Tory @ MyDIYCNC here again to show you another cool project that is very easy on your Desktop CNC machine. We are going to be milling out isolation tracks into blank PCB material to male rapid-prototyping printed circuit boards. With all the right tools, its fun, cool, useful, and easy! So lets go ahead and jump in and get started!
Milling PCB's is the quickest, cleanest (no chemicals) and easiest way to get from on-computer circuit design to prototype board in your hands, ready to be soldered up to test. We do this routinely in-house and use EagleCAD to design our circuit boards and it’s pcb-gcode plugin to export our newly-designed PCB to G-Code to be processed in FabCAM on our desktop CNC machine.
This can be done with FabCAM on PC, Linux or Mac. Also FabCam comes with free sample PCB G-code files.
First off, lets get all the supplies ready. This is what we need:
Your CNC machine, I am using my MyDIYCNC Desktop CNC machine.
One V shape bit, I am using a 20 degree bit, I like this one for the thin tracks it produces.
One end mill to mill out a level bed, I am using a 1/8" router bit.
A sacrificial piece of board for a milling bed, I am using a piece of PVC foam board.
An adhesive tape or some sort of way to mount your milling bed to your CNC machine and your PCB to your milling bed. Carpet tape is what we use, works great and can be found at most hardware stores. I advise you not to use standard double sided tape as this would not be strong enough to hold the material in place during the milling process. Do not use any double sided foam tape either as this will create an un-even mount for the PCB and defeat the purpose of milling out a perfectly flat bed (we'll get to that in a moment).
Also of course your blank PCB material.
Let's move onto the next step!