Say hello to my little Friend

Brent Dowell

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My attempts at milling pcb boards on my ox were not looking to be not all that successful. My guess is that the use of belts and wheels for the axis was not all that conducive to getting the accuracy needed to generate some of the traces. It was working, but just not as well as I wanted.

So I decided to get one of those little screw driven 3018 mills I've seen other people have success with. Ordered Thursday, delivered friday, and it's up and running today.

I printed up some brackets for mounting the limit switches and what not. I still need to do a little messing around with the homing, it appears on these boards that the axis may be mislabled on the on the board. But I did just confirm I can do a homing cycle with grbl.

We'll see how it works. It seems like it will be a fun little tool to have around for doing small projects.

cnc3018_01.jpg
 

Brent Dowell

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Pretty thick acrylic, I wanted one that was all metal, but the ones I found the boards didn't seem to have the end stop connectors.

As it is, I think the Z and X endstops are mis labeled on the board.

Still, the acrylic is much thicker and different from the stuff on the Anet A8. I'm not unhappy with the materials at this point.
 

Brent Dowell

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Getting closer. Left was done with a .5mm end mill, right was done with a .1mm 60degree vbit.
Neither one is particularly useable.

I still have to work on the auto leveling. Seems as if something is happing on the upper right corner on both being a touch too low, as the isolation cuts were not made fully. Now I should say that these are painted, so I could do a short soak in some etchant to remove the copper where I did manage to scrape the paint away,

But I'm sure I can do better. In general, I'm not seeing the 'wobbly' lines like I saw on the OX.

The one on the left, I think the .7mm bit is just too thick, so will try with some smaller endmills and see how that goes. The depth of cut doesn't matter as much with an endmill.

The one on the right with the vbit I did cut too deep, which makes the isolation cuts wider than planned for. so for that I might try the auto leveling and cutting a bit shallower.



pcb attempt.jpg
 

Brent Dowell

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Well, Spent a little bit of time today playing around with this again.

I finally did a little bit of work to get the auto levelling working on it. Had to put a couple alligator clips on there to hook up to the bit and the copper board and upgraded the bCNC gcode sender app. Works like a champ.

I used a .6mm end mill on this and I think I can make this board work for what I want.

Next up, Going to use a v-bit and see if I can refine this a bit.

Worked great, just like the auto level on 3d printers do. It did a 5x5 matrix of points to determine where there were any issues. And there were. Over the last few months, the whole thing was a bit out of whack with the back of the y-axis being a bit lower than the front. My attempts without the auto level only had a bit of the milling done on the front, and the back was completely untouched. This was evenly etched all the way.

I'm pretty stoked about this, even though it doesn't look very impressive, lol.


pcb_autoleveled.jpg
 
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