EEVblog Electronics Community Forum

EEVblog => The AmpHour Radio Show => Topic started by: FreeThinker on November 12, 2010, 03:03:20 am

Title: Ah #16 Biz
Post by: FreeThinker on November 12, 2010, 03:03:20 am
Hi Again! :D
Just aquick comment to Chris about pcb manufacture.Have you considered a small CNC router? These are normally controled by a stand alone pc (does not need to be very powerful) they take the standard gerber files and convert them to Gcode and can route a 50mm x 50mm (2"x2") in less than 1/2 hour.Check out http://www.machsupport.com/ (http://www.machsupport.com/) for some VERY nice software and do a search for cnc routers and check out the specs.This can prove a very cost effective alternative for small quantity boards with a fast turn around requirement.I'm in the process of building one from scrap bits and pieces (ie slides from an old printer and scanner etc) but then I am environmentally friendly (cheap?) :D
Title: Re: Ah #16 Biz
Post by: ChrisGammell on November 12, 2010, 01:44:18 pm
Oh heck yes! Those are awesome and we use one at work. But I was using 8 mil spacing parts on the board I was making. In retrospect, I was quite demanding (3 day turn as well).
Title: Re: Ah #16 Biz
Post by: EEVblog on November 12, 2010, 03:26:29 pm
Oh heck yes! Those are awesome and we use one at work. But I was using 8 mil spacing parts on the board I was making. In retrospect, I was quite demanding (3 day turn as well).

8mil? that's freaking huge.
I used to do 6/6mil at home with laser printed transparencies and positive resist boards.
Problem was your board was 4 layer, not do-able with the basic cnc mill routers.

Dave.
Title: Re: Ah #16 Biz
Post by: FreeThinker on November 12, 2010, 06:47:55 pm
Oh heck yes! Those are awesome and we use one at work. But I was using 8 mil spacing parts on the board I was making. In retrospect, I was quite demanding (3 day turn as well).

8mil? that's freaking huge.
I used to do 6/6mil at home with laser printed transparencies and positive resist boards.
Problem was your board was 4 layer, not do-able with the basic cnc mill routers.

Dave.
Hmmm Yes I remembered the 4 layer requirement after I posted and was at work :-\.Still you could try and stick them together and run them through the laminator  ;D.
Title: Re: Ah #16 Biz
Post by: scrat on November 12, 2010, 10:27:52 pm
We had a complete high end prototyping line at work: CNC milling with calibration camera (0.1mm min. spacing), a press for multilayer, a reflow oven, stencil frame for solder paste, manual pick&place. It was a huge expense, but we ended using the milling machine only: the oven needed to be calibrated for each board, the stencil required expensive material and the press took a long time, while giving not so good results.
A good feature was the method for vias "metallization", which required some simple tools and a conductive polymer paste.

I think the CNC machine could be worth for a company which makes heavy prototyping, even if it costs a bit!

I'm surprised of the 6/6mils Dave could achieve!