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Doddy
29-12-2013, 11:36 AM
Hi,

I thought I'd drop an introduction to myself - Mike Dodd, living in Lancashire, England, with a recent 2nd-hand purchase of a Merchant Dice A4 mill fitted with a Trend router. I'm here to gain knowledge and draw upon the experience of others, in particular with regard the router (I'm thinking the router run-out is unacceptable for PCB SMD isolation routing).

Interests: Electronics, and CNC PCB isolation routing. Also, making lots of dust and chips from random routings and engravings (I've, in part, justified the cost to the missus for the ability to make cat name-tags(:nightmare:)).

EddyCurrent
29-12-2013, 04:41 PM
Mike,
Welcome, have you tried it out and found it's unacceptable ? when you say 'router run-out' are you meaning the Trend router or the whole machine ?

Doddy
29-12-2013, 06:09 PM
Mike,
Welcome, have you tried it out and found it's unacceptable ? when you say 'router run-out' are you meaning the Trend router or the whole machine ?

It's still early days at the moment (I'm working indoors, so I need wife-friendly time to play with the router). I've tried some manual g-code and demonstrated that I can generate 1mm tracks easily enough, but I need to get some set-up time to get better results at the sub-mm routing (with 60degree engraving bits) that I'd need for SMD (an attempt at 0.5mm failed abysmally with the track being ripped from the FR4). The edges of cuts are a little ragged, but my cut is currently too deep, which may not be helping. Whether I have a problem or not, or if I do whether it's the router, or the whole machine, I'm not yet sure - hence the reason I'm here to read up and get as much understanding as I can before asking some uninformed questions. My main focus atm is whether a router is necessarily the best tool for this - I can find no data on the uniformity of this, and in the back of my mind I'm thinking this is a general DIY type of router... maybe there's affordable alternatives out there.

There's plenty for me to go at in the short term, but thought I'd quickly introduce myself here before lurking too deep into the forums.

JAZZCNC
29-12-2013, 06:36 PM
Mike,
Welcome, have you tried it out and found it's unacceptable ? when you say 'router run-out' are you meaning the Trend router or the whole machine ?

Don't ask questions like that Eddy they just get me in trouble.!!:whistle:

EddyCurrent
29-12-2013, 07:17 PM
Don't ask questions like that Eddy they just get me in trouble.!!:whistle:

I know, that's why I got in first :thumsup:

Web Goblin
29-12-2013, 07:45 PM
He mentioned the MD words. Probably the whole machine.

Doddy
29-12-2013, 08:52 PM
I gather from a couple of hours reading threads on here that I need to add certain words, Marchant, Dice, Gantry, unsupported-rails, and so on to the list of naughty words.

I need to get some real time with the machine to understand if it is up to the job of PCB routing - gantry style machines do offer a good x/y size for the price, however, if the machine is fundamentally flawed, and will never give the necessary accuracy then I'll cut my losses early and look for an alternative. Some of the results from analysis on these forums for the deflections on unsupported rails is truly shocking and I'm concerned now that it won't give reliable/repeatable engraving at the depth of the copper on the copper clad board.

EddyCurrent
29-12-2013, 09:28 PM
Have you checked the machine specification on MD website to see if it includes accuracy ? if it does then that might indicate if it's capable of the job you require.
Re. cat name tags, maybe you should get a booth in Botany Bay or Oswaldtwistle :encouragement:

JAZZCNC
29-12-2013, 10:48 PM
I gather from a couple of hours reading threads on here that I need to add certain words, Marchant, Dice, Gantry, unsupported-rails, and so on to the list of naughty words.

Yep and Sadly everything you don't want in machine you have probably just bought.!. . . . Now don't be disheartened because if it does the job you require then that's all that matters.!! . . . . Try it and see BUT what I will say is DONT try to make it better has you would be throwing good money away for nothing.

Also don't let this put you off Gantry machines because if done properly they can easily machine PCB's.