KFETS Part 6: Circuit Boards 2

Now with the X-Carve in my toolbox, I was able to prototype circuit boards much more rapidly than the last method (etch resisting). This way, I was able to test and revise much more quickly, speeding up my process significantly. Below, I depict multiple different projects as examples.

There were three stages to making a board with the X-Carve:

1. Designing the PCB

Using easyeda.com and a similar design that I had prototyped earlier, I made a schematic and a PCB. Below is a timelapse of me designing on easyeda.com.

I then exported the PCB as an SVG.

2. Setting up in Easel

In order to cut the piece, I broke the PCBs into 3 parts: the trace outlines, the holes, and the board outline. Using “Select Same > Fill and Stroke”, I isolated each part.

Screen Shot 2018-04-02 at 23.34.22

Next, I would trace the bitmap path of everything left after the selection and put that file into Easel in the same orientation.

Screen Shot 2018-04-02 at 23.38.56Screen Shot 2018-04-02 at 23.39.02Screen Shot 2018-04-02 at 23.38.47

3. Cutting the PCB

Since each design was laid out with the same orientation, scale, and homing position, I could maintain the same homing position between the three cuts and be sure that approximately the same board was being cut.

To cut the traces, I used bits from Inventables’ PCB milling set. To cut the holes, I used bits sub-1mm from the drilling set, and to cut the board outline, I used the 1/8” fishtail bit.


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