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Ever since Seeed started allowing panelizing, they prohibit marking cut lines with drill holes which was my preferred way. It made cutting boards with utility knifes a lot easier. The only way to define panels now is with the lines on the silk.

So now, I need to find an easy way to cut PCBs.

What I want to do is get a little router table for my Dremel (http://www.amazon.com/Dremel-231-Shaper ... B0000302Y9 ) and use it with the 125 or 9909 cutter (http://www.amazon.com/Dremel-9909-Tungs ... pd_cp_hi_2 )

The cutter will not cut the board but will only score it so it is easy to break.


Any comments?

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I've experimented with many ways of cutting or scoring PCBs over the years.


My favorite is based on a pencil-like 1/8" micro die grinder (often $10-20 on sale at Harbor Freight). Its size and 56,000 rpm makes even my trusty Dremel feel clumsy (caution: don't use cheapo generic cutting wheels at its full speed) -- but it's not suitable unless you have a compressor.


Usable, but less good, is an oscillating saw (like the Stryker saw used to cut casts without harming skin) Harbor Freight's single-speed (11,000 strokes/min) which is often as low as $17 (and rarely sells for as much as $30, despite it's "official" $60 price) on sale works fine, but if you're going to *also* use it as an oscillating saw (it's a great hacking tool], I'd probably go for the 21K strokes Genesis saw from Amazon (the initial production run, at least, was great). For casual use, I wouldn't go spendier (a Fein Multitool can run $400 and $40/blade). I've done a LOT of home remodeling using the inexpensive ones with no real complaints.


(HF also has a pneumatic oscillating saw, which I don't own, but is cheaper and probably better than their electric one. Pneumatic tools tend to be cheaper, smoother and more powerful than their electric counterpart)


Any of the above is easily attached to a frame or stand cobbled together from scrap wood -- they exert minimal vibration or lateral force. I've made more versatile, better designed "permanent" stands, but I still happily use some of my quickie stands in my garage or on my electronics bench, vs. my basement wood shop.

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  • 10 months later...

If you have the board thin enough, you can cut it with a pair of scissors. I usually use 0.8mm board for this reason (besides the weight issue (for flying toys) or for my laminator)


I've never cut any board with vias so I don't know if cutting the board with scissors would damage those vias or not. I imagine if you have enough spacing & clearance, cutting it would cause no harm to near by vias.

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Finally got my hands on the Dremel table (Black Friday sales rule!)It doesn't work as good as I expected, but good enough.I think my bit might be the problem here so I will get another one and see how that works.
It looks like the cut is okay, but it strayed a fraction as you moved it. Try adding an auxiliary fence (smooth piece of MDF would do) with no gap, and tighter to the table, to the existing fence. That way, you don't have the lead or trail corner unsupported at any time. For your use, the fence will never straddle the bit anyway, so you don't need the clearance gap.
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Has anyone tried a complicated board outline with seeed instead? With small tabs between boards, no drill holes?


**Edit - like this** This is a board I sent to OSHPark. They obviously have much looser restrictions - but it would be nice to be able to do something like this for a bigger run of boards.



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