Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mill: lessons learned on milling circuit boards...

In one of my last posts I broke out some reoccurring problems I was experiencing on a consistent basis while trying to mill circuit boards. These six problems that I identified have all been solved. Here are some pictures of the finished board.

I also prepared a video last week of the whole process.

Now, on to how these problems were solved, in order of simplicity.

5) Drifting Hole

This was easily fixed by enabling the tapping feature of pcb-gcode.

2) Bad Motor Coupling

Here is an exaggerated image of the problem I was dealing with.

Because the coupling was off by only a small amount I decided to just take a file to it, which removed most of the symptoms and only took half an hour.

3) Not Round

4) Incomplete / Grounded Pad

6) Inconsistent Traces

All of these problems can be attributed to the part that connects the y axis threaded rod to the bed.

After closely examining the entire machine while running small quick movements I noticed it wobbling. I doubled the size of the part and the number of screws. Now it doesn't move.

1) PCB Thickness Tolerance

I am releasing the beta software I am using to add probing routines to the gcode produced through pcb-gcode. I'm calling it PcbSubtraction. I hope to extend it and add more documentation over time.

1 comment:

  1. For those who are using PCBSubtraction on 64-bit machines, replace the RXTX lib with 64-bit one, found at