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PCB Project Difficulties!

Discussion in 'CNC Projects' started by ClaudeJER, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. ClaudeJER

    ClaudeJER Well-Known
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    Hi Guys,
    I am a real newbie at this so please bear with me...
    I am trying to make some PCBs for a project I am working on.
    I drew the pcboard on Solidworks and trying to bring it into the Openbuilds software for milling but it keeps giving me an error about the toolpath.
    The board is pretty small, 6.35mm x 76.5mm so I was thinking that maybe even a 1mm endmill would generate an error so I scaled the drawing up and still get the error so now I'm thinking the error may be coming from the way the DXF file is being generated by Solidworks ??? I also tried to bring in a DRW file but it did not even open.
    Would someone here be kind enough to have a look at the Solidworks file and see why I cannot successfully generate a toolpath for it.
    In case someone would not mind having a look at the file, I attached it with this post.
    Thank you.
    Claude.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. David the swarfer

    David the swarfer OpenBuilds Team
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    I could look at the DXF if you post it. I do not have solidworks.
     
  3. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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    OpenBuilds CAM understands Gerber x274 (PCB format - can be exported from Eagle, Kicad, gEDA etc) - isnt Solidworks for CAD? Using a proper PCB tool will probably work a little better?

    Post the DXF though as David suggested (Or a cam.openbuilds.com workspace export (File -> Save Workspace (Export .OBC File) - If you post the OBC and the DXF I can get a better look of what you were trying to do inside CAM too (The OBC file exports your toolpaths you setup as well, so I can check if any settings you used is an issue)

    If the DXF isnt polylines, try Advanced -> Merge Geometry (When you edit the toolpath)
     
  4. ClaudeJER

    ClaudeJER Well-Known
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    Great info, Thanks.
    Pretty steep learning curve for an old brain like mine...
    Everything I have done so far has been in Solidworks and when I get lost in it, I give Fusion 360 a try.
    With this PCB project, I hit the wall with SW so I switch to F360 and I was able to produce the gcode for it but when I try to put it in the controller, it gives me a G9(I think) error, I did not make a note of the exact error yet but I was going to go through a code list to see why F360 is giving me a GRBL gcode that the controller does not recognize ???
    Upon reading your replies to my questions, I recognize that my DXF problems are probably self inflicted as all the SW and F360 CAD stuff I have been trying to process has been done in 3D. As you can surely tell, I am new to CAD/CAM and any machine processes, so thanks for all your help.
    BTW, what is the significance of any gcode being listed in RED when looking at it in the controller gcode editor?

    "isnt Solidworks for CAD?"
    It does have a CAM module which I have and it also has a PCB module which I do not have.
    Side note here, My son is in his first year mechanical engineering and is a wiz with SW CAD so I thought I would just go that route for being able to use him for tech support so to speak!

    I will look at the PCB you listed above.
     
    #4 ClaudeJER, Dec 31, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  5. ClaudeJER

    ClaudeJER Well-Known
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    Here's my DXF R14 file created with SW.
    I just tried it in OB CAM and gave me the toolpath error and it won't generate the gcode.
    As I said, this board is quite small and I suspect that even the smallest 1 mm endmill is too big for some of the SMD traces I have in there, Is that correct ?

    Here's the two files, I had to zip the obc file because of uploading restrictions.
     

    Attached Files:

    #5 ClaudeJER, Dec 31, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  6. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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    I'll check when I get into the office in the morning, being in GMT+2 (; its almost evening here, so i am heading out for New Years. (Wishing you a great one too) But i suspect you are spot on with your guess. For PCBs get some 0.1mm 30deg V Bits. They rock. Checkout the Christmas Tree project i posted in the Projects section last week.
     
  7. ClaudeJER

    ClaudeJER Well-Known
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    I did look at the PCB Christmas tree and like it a lot. I did look at the settings and bit choice however, looking at the bit choices in OB CAM, it looks like 1 mm is the smallest and I did not see anyway to edit the bits or pick a V bit, did I miss it hidden somewhere else ?
    Thanks for having a look at my file, I'm looking forward to feddback on it.
    Happy New Year.
    Claude.
     
  8. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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    Just type in 0.1mm
     
  9. ClaudeJER

    ClaudeJER Well-Known
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    I thought I did that a while back and it did not seem to take it but I’ll try again and see.
     
  10. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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    It does. Guaranteed. Check around 0m35 on that Christmas tree project (Screencap:)
    Screenshot_2018-12-31-23-57-37-809_com.google.android.youtube.png
     
  11. ClaudeJER

    ClaudeJER Well-Known
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    I don't know how you can set your endmill diameter to 0.1mm, my only choice starts at 1mm, if I select .1,.5 or anything under 1mm, I get a red box???
    Can you try that with my DXF file and see if it works for you?
     

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  12. ClaudeJER

    ClaudeJER Well-Known
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    There's got to be something with that DXF file I'm feeding into the CAM software, I just tried with a few other DXF files and I get no such limitations!
     
    #12 ClaudeJER, Dec 31, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  13. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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    Its red because ".1" is not a number. Type "0.1" you are missing the zero
     
    #13 Peter Van Der Walt, Jan 1, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
  14. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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    Checked your DXF and its not polylines (individual line segments does not constitute a closed vector, nor can it be automatically closed as the segments is not in-order unless its exported as Polyline)

    Export as closed POLYLINES

    What is a polyline: About Polylines | AutoCAD 2016 | Autodesk Knowledge Network

    First google result for "Solidworks export polyline dxf" : Export to DXF with closed polylines | SOLIDWORKS Forums - mentions autocad as inbetween step, but i'll leave that research to you... i don't have Solidworks sorry

    Moral of the story, we need closed vectors to work from. For DXF, that means it has to be proper polylines.


     
    #14 Peter Van Der Walt, Jan 1, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
  15. ClaudeJER

    ClaudeJER Well-Known
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    Thanks for your time with this, I will try all of your suggestions.
    Claude.
     
    Peter Van Der Walt likes this.
  16. JustinTime

    JustinTime Master
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    Claude, is it easier to design circuits in a CAD program rather than doing it in a dedicated program like Eagle? I know that Eagle has an option to export g-code files.

    Just curious, not judging or criticizing.
     
  17. ClaudeJER

    ClaudeJER Well-Known
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    Justin, I just can't answer that as I have not tried any other way yet.
    When I started looking at making this pcb, I was looking for cad templates for the smd leds, resistor and connectors and I could not find any for the led so I started doing the whole thing on cad so that's how I started with this. It is a very simple board design and it seemed easier to just make it on cad and go from there, It doesn't look so simple anymore !

    Peter, The screenshot I uploaded up above shows .1 but believe me, it makes no difference if I enter 0.1, it still shows it in a red box with a message that tells me to enter either a 0 or 1.
    I tried with many other files and for some reason, I am able to enter any values in between 0 and 1 with no issues at all.
    I looked at my SW settings again, R14 and polyline are checked.
     
  18. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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    The issue (Error: creating toolpath) is your DXF, not the endmill setting. As its a bunch of indvidual lines the maths cant figure out what goes where and gives up. It needs to be polylines...

    Ps JustinTime, eagle itself doesnt do gccode, you need a ULP. OpenBuilds CAM Gcode Creator - Public Beta understands gerber x274 though, that you can export from eagle without any extra plugins

    Sidenote, tested and 0.1mm still works... Doest give me red block (ie failed validation). The validate function is very simple; if typeof(value of the input) == a number then its OK, else not.

    What browser are you using (Won't affect the toolpath error, just curious)
     
  19. ClaudeJER

    ClaudeJER Well-Known
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    You are right, there’s something wrong with the file and I will have to redo by breaking it down and simplify even more and see where the problem is.
     
  20. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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    Use QCAD, AutoCAD or Draftsight to merge the lines into a Polyline?

    Though personally, for PCBs I'd go for Eagle or KiCAD


     
  21. ClaudeJER

    ClaudeJER Well-Known
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    Seatback gcode 1.JPG Earlier I also asked what the significance of the red gcode in the gcode editor and maybe the question was missed?
    Here's what I'm talking about:
    Seatback gcode 1.JPG Seatback gcode 1.JPG
     
  22. Gary Caruso

    Gary Caruso OpenBuilds Team
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    I just tried your file in Estlcam, with one issue, i had to draw a border around the part to end the pocket functions.. but otherwise was easy to make an "Island Pocket" :)
    I really should start playing with the Openbuilds Program! :) I'm not sure about the red code.
    Cheers
    Gary
    upload_2019-1-1_21-43-51.png
     
  23. ClaudeJER

    ClaudeJER Well-Known
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    Thanks Gary, It's a code 18 error for sure...
     
  24. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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    The colors in the gcode editor is just Ace editor's Syntax Highlighting Ace Kitchen Sink

    Any errors you get comes from the controller. Grbl doesnt support all gcode, so make sure your gcode from elsewhere is grbl compatible. We do nothing with it, just show you what Grbl said.
     
  25. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Master
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    This is a (problematic-slash-incomplete, now I actually look at it, but I wasn't planning on using it anyway) DXF from Eagle, and I still get an error with sub-1mm bits?

    Eagle_DXF.JPG

    Eagle_DXF2.JPG

    I just Googled and it looks like EAGLE isn't natively exporting polylines anyway (very helpful, Autodesk), so I tried again with the Gerber files, but still nada:

    Eagle_GBR.JPG

    So I'm not sure. Not that, between Fusion 360 and bCNC, I particularly need to use the OB CAM, but it seems quite nice so having it at least as an option would be cool.

    I guess if you never use offsets and just drive right down the lines, it would be fine, but as soon as tool diameter offsets come into play it's a problem. You could define your traces and pads in-software as the correct size to give you the required offset if you needed to, but it's a problem that shouldn't require solving.

    (Firefox)
     
  26. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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    Will test on Firefox today. Chrome does the validation correctly (no surprise, chrome is the best always)

    Thanks for mentioning the browser you use as that makes checking easier.

    Probably same as Firefox: how to show number input value with decimal spaces (sound like firefox not honoring the html standard, again)
     
  27. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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  28. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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    Came in an hour early, fixed the bug... Please test, I think I updated all fields that are Number inputs, but if you stumble on any other place where Firefox throws its toys out, let me know
     
  29. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Master
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    There's apparently a simple fix I just tried, but I'll go back in and refresh to see your update.

    OBCAM_FFX_numberFix.JPG
     
  30. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Master
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    I see it. Yep, that did it. If people are defining their tools more precisely than that, they have bigger problems! :ROFL:
     

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