Gerber to GCode for laser PCB design

Hello, I’m new to Snapmaker 2.0 and I would like to use the laser operation to create a custom PCB.
I’m using Eagle PCB as part of my Gerber design.

I’ve attempted to follow the example of using the FlatCAM, but the python support for this library is no longer available, Python 2.7 has reached end of life and no longer supports download of libraries needed to support FlatCAM operation.

I’ve also attempted to use the provided ULP utility Eagle2SVG. This does create a svg file that I’m able to include in Luban, but the circuit traces widths are not defined, and when I attempt to laser my media all I receive is a laser width line instead of an outline of the trace with a defined width.

Has anyone attempted to create a circuit PCB either with painting the copper clad media then burning off the areas of the circuit, or placing tape on the media and removing the tape where the circuit is needed?


You’re not going to burn off copper to make PCBs. How are you thinking the laser might be useful?

Personally I use toner transfer. Avoids the z height issues if the copper isn’t flat. Most people that machine pcbs do it with a v bit with CNC I think.

I have heard of using a laser with photoresist, don’t know much about it though.

There’s a good amount of info here for a start PCB Milling - RepRap

I think a fair number of people use flatcam, I haven’t tried it though. Anything that can take a Gerber file and generate isolation routing toolpaths will work.

What I’ve read (not personally tested) about an alternative method that the Snapmaker laser should be able to handle:

Paint the blank copper board with spray paint (black is best).

Use the laser to remove the spray paint to create an etching mask. Keep in mind that you need to laser the paint off the copper you don’t want to keep.

Dunk the board into a tank of ferric chloride or some other etchant, according to instructions you can find in many places on the Internet.

Once the unwanted copper is gone, take the board out of the etchant, rinse it clean, and use a suitable cleaner to remove the paint from the copper traces.

Disposing of the copper-contaminated etchant is left as an exercise, as my profs always used to say. :sweat_smile: