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  1. #1
    This was my yesterday project ---
    Click image for larger version. 

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    and I briefly mentioned it in another thread.

    Doddy - I cut the PCB with a 1mm single flute mill to drill the holes and clear the bulk of the copper, then tidied up the tracks with an engraving cutter, DOC 0.2mm.

    The circuit was designed by an adaptation of one I found on t'Interweb. It is a logic indicator (Hi-Lo-Pulse) which used a 4001 quad NOR gate. I rejigged it to use a 4011 quad NAND gate as I could find some of those (I have probably also got a tube of 4001's somewhere in my entropy driven storage area).

    The circuit was drawn up using Circuit Wizard (which is old and has a very basic component library) and that produced the circuit board and output Gerber and Drilling files.
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    I then used CopperCAM to build a dxf from the Gerbers and then I put the dxf through the CAM process to give Gcode.

    This was all a small run as I want to do a larger board for my next(ish) project, but I will be starting with KiCAD for the circuit design.
    Albert Einstein may have been a genius, but his brother Frank, was a monster

    Having just moved to Windows 10 (which is crap) My stress levels are through the roof !!!

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  3. #2
    Technical question here -

    Is an "Entropy Driven Storage Are" a big pile of stuff? :D
    You think that's too expensive? You're not a Model Engineer are you? :D

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by magicniner View Post
    Technical question here -

    Is an "Entropy Driven Storage Are" a big pile of stuff? :D
    ..... and it is gravity powered.

    Sorry Nick, I know that you are not technically minded It is a shitheap, mainly on the floor.
    Albert Einstein may have been a genius, but his brother Frank, was a monster

    Having just moved to Windows 10 (which is crap) My stress levels are through the roof !!!

  5. #4
    "Entropy Driven Storage Area". Sounds like my brain. Though there are occasions when "It is a shitheap, mainly on the floor" fits as well!

    I've been successfully using the toner transfer method for PCBs for some years. I prefer surface mount components myself (easier than drilling all those exactly spaced holes) where the spacing between tracks can be only 0.6mm for SOIC chips. Have you any experience of cutting PCBs for SMD components? I'd be interested to see how the two methods compare.

    Kit
    Engineering is the art of doing for ten shillings what any fool can do for a pound.
    Wellington.

  6. #5
    I avoid SMD, I am not into that sort of thing.

    Now that I am in my 70's my dexterity isn't good enough for placing and soldering SMD's.

    In my younger days, before I had a CNC machine, I tried various etch mask methods with variable success. In fact I have probably still got the letraset type PCB transfer symbols in a file somewhere, but I doubt if they will stick now, they hardly did when they were fresh.
    Albert Einstein may have been a genius, but his brother Frank, was a monster

    Having just moved to Windows 10 (which is crap) My stress levels are through the roof !!!

  7. #6
    Nice work. Personally I don't remove the unneeded copper and prefer to create earth plane. It means less milling work. I also use a miniature table saw for cutting the PCB to reduce the CNC work even more. Previously I used Eagle but then my son didn't like Eagle because it is far too complicated to use if you are a newbie, so he found EasyEDA when he wanted to make some PCB artwork, and after having tried it out about a year or two ago I got stuck to that one. It's web based, so I can access it anywhere I am, very fast, fairly easy to use and to create your own parts, as well as to generate tracks with the locally installed auto router. It has all the necessary functions and it creates g-code as well.
    Last edited by A_Camera; 5 Days Ago at 06:53 AM.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Kitwn View Post

    I've been successfully using the toner transfer method for PCBs for some years. I prefer surface mount components myself (easier than drilling all those exactly spaced holes) where the spacing between tracks can be only 0.6mm for SOIC chips. Have you any experience of cutting PCBs for SMD components? I'd be interested to see how the two methods compare.

    Kit
    I enjoy NOT having to deal with chemicals any more. In my opinion, it is just as fast to mill than to etch, if you take all the parameters into account. I have done a few surface mount PCB but prefer hole mounted parts. It's simply easier to handle and also to read the values and correct mistakes in design.

    Drilling is really a non-issue, that's done accurately by the CNC, so it really doesn't matter. What is important is that the job can be restarted and repeated from the start because it does happen that the dill snaps and some times I don't see that before the job is done. This is especially the case with 0.6mm drills, I find them very easy to snap.

    Anyway, SOIC is just fine but you need a good CNC with high enough accuracy and repeatability.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by A_Camera View Post
    Nice work. Personally I don't remove the unneeded copper and prefer to create earth plane. It means less milling work. I also use a miniature table saw for cutting the PCB to reduce the CNC work even more. Previously I used Eagle but then my son didn't like Eagle because it is far too complicated to use if you are a newbie, so he found EasyEDA when he wanted to make some PCB artwork, and after having tried it out about a year or two ago I got stuck to that one. It's web based, so I can access it anywhere I am, very fast, fairly easy to use and to create your own parts, as well as to generate tracks with the locally installed auto router. It has all the necessary functions and it creates g-code as well.
    I don't always remove the copper earth plane, it depends on the proximity to the tracks and where I have to solder. I use Circuit Wizard, which is now not supported and is an old and creaky product and does not support surface mount components anyway. I find the circuit simulation good for a quick indication that I have got it right, although it doesn't handle floating logic inputs very well. It does allow me to juggle the component placing before routing the nets. The Gerber and drilling files it produces go into CopperCAM, again an unsupported program I have had yonks. This defines the tracks and can produce Gcode directly with earth plane copper removal if desired, but I prefer to output a dxf and control gcode production with EstlCAM. I can also introduce custom board outlines at this stage.

    It is not the latest whizzy whizzy method, but it works for me and it is software I am familiar with.
    Last edited by cropwell; 4 Days Ago at 12:29 PM.
    Albert Einstein may have been a genius, but his brother Frank, was a monster

    Having just moved to Windows 10 (which is crap) My stress levels are through the roof !!!

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Kitwn View Post
    "Entropy Driven Storage Area". Sounds like my brain. Though there are occasions when "It is a shitheap, mainly on the floor" fits as well!

    I've been successfully using the toner transfer method for PCBs for some years. I prefer surface mount components myself (easier than drilling all those exactly spaced holes) where the spacing between tracks can be only 0.6mm for SOIC chips. Have you any experience of cutting PCBs for SMD components? I'd be interested to see how the two methods compare.

    Kit
    I used to etch boards and find the chemical etching dirty and dangerous and you have the spent chemicals to dispose of. Then you have to accurately drill ! Nah! CNC for me !
    Albert Einstein may have been a genius, but his brother Frank, was a monster

    Having just moved to Windows 10 (which is crap) My stress levels are through the roof !!!

  11. #10
    Doddy's Avatar
    Lives in Preston, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 13 Hours Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 392. Received thanks 83 times, giving thanks to others 12 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by cropwell View Post
    but it works for me and it is software I am familiar with.
    That's all you need.

    (though Eagle IS better )
    Last edited by Doddy; 4 Days Ago at 05:12 PM.

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