Author Topic: Desktop V-groove/V-cut machining <1000$  (Read 445 times)

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Offline AloyseTech

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Desktop V-groove/V-cut machining <1000$
« on: September 18, 2019, 12:46:30 pm »
Hi,

I'm looking for a cheap way to make my own V-cut on PCB. Maybe a cheap CNC would be able to do the job but I'm afraid about the precision. Does a V-cut desktop machine exists for less than 1000$ ? I'm not talking about the depanelizing device.

 

Online amspire

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Re: Desktop V-groove/V-cut machining <1000$
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2019, 12:57:33 pm »
Yes, but the lower power machines often have to be run at a much slower speed or with more passes.

How big a PCB do you need to be able to handle?

There are people using machines like the 3018 engraver machines to route PCBs.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32962705085.html

It is not a professional solution and you will have to find a safe solution for the fiberglass dust.

Expect to have to experiment for a number of hours till you work out the best way to use the engraver. The engraver bits supplied with the machines can be used at the start for testing, but they will not last long. You will need to buy some kind of better quality v-cut router bit.
 

Offline AloyseTech

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Re: Desktop V-groove/V-cut machining <1000$
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2019, 01:25:19 pm »
Yes, but the lower power machines often have to be run at a much slower speed or with more passes.

No problem, the process speed is not an issue. It just have to be reliable.

How big a PCB do you need to be able to handle?

My panel are usually 10x20cm or 20x30cm

The 3018 engraver machines solution does not inspire trust. In fact, I would like to be able the less possible setting to do and have a repeatable process.

Do you know any machine that could cut the panel directly (without previously made v-cut)? Some kind of table saw for FR4 maybe... I don't care if part of the process is manual.
 

Online amspire

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Re: Desktop V-groove/V-cut machining <1000$
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2019, 02:33:05 pm »
My panel are usually 10x20cm or 20x30cm

The 3018 engraver machines solution does not inspire trust. In fact, I would like to be able the less possible setting to do and have a repeatable process.

Do you know any machine that could cut the panel directly (without previously made v-cut)? Some kind of table saw for FR4 maybe... I don't care if part of the process is manual.
I don't know of another solution. Perhaps someone else has some good ideas?

Anyway, the CNC engravers are not bad for accuracy, and there is good PCB software like flatcam that can work directly off your PCB files.

It wouldn't be hard to turn the 3018 into a machine that very simply just does straight v-cuts - it would just be a very simple G-code file that is only a few lines long. You would just need a quick manual way to align the PCB and press start on the CNC (you would want the Offline Panel Option). It will lower the cutter, cut the groove in a straight line and raise the cutter. This is basically turning the 3018 into a device that just does straight line cuts at a preset depth.

If all the cuts are parallel, you could align the board once, and then just use the front panel to move the cutter left or right to the next v-cut position and press start.

You can use a v-cut, or just use a straight sided router bit to cut through the whole board - or even to cut the through board, but leave tabs.

Here are some cheap carbide v-cut router bits. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32794029970.html
 

Offline mrpackethead

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Re: Desktop V-groove/V-cut machining <1000$
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2019, 05:22:48 am »
Why vscore, when you can route right through
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Offline SWR

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Re: Desktop V-groove/V-cut machining <1000$
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2019, 09:40:05 am »
I'm looking for a cheap way to make my own V-cut on PCB.
This might be a stupid question, but here goes: Why not order your PCBs including the V-cut?  :-//
Do you make your own PCB's?
You should never go down on equipment!
 

Offline AloyseTech

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Re: Desktop V-groove/V-cut machining <1000$
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2019, 10:05:26 am »
Why vscore, when you can route right through
I need the panel to be complete when doing the assembly (paste application etc). Doing the milling after assembly is also not very possible (component on both sides, sensitive to dust/vibrations).

I'm looking for a cheap way to make my own V-cut on PCB.
This might be a stupid question, but here goes: Why not order your PCBs including the V-cut?  :-//
Do you make your own PCB's?
I don't make my own PCB, but I have a lot of slightly different PCB on my panels for testing purpose (up to 50). PCB manufacturer charge a lot for this much different design. My option is to order the panel without separation groove of "mouse bite" and cut it myself.
 

Offline mrpackethead

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Re: Desktop V-groove/V-cut machining <1000$
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2019, 08:24:07 am »
so, this is all about tryign to save a few dollars in pcb fabrication costs?
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Offline AloyseTech

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Re: Desktop V-groove/V-cut machining <1000$
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2019, 09:12:47 am »
so, this is all about tryign to save a few dollars in pcb fabrication costs?

Depends what you call a few. I test a batch of different antennas. I make 4 PCB per antenna (Antenna itself, Open, Short and Load calibration PCB). I have a dozen of antenna to test. The panel has 48 different PCB designs (actually all the same size). If it is considered as one design, I can make it for ~100$ delivered. Treated as 48 different design it cost me ~800$. So yes, I'm trying to save a few dollars.

Since I will probably repeat this process a few time, it seems more cost efficient to pay 1000$ on a Vcut machine and then 100$ each time on PCB.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2019, 09:40:50 am by AloyseTech »
 

Offline Kean

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Re: Desktop V-groove/V-cut machining <1000$
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2019, 11:07:53 am »
V-grooving is generally done with a modified/customised table saw and a V shaped blade, not on a CNC router.  This is why the PCB manufacturers often have strict rules on minimum sizes and spacing for V-cut.  Find a local saw blade company and see if the can supply & sharpen circular V blades.

If you are dealing with thin PCBs (<1.0mm) then precision of depth becomes quite critical, but the same is true of using a PCB router and there are various techniques to hold the material in either case.

A few times I've added isolation slots or done extra profile routing on PCBs on my 6040 CNC.  It's pretty simple, just a matter of fixturing.  I've never bothered to try doing V-grooves, but it should be possible if careful.
 


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