Sunday, 22 April 2007

Broken Bits - CNC Update

The CNC router work is really coming together now. As always, learning involves making mistakes so I've busted a good few router bits figuring out the limits!

The first picture is an engraved name-plate badge (to wear on my labcoat for live shows - yes, tongue-in-cheek) using sheet aluminium. This is a good test for making front panels - I've been using Abacom's FrontDesigner software (good value!) which exports .plt files which are then imported into Lazycam which comes with the Mach3 routing software. Initial tests had had the scaling all wrong, but I've now figured how to set things up in Lazycam and its all working good.

The 2nd image shows PCB isolation routing - automated circuit board manufacturing or at least semi-automated. Using Eagle and PCB-GCode (available from Cadsoft) you generate two files - one with routing info to route out the tracks and then a 2nd with drill info - change over the bit and set it to run drilling all the holes. Having used Press'n'Peel, ferric chloride and a mini-drill for pcb making for the last few years, there's great joy in seeing the CNC machine working its ways with the copper clad board!

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