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IndustryArena Forum > Other Machines > PCB milling > Cutting of PCB tracks
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  1. #1
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    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    7

    Cutting of PCB tracks

    Hello All
    Hope you all out there are keeping well and safe.
    I have many things on the go at this moment it time with my Micro CNC Mill, run with Mach 3. And tinker with small hand built electronic projects. I would like to bring these two together and cut out my own PCB tracks and hole layouts on copper clad boards. Can any recommend some simple free software to make up tracks and hole patterns then convert them to G Code to then port it over to the Mill to cut the holes and tracks. If possible the software has to run offline as the area in which my ManCave is located is in the dead zone as far as internet connection goes. Any suggestions will be most helpful.

    Paul

  2. #2
    Registered
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    904

    Re: Cutting of PCB tracks

    Hi,
    I use Eagle (free Demo version) to design the boards, it has a free ULP called PCB-to-Gcode that generates Gcode from
    the artwork and then I use Autoleveller to tweak the Gcode to accomodate any minor twist or bow in the PCB blank.
    I've been doing this for six years and for the last year almost daily.

    I have investigated Kicad (open source) and Flatcam (free) but have yet to make the switch, both seem good, I just have that
    much 'momentum' with Eagle and pcb-gcode.

    Craig

  3. #3
    Registered
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    891

    Re: Cutting of PCB tracks

    My workflow is:
    - FreePCB (to design the board and make Gerber files)
    - CamBam (to make G-code)
    - Autoleveller (to adjust the G-code for height variations)

    FreePCB and Autoleveller are free. CamBam is a paid program with generous trial terms.

  4. #4
    Registered
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    140

    Re: Cutting of PCB tracks

    I tend to use KiCAD for designing the PBC then (my own) GCAM SE to convert the Gerber files to G-code I can mill. One of these days I really ought to figure out auto-leveling too but I'm not quite there yet.

  5. #5

    Re: Cutting of PCB tracks

    Quote Originally Posted by PKCNC View Post
    Hello All
    Hope you all out there are keeping well and safe.
    I have many things on the go at this moment it time with my Micro CNC Mill, run with Mach 3. And tinker with small hand built electronic projects. I would like to bring these two together and cut out my own PCB tracks and hole layouts on copper clad boards. Can any recommend some simple free software to make up tracks and hole patterns then convert them to G Code to then port it over to the Mill to cut the holes and tracks. If possible the software has to run offline as the area in which my ManCave is located is in the dead zone as far as internet connection goes. Any suggestions will be most helpful.

    Paul
    CircuitCAM is often used here.
    http://cncmakers.com/cnc/controllers/CNC_Controller_System/CNC_Retrofit_Package.html

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