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PCB Fabrication - Commercial or DIY.

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Hope to start a thread to share contacts and experience and tips for prototype PCB fabrications.


I use Seeed studio's Fusion Service for a small Launch Pad Booster for my intervalometer project, this is my first time sending my design out for fabrication and I am happy with their service and quality but the wait for delivery can kill sometimes.


Before this, as a hobbyist, I either use prototype boards, etch or mill my boards.


Wiring Prototype boards is a messy affair for me, works but aesthetically it looks bad. (I don't have the skills to make it look good)

I like etching but it is messy and and chemicals are hard to get now in this part of the world. The last time I etch was like 8 to 10 years ago.

Milling is a quick way to get a board out, looks decently good, but my mill is not equipped or permanently set up for PCB milling, so setting it up can be a chore, hope to build a low cost router to mill boards instead. Without a solder mask soldering a milled board can be messy as well.


I am hoping to move on to SMD components for my next project.


My mill is out of action now as I recent moved to a new apartment but here is a video of my last project using a milled PCB - a tachometer for the spindle motor, using PICs not MSP related. (hope to revisit this project with the Launchpad)




In acton.




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  • 2 weeks later...
The small one took about 1 minute.

The larger 2 took 15 minutes or so each to drill and machine.

I usually run the spindle at about 9500 rpm and I run the engraving tool at 15IPM (inch's per minute).


what kind of mill is that? gantry system??

For me tramming the mill is a pain.

Planing to build a small Gantry mill just to mill pcbs..

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For the bigger boards I used a Enshu DT center, its a gantry style mill where the X,Y, and Z are on the gantry and the table

is fixed.

For the smaller board I used a Fadal VMC15 which has the X and Y on the table and the Z is fixed in the X and Y.


What do you mean tramming? from your video your setup looks pretty cool.


Planing to build a small Gantry mill just to mill pcbs..


me too what kind of driver boards ect.. are you planning on using? Ive been looking into it.

Of course I would like to build the system myself , but dont want to re-invent the wheel.

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