View Full Version : PCB Wizard to Mache3

26-04-2016, 02:25 PM
Hi, I am doing a project to extend the usefulness of the free BBC Micro Bit computer, that they are giving away to one million children. To do this I need to make some PCB's. I have bought a 3030 engraving machine. The PCB layout program I am using is PCB Wizard pro which outputs Gerber and Nc files. My problem is how to convert these files to Gcode in order to run them in Mache3. I am running XP on the mill's computer. I do my composing on a Windows 10 computer.

The PCB Wizard recommend Kcam to convert the Gerber files to Gcode, but it will not run on Windows 10. I have tried several Gerber viewers and conversion programs but none work properly, if at all. The money is not available for expensive programs.

I would also like to know what the single pole socket is for on the 3040, next to the D25 socket. A contact probe ?.

I would appreciate any help I can get on this subject because it is holding up the project. Thank you ..... John Kent (UK)

27-04-2016, 09:35 AM
I've installed this in Windows 7 and it runs, I just don't have a Gerber file to import and test with ;-)

http://www.ofitselfso.com/LineGrinder.php/ (http://www.ofitselfso.com/LineGrinder.php/)

Any good?

- Nick

27-04-2016, 09:54 AM
If you just want some PCBs for a project then I'd definitely recommend just sending your design off to a board house.

If you are looking forward to the challenge of PCB isolation routing then that's a different matter. I found that Eagle and pcb2gcode worked well when I did it. No experience with PCB Wizard in afraid. I ended up finding that UV exposing boards was much better than routing anyway, especially when you get down to SMT stuff and soldermask.

27-04-2016, 10:26 AM
I have used CopperCam in the past, but I doubt that it would run on Windows 10. I have it on my machine control computer, which runs XP. I am avoiding Windows 10 as it has features and policies I fundamentally abhor.



27-04-2016, 11:26 AM
Thank you very much gentlemen for your replies. Although my immediate need is just a couple of boards but I do want to get into the CNC thing for other reasons. Also I need to make sure that what I have done works before I present it as a suggestion and go to the expense of getting faulty boards made.

I tried Linegrinder, but when I tried to do the conversion from Gerber to Gcode it could not deal with the command in the second or third line.

I also tried CopperCam and ran into problems with it.

The best one I have tried was Rapid PCB to Gcode, the graphical view of the tracks and pads looks good, but the NC drill file is interpreted as being very small and does not match up with the board tracks and Pads,

So I am still looking but thank you for your comments.

27-04-2016, 11:38 AM
If the drill file is small, you may just have a confusion over units. I know in my case Eagle defaults to inches and my CNC setup defaults to millimetres.

27-04-2016, 02:09 PM
If the drill file is small, you may just have a confusion over units. I know in my case Eagle defaults to inches and my CNC setup defaults to millimetres.

Good thinking Sir, I will investigate. THank you for your reply. John.

27-04-2016, 10:54 PM
I milled a lot of pcbs with my CNC machine.

I used to designed the circuit/board in Eagle, save it to Gerber, then I used Cambam to import the Gerber & then have Cambam produce the g-code.

29-04-2016, 07:17 AM
i have purchased CopperCam and that seems to have solved my Gerber to Nc. Conversion problem. Great program and worth every penny. Now all I have to do is make it work with Mach3.

29-04-2016, 06:40 PM
Good that you're sorted :-)

It's been a couple of years since I've done much PCB milling, but this new (free) kid on the block looks to have real potential too FLATCAM...