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Author Topic: PCB Isolation Milling using LazyCam  (Read 11221 times)

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Offline wpy

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PCB Isolation Milling using LazyCam
« on: October 08, 2008, 07:24:00 AM »
Hello,

Could anyone please tell me if LazyCam yet supports PCB isolation milling?


Kind regards,

Bill

Offline Chaoticone

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Re: PCB Isolation Milling using LazyCam
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2008, 09:08:10 AM »
If you have a DXF of the paths you want to mill, it should work. I'll let some of the Lazycam usesrs comment on this though. I know very little about Lazycam.

Brett
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Offline RICH

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Re: PCB Isolation Milling using LazyCam
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2008, 07:21:08 PM »
Hi Bill,
Some were i saw a program for just doing boards and it was not that expensive. Not sure if it was here or the
internet. i would guess the Internet and it may have been shareware . The point is ,that you have something all setup which would save you time and the g code could be run by Mach.
As far as lazycam is concerned, you'll need someone who has used it for milling. I just use it for turning.
RICH
« Last Edit: October 08, 2008, 07:23:51 PM by RICH »

Offline Greolt

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Re: PCB Isolation Milling using LazyCam
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2008, 07:39:16 PM »
We are probably not answering your question as you hoped.  :)

Some PCB software will out put a DXF of the trace edges.  I know DipTrace will.

And again I don't use Lazy Cam but I'm sure you could produce toolpaths with it from the DXF.

What I do is use Eagle.  It has a free version.  :) 

And there is a ULP  (like a plugin) that directly produces gcode to isolate the traces.

http://pcbgcode.org/index.php

http://millpcbs.com/

Sorry I can't answer your question more as you asked it.

Greg

Offline Jeff_Birt

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Re: PCB Isolation Milling using LazyCam
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2008, 12:34:29 PM »
i second the Eagle/pcbgcode method. Works great with mach and it is free. Well the size limited version of Eagle is free (and works great) and PCBgcode is written mainly by one guy and distributed freely. I always like to support the guys who do good quality share ware.
Happy machining , Jeff Birt
 

Offline Sage

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Re: PCB Isolation Milling using LazyCam
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2008, 01:24:24 PM »
My version 4.16r2 of Eagle does not appear to have the ULP named PCB-gcode. It that the name of the ULP I should be loooking for?
I checked out the links you provided and at the pcbgode site I was able to download (I GUESS) what was the ulp in zip format. I looked in the zip file and there is a whole bunch of what looks like C program files.
If I have this correct I guess I need to know how to get these files into Eagle to make the ULP.
Can someone enlighten me on this?

Sage
« Last Edit: October 09, 2008, 01:41:22 PM by Sage »

Offline jimpinder

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Re: PCB Isolation Milling using LazyCam
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2008, 02:07:58 PM »
You can download the PCB Gcode from the following link :

http://www.brusselsprout.org/PCB-Routing/

Unzip what you download into the ULP folder and away you go.

To call the program use run pcg-gocode.

Its as simple as that.

I have just finished a board yesterday - I had a bit of trouble getting the settings right. I can only seem to get a 0.6mm (24 thou) or a 0.8mm (32 thou) for my Dremel machine, and I am not sure how to utilise this in the PCB GCode. I got a good image with Eagle, and the last try with PCB gave me a 2500 line program for top cut and bottom cut. The top drill program I have siorted into a more logical sequence, and by putting bracketed comments in, I can keep track of where Mach is in relation to the program.

The program in pcb gcode ran well, but in my latest attempt surrounded all the "electrical islands" with a border, using another 7 or 800 lines of code - and took quite some time.

I snapped my milling bit on the next attempt ( I had removed the border with manual editing) - so it will have to wait until I get some more bits.

The fault lies with my machine, in that sometimes it doesn't retrat properly and hence plunges too deeply on the next cut, then snaps.
I need another Gecko for the Z axis :'(
« Last Edit: October 09, 2008, 02:19:22 PM by jimpinder »
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Offline Sage

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Re: PCB Isolation Milling using LazyCam
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2008, 02:57:35 PM »
Ok thanks.
I download the ULP zip file and put all the files in the C:\programs\eaglexx\ULP directory and it works fine.
What confused me was (and still is) that there are a lot of files in the pcb-gcode ULP zip that are not typical for the stuff I saw in the directory. eg. a lot of *********.h files and other stuff.
 Most of the existing stuff in the directory was just .ulp and .bmp files.
I backed up the directory just in case and I need to put it back.

To answer your question (maybe). If you run the other ULP named pcb-gcode-setup, Theres is what appears to be a setting for the tool size in one of the tabs. It appears to be defaulted at 10thou. and the overlap is set for 5thou.
My question is where do I get a 10thou mill? I suppose I can get away with a bit the same size as the biggest gap betwen copper traces and set the tool size appropriately.
What type of tool do you use in the Dremel. I'll have to come up with another solution to use my mill drill. Maybe an adapter to hold a dremel in an R8 collet.

Does this sound correct?

Sage

Offline Greolt

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Re: PCB Isolation Milling using LazyCam
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2008, 04:44:59 PM »

My question is where do I get a 10thou mill? I suppose I can get away with a bit the same size as the biggest gap betwen copper traces and set the tool size appropriately.
What type of tool do you use in the Dremel. I'll have to come up with another solution to use my mill drill. Maybe an adapter to hold a dremel in an R8 collet.


What most use for trace isolation is actually a vee bit.  60 or 45 degrees.  See the spade style bit in this link,

http://www.drewtronics.net/

Here is a video I did using such a bit,

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=bHCCCjdnbQ4

Greg

Offline wpy

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Re: PCB Isolation Milling using LazyCam
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2008, 09:16:06 AM »
Hello,

Thank you for the replies, especially Greg.

My question really was, have there been any recent changes in LazyCam to support PCB isolation milling.  Before I bought my license for LazyCam (quite some time ago), Art lead me to believe that support was imminent  :).

I don't like/use Eagle and already have a significant investment of both time and money in a competitive product (Easy-PC by Number One Systems).

For your information, DeskPCB from IMService encapsulates the required functionality.


Bill