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Ideal CNC Machine for PCB Milling

Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by m5k, May 9, 2020.

  1. m5k

    m5k New
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    Hi, I'm looking for an open source machine ideal for PCB milling. Of the machines mentioned on this forum, which might be ideally suited for this purpose?

    The boards I'm looking to make are about 20cm by 20cm.
     
  2. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Master
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    If I were to build something dedicated to PCBs, it would likely be very similar to a gantry version of the MiniMill. Possibly even a single-column version that's extra-reinforced to have additional overhang for increased Y travel.

    It's probably the easiest thing- a fixed Z axis relative to an arbitrary machine origin- to try to work toolchanging into (which I would consider near-indispensible for PCB production, and relatively easy to achieve with those standardized 1/8" shank plastic-collar PCB tools)
     
  3. m5k

    m5k New
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    Hey Rob, that makes sense! Is there a link to the gantry version of the MiniMill?
     
  4. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Master
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    I'm definitely the wrong person to ask about pre-made things; as far as I can tell it doesn't seem to exist. I don't immediately hate this version though: Extendable Mini Mill

    I would add more fixed reinforcement to the back though, for a dedicated single-purpose machine like yours. Doesn't need to be "extensible" so much as "stick out a bunch".

    Probably some big ol' triangle plates like so:

    upload_2020-5-9_13-46-10.png

    So you can have an 8-10" Y travel without too much issue.

    I'd probably change the screws to belts too, maybe dual belts. The milling forces are low and high feed rates are likely more useful.
     
  5. Rick 2.0

    Rick 2.0 OpenBuilds Team
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    Truly a lot of options here. First one that comes to mind would be the Stinger V Micro Mill. In the discussion section there is a copy of the build using printed plates. Won't hold a full size spindle but I'm not sure you need one. If you're looking for a stock kit, the OpenBuilds C-Beam Machine is an option. Design is a bit dated and if I were building one for myself I would definitely redesign it to use the XL gantry plates (which didn't exist when it was created).
     
  6. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Master
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    Stinger's cool, reminds me of my laser. I wouldn't use dual Y/moving gantry though, for a constrained use case like this. I think a moving bed is also useful for reloading rigid boards conveniently. Slightly more easily automated for loading too.

    That's the problem with this kind of thing. Everyone has their own very specific idea of what perfect is. I've happened to think about making a PCB mill in this size class quite frequently though, which has given my vision a chance to grow rather ambitious. :ROFL:

    I tried to stay on topic by finding something already in Builds though!
     
  7. m5k

    m5k New
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    Thank you both, so much, for responding! Something that can be bought now and built later after feeling more comfortable is preferred.

    I was thinking the LEAD might be ideal since the bed doesn't move, and that could potentially eliminate a variable around precision.
    Maybe I'm wrong though, and the C-Beam or the MiniMill should be considered?
     
    #7 m5k, May 9, 2020
    Last edited: May 9, 2020
  8. Christian James

    Christian James Journeyman
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    I have a Workbee style 1010 and get excellent results isolation routing and drilling pcb's. For best results, I clamp a small sacrificial piece of MDF to the spoilboard and surface the top to get perfect "flatness" before mounting a blank pcb to it.
     

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