to
        make them and/or have used small copper eyelets/rivets to make the
        electrical connections.

        So that's my two cents on the subject! One can make high quality PCB
        prototypes using their milling machines and even make solder paste stencils
        for applying solder paste. I use a $19.00 Target hot plate griddle with an
        adjustable temperature control to reflow the PCB's one populated that works
        better than some $80,000.00 IR reflow systems I have seen at major
        companies. Happy Milling!

        Thanks,

        MJBillo.

        MJB Engineering, LLC.

        Matthew Billo

        17937 Dove Hill Road

        Eden Valley, MN 55329-9500

        mjbillo@meltel. <mailto:mjbillo%40meltel.net> net

        320-453-2150

        From: mach1mach2cnc@ <mailto:mach1mach2cnc%40yahoogroups.com>
        yahoogroups.com [mailto:mach1mach2cnc@
        <mailto:mach1mach2cnc%40yahoogroups.com> yahoogroups.com]
        On Behalf Of Jeffrey T. Birt
        Sent: Thursday, March 05, 2009 9:46 AM
        To: mach1mach2cnc@ <mailto:mach1mach2cnc%40yahoogroups.com> yahoogroups.com
        Subject: RE: [mach1mach2cnc] OT: PCB Milling - Broken Cutters

        The V-bit is used as it provides the best performance in trace isolation.
        You only need to make a few passes to achieve proper isolation in the vast
        majority of cases. You are really being limited by your spindle speed. In
        PCB routing more speed is better. Most of the tooling is rated to 20-30K
        RPM.

        You need to mill the top of your mounting plate with your mill to ensure
        that the surface is perpendicular to the head.

        I'm on the way out the door but will try to look at your drill rack later
        today.

        Jeff

        From: mach1mach2cnc@ <mailto:mach1mach2cnc%40yahoogroups.com>
        yahoogroups.com <mailto:mach1mach2cnc%40yahoogroups.com>
        [mailto:mach1mach2cnc@ <mailto:mach1mach2cnc%40yahoogroups.com>
        yahoogroups.com
        <mailto:mach1mach2cnc%40yahoogroups.com> ]
        On Behalf Of Daniel
        Sent: Thursday, March 05, 2009 9:14 AM
        To: mach1mach2cnc@ <mailto:mach1mach2cnc%40yahoogroups.com> yahoogroups.com
        <mailto:mach1mach2cnc%40yahoogroups.com>
        Subject: Re: [mach1mach2cnc] OT: PCB Milling - Broken Cutters

        Hi Jeff,

        I still can't understand why would you want to use a V bit for PCB milling?
        Don't we want to have a flat bottom? With a V, in order to remove large
        areas of copper for isolation you'd have to use very small steps, whereas
        with an end mill you can use a side step as big as about 80% of the mill's
        diameter.

        I know that 0.2mm is too deep. The original depth was 0.1mm, but since the
        board was not flat I had to increase it.

        My spindle runout, measured at the BT30 taper is zero, with a 0.01mm dial
        indicator. Might be bigger at the tool tip though, but don't think could be
        greater than 0.02mm or so.

        Yes, what Matthew has suggested is a good idea, but I don't have room in the
        center to place a screw. I fixed the board with the double sided tape to a
        flat aluminum plate, so there is no problem on that side. I guess what's
        causing it, is like Matthew pointed out, the tape itself. It isn't one of
        those thin tapes, it is a thick one - probably more than 1mm.

        Anyway, in the meanwhile I tried using a carbide 90 degrees chamfer mill I
        have. It works pretty well, except that I had to reduce the side step to
        0.4mm. Also it is 4-flute, so I increased the feed to 100mm/min. But it's
        still more than TWO hours to complete one side of a 100x130 board - used 2
        mm isolation. Also used 0.5mm DOC with this tool, so it'd leave a trace 1mm
        wide. Otherwise (DOC of 0.2 or less) it'd take forever... ;-)

        I tried setting up a drill rack for PCBgcode but it didn't work. For some
        reason it only recognizes one of the two drills I define. Any idea how to
        define two drills, one 1mm, to be used from 0.8-1.4mm and the other is 3.2mm
        to be used from 3-3.5mm?

        Thanks,
        Daniel

        ________________________________

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