All articles tagged as:

pcb milling

Automating PCB Layout for Milling

This post describes pcbpack, a Python script that automates the process of laying out multiple PCBs on a single panel for CNC milling. The tool is part of my gctools package, a Python framework and set of tools for manipulating gcode available on GitHub. When I started learning how to mill PCBs with a CNC I was making a single board at a time which turned out to be time consuming and prone to error. Each board needed to be positioned and aligned, the blank PCB needed to be trimmed to size and every milling operation presented it's own unique set of issues. Given that blank boards come in stand…

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CNC Probing

When you are milling PCBs with a CNC having a level surface is extremely important and can be very difficult to achieve. This post describes some of the techniques I used to get a level surface so I could mill PCBs with reasonable quality. Milling a PCB requires cutting away just 0.05mm of copper (or less) from the surface. If you cut too deeply you will damage the cutting tool tip and, due to the arrow shape of the cutting tool, make your isolation cuts too wide - reducing the width of the resulting tracks. If your cut is not deep enough the tracks will not be isolated and your board will hav…

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