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LPKF Protomat S62 PCB router-Anyone used one?

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Looks like I'll have to learn to use the LPKF Protomat S62 at work. Has anyone used one of these routers? If so, are there any problems I should be aware of and any workarounds tips. Links to tutorials would also be appreciated. Thanks.


Fiducial recognition can sometimes be a bit of a pain when you flip the board to mill the other layer. I found that marking the fiducial locations with a pen before you flip it (directly on the white vacuum bed) helps aligning the board a bit faster.

Turn the vacuum cleaner off when you flip the board :P

Try to gently scrape the side of a PCB over the vacuum bed when you flip a board, it helps removing any left over residue from the drilling stage.

Be aware of the wear of the tools. I once prototyped a rather complex project where milling one side alone took 40 minutes. When I got ready to flip it, I noticed that the last few traces weren't cut deep enough. It's a good idea to get familiar with the tool adjustment program, even though you may find it a bit annoying and end up just hitting 'no' when it asks for tool adjustment (can turn that off in the settings btw). You never know what kind of mess the guy who used the machine before you left, so I found it a good practise to always adjust the tools.

Hmm, I may have some pictures somewhere, it's difficult to verbalize this.

EDIT: added pictures

Tool adjustment. First picture is a brand new tool, second is slightly used and needs to be adjusted slightly deeper.

Tool worn out at the end of 40 minutes of milling. (First board)

Same tool, adjusted. (second board)

Same tool, adjusted a bit too deep. (third board)

Thanks for the info.
It has a separate X60 monocular microscope to help with the adjustment. What are the main mechanical steps needed to adjust the depth or is it all done in software? How long do the tools last on average with simple boards?
I don't understand the fiducial recognition bit. The bare boards I will be using use 2 pre-drilled pin holes at the centre edges. The machine has predrilled 2 holes for 2 metal pins to be inserted in 2 plastic strips. The holes in the board line up with the 2 pins, so I'm assuming the fiducial recognition is only applicable to boards without these holes. How do you normally line up this type of board?


Ah, sounds like the machine is a bit different from ours, apparently the fiducial camera system is optional. Our machine has no metal pins and I have to drill 4 fiducial holes as the very first stage of any board I mill. Using metal pins to lock the board in place sounds a lot easier. Does it have the vacuum cleaner option?

Depending on the software setting, you will see this box everytime a tool is changed.

I am using the camera to measure the width of the trench "universal cutter 0.2 mm (8 mil)" (orange plastic ring). I do have a monocular microscope too but I find it too inconvenient to use since it needs a strong light source. Anyway, to adjust the depth of the cutting tool you will typically mill a short line somewhere where it doesn't interfere with your board (right next to it is fine) and measure the depth. (move the head into pause/parking position etc to open the cabinet)

A screenshot of the camera measuring the width of the universal cutter. I can mark two spots with the mouse and the software will display a delta x / delta y.

There's a metal ring/adjustment wheel around the dremel tool which you can turn clockwise to lower the tool and counterclockwise to lift it. The wheel is rather stiff but has identifiable increments. Turn it a few clicks, like five or so, to tune the depth and repeat milling a line/measuring until satisfied. You can actually see this in the first picture of my previous post. I milled like 4 mm or something, adjusted the depth and milled another 4 mm to the right and was satisfied with the width.

In short: Select a spot where you will mill a short line manually.
Start the motor (vacuum starts), lower the head, use the arrow keys in the software to move the head a short distance, lift the head, stop the motor and move the head into pause/parking position, open the cabinet and check the width. Repeat until satisfied.

The main tool (universal cutter) typically lasts 30000...40000 mm. We set the threshold to 30000 but as they are a bit expensive, you can try to squeeze out a little more. Worst thing to happen is that the tool breaks and simply won't cut at all. Be sure to monitor the quality of the cut.

Here's the tool setup we use at the moment, note the "Maximum [mm]" number of each tool. For drills this means number of holes drilled.

I marked the buttons needed to adjust the tool (attached higher quality version as a file)

Thanks for a very helpful post. It's good to find someone else who uses these tools. I hope you don't mind me popping back and asking more questions as I start to use it.
I do have the vacuum cleaner and table attached. I might try to get a camera fitted if possible as It will be easier to see properly.
One problem I've noticed is that the vaccum plate/table under the board has been etched into by the router/drill when it was demonstrated. Is this usual or is the bit going lower than it should? More questions later. Thanks.


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