PCB Milling Questions


#1

I have done plenty of design for 3D printing just wondering if anyone has used their snapmaker for PCB. I am very interested in this aspect as it will greatly reduce prototyping time for small pcb’s I’d like to build. Does anyone have any suggestions on software for creating the g-code files that is very simple to use?


#2

I intend to use my snapmaker primarily for PCB milling. I haven’t received my machine yet, but when I do I’ll post my experiences on this thread. In the meantime I’m going to order double sided FR1 boards, PCB engraving and PCB drill bit sets from from the inventables online store. The engraving bits are for isolating traces and the drill bits are for drilling holes. I’m going to try flatcam first for converting gerber files into g-code. If I don’t like it, I’ll try something else.


#3

Have you received your snapmaker yet? Are you very good at creating simple 1 layer pcb’s? I have a design that I’d like made but have yet to master the art of pcb design!


#4

I did receive my snapmaker but I haven’t had a chance to try pcb milling yet. I hope to give it a try this weekend. I’ll post when I have results.


#5

What PCB design software do you use, would you be willing to design something for me, I have pictures and a drawing of it that I could include. I just now have begun to learn to process of doing PCB design and this one if very very simple for a camera trigger. its about 30mmx20mm single layer PCB. Here is a drawing and a attached picture of what I was hoping to make just not good enough yet but sure could use these as the fella that use to make them haven’t been able to reach him.


#6

You have an unusual requirement for a PC board. Electronic CAD programs are best for creating electronic component footprints and connecting them with traces. It may be easier to etch your design from a drawing than trying to produce it using circuit design software. Someone may be able to help you if you repost your question in a topic related to how to etch a simple graphic design.


#7

I would like to have a tutorial on creating pcb’s. I have already tried a lot with fusion360, flatcam, circuits.io but it just does not work. i am a beginner in this area and need some help to get started.


#8

Eagle is the defacto standard for schematic design and PCB design. Since Eagle was bought by Autodesk, Autodesk has added integration with Fusion 360, which can generate CNC G-code. However, I’ve had limited success pushing a circuit board layout from Eagle into Fusion 360. The problem I’m encountering is that unconnected pads (in a 40-pin Raspberry Pi header socket) are not being isolated from the ground plane in Fusion 360; isolation is present in Eagle. I have posted in the Autodesk Eagle and Fusion 360 forums and have gotten no responses.


#9

Speaking of Eagle, I found the following that might work. It depends on how standards-compliant the Snapmaker G-code interpreter is.

My Snapmaker is presumably on its way to the States (I’ve had the tracking number for over a week but it hasn’t shown up in the UPS tracking system yet), so I won’t be able to test it for a week or more.

I finally got a response from Autodesk admitting that there are geometry issues with Fusion Sync when pushing boards from Eagle to Fusion 360.


#10

I tried pcb-gcode last night. Installation was a snap, requiring no compilation. Selecting the “generic” flavor, I got files that appeared correct when loaded into SnapmakerJS, so I have high hopes that I can actually mill with them. Now I just have to wait for my Snapmaker to arrive.


#11

I tried PCB etching with a piece of wood and it came out pretty good. I used a 0.4mm end mill. I at least have a measure of confidence now that it’ll work on a copper clad board. My only concern is bit breakage, but I have a variety of regular and stub, uncoated and AlTiN coated bits.


#12

Very cool I have yet to even put on the milling part. Tried to setup fusion 360 but could never get it import anything. @TheBum what are you using to design your circuits?


#13

Eagle. The pcb-gcode scripts for Eagle are what I’m using to generate the G-code. https://groups.io/g/pcbgcode. Once the G-code is generated, load it into SnapmakerJS to see the origin; you’ll need to know it when you set the origin on the touchscreen.

Thus far, I’ve been unsuccessful in getting a copper clad board to mill with 0.4mm square end mills due to bit breakage. I think I know the main problem (speed), but I only have one bit left; I have more on order and should be here in a couple of days. These are the lessons I’ve learned thus far pertaining to using the end mills:

  1. Make sure the bit is not in the carving module while you mount the board on the build plate. It’s too easy to bump the bit and break it off.

  2. Make sure you run the setup script and lower the speeds from what the defaults are. I was running at the default of 200mm/min and was breaking off bits. I’m going to try 75mm/min on my next attempt.

  3. Be VERY careful when setting the origin that you go the right direction on Z and have the resolution set to 0.05 when fine tuning.

  4. Use the jog controls to find the lowest corner of the board and determine the Z height there. This is necessitated by the lack of bed calibration in the firmware for the carving module and will require that you keep track of how much you’ve moved the Z axis for each corner. You should only have to do this once for each bed swap.

  5. Once you find that Z position, back the bit off 1mm (or 10mm), jog to the x-y origin point, and then lower the bit 1mm (or 10mm) before tapping “Set Origin”. If the origin is within the bounds of the board, manually turn on the carver before lowering the bit so that you don’t damage the bit; after setting the origin, you can raise the bit back up and turn off the carver.

Hopefully, the Snapmaker firmware developers will add calibration to make this process easier.


#14

I slowed the speed to 75mm/min and still broke a bit. Once I get the replacement bits, I’ll try again at 25mm/min.

I went ahead and tried milling with the pointy bit and it actually came out decent. You can see on the right side that the pilot holes aren’t as deep as on the left side, so I guess I needed to go 0.05mm lower.


#15

Hi…i am a new user here. In my case I had limited success pushing a circuit board layout from Eagle into Fusion 360. The problem I’m encountering is that unconnected pads are not being isolated from the ground plane in Fusion 360; isolation is present in Eagle.

percentage calculator


#16

Known issue, acknowledged by Autodesk. I had the same problem. I’d recommend the pcb-gcode plugin for Eagle. The board above was milled using the G-code that the plugin generated.


#17

I’ve used KiCAD to make a simple PCB Layout. I have 4 gerber files. One for the traces, one for the outline of the board, and two for the drill holes.

Has anyone had any succes using these files? I’d like to hear from those that have. Does anyone know if snapmaker will include support in the CNC software?