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  1. #1

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    Question Double sided PCB with TNGv2

    Has anyone a step by step procedure how to make double sided PCB with PlanetCNC TNGv2 latest version.
    I have problems trying to follow the old tutorials on PlanetCNC's blog.
    How to translate the old commands to the new way of doing in TNGv2.

  2. #2
    Community Moderator Al_The_Man's Avatar
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    Re: Double sided PCB with TNGv2

    Wouldn't it be simpler to use a free schematic capture program such as KiCad which will also produce Gerber files for PCB, The are quite a few Chinese board manuf that are Really cheap.
    You get the added benefit of plated through holes etc.
    Al.
    CNC, Mechatronics Integration and Custom Machine Design

    “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
    Albert E.

  3. #3
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    Re: Double sided PCB with TNGv2

    Hi
    Al-The-Man is quite correct, it cheaper to have boards made than to mill them. The operative word is "boards", note the plural.

    I have in recent months made several dozen boards, each and every one of them a one-off. That is where the chemical etch production model
    breaks down, it is time consuming and expensive for one-offs. I can design a one-off board, often reusing circuit ideas from previous projects, but
    now required on a PCB approximately circular say, as opposed to the rectangular version from which I uplifted the circuit ideas, in an afternoon
    and isolation route it in an hour for the cost of the PCB blank.

    What that does not account for is the time, effort and expense that went into the mini-mill with which I do it. I made my mill as a hobby and
    so I don't count it as a cost when I make circuit boards. If I did......then the cost of isolation routed boards is expensive.

    Al-The-Man is also correct about plated through holes, I do miss those. I use small diameter copper rivets which are soldered top and bottom to
    secure 'vias'. Its not perfect but it works. Indeed you become quite adept at designing boards with this limitation in mind. For instance if you have
    a though hole component you can solder the top and bottom side of the component which then uses component lead as the through connection
    between upper and lower traces. I personally don't like doing so, it makes populating and testing of the board demanding and tedious.
    My preference is to use a rivet as a via. I might have say 20 vias on a board, but they are the only component that require soldering on both layers.
    Adopting that strategy means you have to allow for it in your design but it overall reduces the time and effort taken to populate and test a working PCB.

    Increasingly I make SMD boards with very few through hole components and therefore vias are less of a problem.

    To OP, if you have a machine that can maintain X-Y accuracy of at least 0.1mm, but better 0.05-0.02mm, and a Z axis repeatability of at least 0.02mm
    then making circuit boards is very doable. You might ask why the Z axis requires a higher level of precision than X-Y? Milling the top copper
    layer of copper (only 0.035mm thick on standard '1oz' PCB blank) requires that you cut through the copper but minimise the depth of cut into the
    underlying fibreglass. The fibreglass is very abrasive and therefore degrades tools rapidly, cut as little of it as possible.

    There are various strategies to ensure the PCB blank is perfectly flat....and its not trivial. Even brand new PCB material may have a bow or twist
    of 0.1mm, not enough to see but will absolutely wreck your beautifully calculated etching pattern. For this purpose I use a freeware software utility
    called Autoleveller to probe the surface of the board and programmatically adjust my Gcode to suit the bow/warp/wave of the PCB blank.
    This allows me to 'target' my depth of cut to be only 0.06mm which will cut through the copper layer and scarcely touch the fibreglass underneath
    despite the PCB blank being 0.2mm 'out of flat' across the whole board.

    I use and recommend 'Eagle' PCB drawing program. It made by Autodesk and they charge like a wounded bull but the freeware Demo version is still
    very useful. In particular there is a user contributed user-language-program (ULP) called PCB-Gcode that turns the artwork into Gcode for your mill.
    It works well and there is a whole forum dedicated to using the ULP to best advantage and generating good Gcode.

    Between Eagle and Autoleveller I have a isolation routing circuit board software suite all for free! I've just finished a board that has a VSOP56 outline, that
    is 0.75mm pin pitch and 0.3mm between lands, and its turned out perfect. So it is VERY POSSIBLE to make intricate circuit boards in various shapes
    and component technologies.

    Crag

  4. #4
    Community Moderator Al_The_Man's Avatar
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    Re: Double sided PCB with TNGv2

    CNC, Mechatronics Integration and Custom Machine Design

    “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
    Albert E.

  5. #5
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    Re: Double sided PCB with TNGv2

    Hi,
    yes that's a great blog. I excerpted this:

    Another turning point was when Autodesk purchased Eagle in 2016. Their move to a subscription-based license pushed a lot of people to KiCad.
    Prior to Autodesk buying Eagle it was available as a perpetual licence with a single seat fully developed Pro version costing $500USD. At that time I had been using the demo
    version which was adequate and so did not bother to buy a Pro license. Some short time later Eagle was sold to Autodesk and they sell it as a subscription....which I loathe.
    Perhaps I'm being unfair to Autodesk, there is one subscription model in my price range, and if my workload continues I'll be signing up.

    Its interesting that many people have reacted similarly with Autodesk's subscription model and can well believe that it gave KiCad a boost as they deserted Eagle.
    The main reason I've stuck with Eagle is the ULP that allows me to generate Gcode from the artwork. I suspect there is other ways to do the same things
    with other programs like KiCad.

    Under the current circumstances, namely a free demo version or a low cost mid level subscription, which fill my needs and an interface that I am now very familiar with I am
    not inclined to change. I will however be looking at the alternatives. I've already experimented with the hobbyists version of Altium ($500USDperpetual)
    but found I preferred Eagle despite the subscription.

    Shall take a look at KiCad.

    Craig

  6. #6
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    Re: Double sided PCB with TNGv2

    We will make updated tutorial for milling two sided PCBs with TNGv2 shortly.

  7. #7

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    Re: Double sided PCB with TNGv2

    That I will look forward to.
    Thanks

  8. #8
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    Re: Double sided PCB with TNGv2

    Hi.
    Iv'e downloaded KiCad and tried it out, its pretty damn good.

    I don't think it has the breadth of coverage of components and footprints that EAGLE has, but perhaps that is to be expected, after all EAGLE has been going for a long time
    and one might expect a pretty complete libraries package.

    Making new library entries in EAGLE is a pain, in this respect I think KiCad is preferable

    As of January this year EAGLE is bundled with FUSION 360 and the annual subscription is up to $500USD a year. That scotches it as far as I am concerned,
    Autodesk can take a hike. I would have been perfectly happy to pay $500 for a perpetual license or $150-$200 as an annual subscription this extortionate practice means I'll be bailing
    from ALL Autodesk products.

    KiCad being open source is very attractive.

    Altium Circuit Studio has a perpetual license of $500, and so I will revisit my earlier experimentation with it. I did not like the interface, but is probably more
    to do with my familiarity with the EAGLE interface rather than any genuine fault. Full blown Altium is of course one the few standards in the PCB
    industry so I would expect market leading library coverage.

    Either way I still require a software utility to convert the artwork generated by either Altium or KiCad to generate Gcode. Does anyone know of or can recomend
    such a utility?

    Craig

  9. #9
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    Re: Double sided PCB with TNGv2

    I've tried using Kicad but Eagle muscle memory is too strong in me. Been using it for almost 20 years.

    For what it's worth, I use V7.7, free. size limit is like 4"x5" which I can live with. I'll just keep using it. Library creation is pretty easy. I can bang a part out in 10-20 minutes, depending on the complexity. Biggest problem is getting the pads spaced right and the trick there is to set your grid to pad spacing. Besides, an awful lot of eagle parts out there are just plain bad.

  10. #10
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    Re: Double sided PCB with TNGv2

    Hi,
    I've been using EAGLE for some years and am quite accustomed to it. None the less I still find library part creation a chore, and what little I had to
    do with KiCad so far suggests its an improvement.

    Irrespective of the program used to generate the artwork I still nee a software utility to generate Gcode. I have download FlatCam but have not had any useful output yet.

    Craig

  11. #11
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    Re: Double sided PCB with TNGv2

    TNG software can import Gerber files directly. There is no need for CAM.

  12. #12

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    Re: Double sided PCB with TNGv2

    Quote Originally Posted by PlanetCNC View Post
    We will make updated tutorial for milling two sided PCBs with TNGv2 shortly.
    Any news about this tutorial?

  13. #13
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    Re: Double sided PCB with TNGv2

    So, I know this question is not directly related to MacJack original post, but it is something that I am interested it doing.

    I get wanting to make one's own PCB's. Personally I buy them, but I would be very interested in a process that lets me apply my own solder paste to the pads of a PCB.

    Often a solder stencil can cost as much as the PCB and they are a must for any board that has fine pitch surface mount components. I have not heard of anyone doing it, but the paste can be applied using the exact same process as a 3D printer. If you were able to apply the paste to the board using an extruder, you could do an entire board in just a few minutes.

    I have been thinking about making a 3D printer head for my router, but maybe I should make that a solder paste extruder instead.

  14. #14
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    Re: Double sided PCB with TNGv2

    You don't need a stencil for the larger SMDs - 803 and up, SOICs, SOTs., TSOPs, even LCCs can be soldered by hand.Basically anything with a lead can be soldered by hand. Have lots of solder wick handy! You can also use a syringe to lay down blobs of paste for a lot chips and do toaster over reflow. Solder mask is a must for any kind of reflow, by the way.

    Here's one I did completely by hand, no reflow. Note, I didn't not solder the Teensy 4...
    Attachment 442582

  15. #15

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    Re: Double sided PCB with TNGv2

    Quote Originally Posted by MacJack View Post
    Any news about this tutorial?
    I ask again, any news about this tutorial. I still can't figure out how to do, when applying both warp and transformation.

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