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Re: New people welcome !! Come in here and introduce your self!
« Reply #2460 on: August 26, 2017, 01:22:56 PM »
Thanks for your reply.  I looked thru the manual that I have, but it does not give any info about the servos.  From my past dealings with Southwestern they will not give out that kind if information.  I do know that the servos are 110 volt.  Southwestern does now make a upgrade controler that cost over 6 grand.  Was hoping to not have to spend that much. 
Re: New people welcome !! Come in here and introduce your self!
« Reply #2461 on: August 26, 2017, 03:16:13 PM »
Hi,
if you are going to convert to any other system you will have to find out about the servos. Lean on them, this is your machine if they
won't provide information about its sate use take them to court. They are doing this so you spend money with them....remind them that
unless you are happy with their business practices you won't be spending a cent with them!

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!

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Re: New people welcome !! Come in here and introduce your self!
« Reply #2462 on: August 26, 2017, 08:44:54 PM »
Thank you Chad for the warm welcome! Hi everyone, I'm Bill. I am new to the forum. I am thankful for forum's like this. It is awesome to see so many people that are like minded and enjoying what they are doing. I got bit by the CNC bug fairly recently. My hobby has been electronics since about age 10. I was the kid who hung around the local radio shack and tv repair shop. I would drag home every radio and tv I could carry off of the curb on collection night, to find out how it worked. I learned a lot of things the hard way but sometimes that's just what it takes. (It's a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll!) I eventually realized I could get paid to do what I love and began work for a tv repair shop in 92. It was the best decision of my life! I've been in the industry since and am fortunate to be able to say, I don't mind my job. I am currently an electronics engineering technician working for an LED lighting company. I am also attending university for my EE degree. I build LED lighting prototype light fixtures and the associated electronics that power them. I get to build test fixtures to take measurements for new designs. I often get to design parts in Solidworks which is quite interesting in itself. Cad is not hard to learn and is awesome! It is fun to see your ideas quickly turn into parts for your designs! I'll admit that doing what I enjoy for a living has, at times, taken some of the fun out of it. When you have to do it, it isn't exactly the same. So you look for projects that fuel your interest... things you enjoy doing. I often work closely with the good people in the machine shop at work. Machinist's work has always been interesting to me and CNC puts a lot of that into a language I can understand. I have done some metal work in the past but nothing CNC. My electronics background helps a lot with understanding CNC and makes it all the more interesting to me. I need to make my own PCB's and some small metal and plastic parts for my latest electronics project. I am building a time-lapse camera (raspberry pi) that transfers photos via Wi-Fi to my home computer network. It is night-vision capable and is solar powered so, no wires at all! I plan to use it in my garden and take time-lapse photographs of another hobby of mine, HOT peppers! I need a lot of custom parts made and I hate to ask the guys in the CNC shop for too many favors doing "government work". So I recently bought a chinese 3040 machine. Now I have another hobby to make my other hobbies more fun! (does anyone else have this same problem?) I was planning upgrades and mod's before the machine even arrived. After "monkeying" around with it for a couple of days I have everything working but I haven't actually milled anything yet. I think I am far enough along to start making some test cut's soon but I already see a ton of reading I would like to do here on the forum as I go along. I am having a blast learning about industrial machinery and CNC machining. I ran across this site in all my searches and am happy I did. I was considering GRBL for a while until I checked out Mach 3, awesome! Exactly what I was looking for! Thank you for all of the great information here, it is very much appreciated. It is my sincere hope that everyone here is enjoying what they are doing as much as I am!
« Last Edit: August 26, 2017, 08:55:09 PM by Z71Boy »
Re: New people welcome !! Come in here and introduce your self!
« Reply #2463 on: August 26, 2017, 10:34:28 PM »
Hi,
if you want to make PCBs check out EAGLE and a user script called PCB-to-Gcode...match that to another useful bit of software Autoleveller and
isolation routing is ready to go, have been doing a few TSSOP no trouble!

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!

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Re: New people welcome !! Come in here and introduce your self!
« Reply #2464 on: August 27, 2017, 01:02:14 AM »
Hi Craig!

Thank you. I have been using Eagle for years but have always made boards with photolith and etchant, as I'm sure you know, a messy process and not very ecologically sound. I just found out about PCB G-Code a short while ago and was ecstatic about the idea of milling my own boards at home! It started a shi*storm of research and development that I am really enjoying. The more I learn about CNC milling machines, the more possibilities I see.

I am grateful for the reply and for the advice.

Best Regards,
Bill   
Re: New people welcome !! Come in here and introduce your self!
« Reply #2465 on: August 27, 2017, 02:32:43 AM »
Hi,
isolation routing of PCBs was the first and principle reason for building my mill in the first place. What appeals to me is the flexibility... you can have
a circuit idea and be soldering parts on a board within hours.

One of the biggest challenges to get isolation routing to work well especially fine details of SMT is getting the blank absolutely flat and level,
within 1/4-1/2 thou is required. For this purpose a software utility called Autoleveller might as well be mandatory. Its free but an enhanced subscription
version is much preferred for 20GBP. Goggle Autoleveller.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!

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Re: New people welcome !! Come in here and introduce your self!
« Reply #2466 on: August 27, 2017, 08:45:27 AM »
Autoleveller, that's niiiiiiiiice! So it probes the blank PCB in "Z" and records the offsets at "X" and "Y" locations on the part. Then, when you have your machine code ready, you run it through autoleveller and it add's in the offsets for the workpiece so it can reference the cuts to the profile of the board. Hmmm, that's smart! I would of course, still try to get the part as level as possible. Right now, I'm trying to figure out what I can use for a waste board under the PCB. I have a 0.500" piece of delrin in mind. If I clamp the delrin sheet down and face it with an end-mill, it should be true to the "Z" axis I think. It might be difficult to face the delrin cleanly though, it's like teflon n will melt if the tool speeds aren't just right. I'm hesitant about using aluminum as the bit will need to go through the PCB at times or very nearly and I don't want to damage tooling unnecessarily. MDF or even HDF seems a logical choice I guess, it's reasonably cheap and hard. Thoughts?
« Last Edit: August 27, 2017, 08:51:37 AM by Z71Boy »
Re: New people welcome !! Come in here and introduce your self!
« Reply #2467 on: August 27, 2017, 02:38:32 PM »
Hi,
I used 1/2 inch acrylic because I already had it. While the pocket is level with respect to the z axis it can't do any thing about flex/twist/bow in
the PCB blank, and flex/twist/bow is there, seldom more than 0.2mm, but you're trying to cut a 0.035mm copper layer. I regularly set the cut
depth to 0.06mm, if there is any flex/twist/bow then it will cut too deep and wear the tool or not cut deep enuf and leave copper un etched.
Even holding down the blank with screws at the corners is likely to induce flex in the board sufficiently to wreck the result. I now use doublesided
tape to hold the board down. Its not without its drawbacks but it works OK.  Vacuum holding would probably be best but have not yet got
around to trying it seriously.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!

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Re: New people welcome !! Come in here and introduce your self!
« Reply #2468 on: August 27, 2017, 05:35:14 PM »
Cool. I didn't even consider acrylic. I wondered about tool life and FR4. Fiberglass is more abrasive than copper. A machinist at work makes work related (metal core) LED PCB's for me. He uses double sided tape too. He's never really mentioned any problems with it but that doesn't mean there aren't any. I notice he has trouble lifting the boards off sometimes when they are done and has to bend them some. We came up with the idea of putting acetone around the board first and letting it sit a minute to soften the adhesive, it just doesn't seep in far so it takes time (lift, soak). I wouldn't think their would be much lateral load on the pcb at all. a sharp bit and the right tool speeds so your not scraping copper off and an accurately cut pocket might be good enough with a vacuum system. If you could mill another larger pocket on the bottom of the acrylic with a bunch of small holes into the upper pocket, and mill a pocket for an o-ring around the edge of the bottom pocket and mount that to a thin aluminum plate that fastens to the table, you might have an easily created vac system. I would think a takeoff from your shop-vac might do it and suck up some dust in the process. Don't know what kind of pressure would be needed but it might be worth a try.      
« Last Edit: August 27, 2017, 05:37:07 PM by Z71Boy »
Re: New people welcome !! Come in here and introduce your self!
« Reply #2469 on: August 27, 2017, 08:34:39 PM »
Hi,
yes you are right, excessive cutting of fibreglass dulls tools BIGTIME!. The aim is to have as little cut depth as possible
and yet not miss any copper that needs be cut. Doublesided tape can distort the board on removal, any idea to have
the adhesive release is a good idea.

One board I make has 12oz copper, yeah thats right 0.42mm! I require flood cooling to achieve useful tool life
but requires a good doublesided tape which can cause a real problems when time comes to release.

I have tried, although without great effort, to use vacuum. My preference is to drill thru holes before etching which
stuffs up the vacuum.

I think if we wish to carry on this conversation we should start a new topic rather than clutter up this one.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!