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Tutorials: PCB 101 First time

SteveMoto edited this page Jun 29, 2018 · 1 revision

note: This material provided by Erik Shorb via email.

  1. Clean Copperclad PCB with steel wool or equivalent until shiny. If you skip this step, you may damage a tool bit when probing.

  2. Clamp Copperclad PCB to waste board - want PCB to be held down "flat" and secure. Double-backed tape works well for some.

  3. Mount First Drill bit in Router.

  4. Roughly locate the Router/bit to starting location and turn on CNC machine power.

  5. Start bCNC

  6. Connect to CNC via bCNC

    • Select File Menu
    • Select Serial Port
    • Click on Open
    • Select Control Menu
    • Click on Unlock
  7. Prepare for Autoleveling

    • Select File Menu
    • Open gcode file for cutout routing - this will make it simple to setup the correct Autolevel area
    • Position bit to X and Y start location using Control widgets.
    • Select Probe Menu
    • Click on Probe Submenu
    • Zero out X and Y by Clicking on X=0 the Y=0
    • Click on "fit to screen" button
    • Lower tool bit within a couple of mm of PCB using jog controls
    • Zero out Z by Clicking on Z=0
    • In Probe menu, Probe section, Set the Z Pos: to -10 - this will allow the bit to go 10mm down to probe before
      setting off an alarm.
    • ATTACH PROBE CLIPS TO PCB AND TOOL BIT - FAILURE TO DO SO BEFORE PROCEEDING MAY RESULT IN A DAMAGED BIT.
    • Click Probe button (in Probe: section)
    • Zero out Z axis - Click on Z=0
    • Raise Z by 1mm using jog
  8. Autolevel

    • Under Probe Menu, Select Autolevel Submenu
    • Click on Margins - This will configure an autolevel area mapped to you gcode file limits
    • modify number of X/Y test points as needed by adjusting N for X and Y
    • set Z Min to -10 and Z Max to 0.5 - if you expect a large deviation in height across the board, set Z max to a higher value ( and perhaps consider leveling waste board and/or machine)
    • CONFIRM PROBE CLIPS TO PCB AND TOOL BIT - FAILURE TO DO SO BEFORE PROCEEDING MAY RESULT IN A DAMAGED BIT.
    • Click on Scan
    • Return to X/Y zero - in Command: (at bottom) enter G0 X0 Y0
    • Return to Z zero - in Command: (at bottom) enter G0 Z0
    • At top click at "Zero" in menu for Autolevel to adjust measured values (@vlachoudis: why this is required?)
    • REMOVE PROBE CONNECTION TO TOOL BIT.
  9. Load first Drill gcode file

    • Under File menu select Open and select drill file
    • Answer no to the "Probe File modified" dialog
    • Answer no to the "Existing Autolevel" dialog
    • Optional - Select ISO view from "Change viewing Angle" widget.
  10. Perform Drilling operation

    • Confirm that you've REMOVED THE PROBE CONNECTION TO THE TOOL BIT.
    • If manually controlling power to your router, turn it on now.
    • Select Control menu
    • Click on Start.
    • When drilling is complete, if manually controlling power to your router, turn it off.
  11. Change Tool Bit - Do this every time you change a bit, whether it be a drill, routeing, or engraving bit.

    • Raise Z to comfortable height using jog controls.
    • Replace Tool bit
    • ATTACH PROBE CLIPS TO PCB AND TOOL BIT
    • Lower bit to within a couple of mm of PCB using jog controls.
    • Select Probe Menu
    • Select Probe Submenu
    • Zero out Z by Clicking Z=0
    • Click on Probe button
    • Zero out Z by Clicking Z=0
    • Raise Z by 1mm using jog controls.
    • REMOVE PROBE CONNECTION TO TOOL BIT.
  12. If performing more Drilling operations, follow steps 10-12, with final Tool bit change being to the trace routing bit.

  13. Load trace routing gcode file.

    • Under FIle menu select Open and select trace routing gcode file
    • Answer no to the "Probe File modified" dialog
    • Answer no to the "Existing Autolevel" dialog
    • Optional Select preferred viewing angle.
  14. Change Tool Bit per step 11.

  15. Perform Trace Routing operation

    • Confirm that you've REMOVED THE PROBE CONNECTION TO THE TOOL BIT.
    • If manually controlling power to your router, turn it on now.
    • Select Control menu
    • Click on Start.
    • When routing is complete, if manually controlling power to your router, turn it off.
  16. Load Outline routing gcode file.

    • Under FIle menu select Open and select outline routing gcode file
    • Answer no to the "Probe File modified" dialog
    • Answer no to the "Existing Autolevel" dialog
    • Optional - Select preferred viewing angle.
  17. Change Tool Bit per step 12.

  18. Perform outline Routing operation

    • Confirm that you've REMOVED THE PROBE CONNECTION TO THE TOOL BIT.
    • If manually controlling power to your router, turn it on now.
    • Select Control menu
    • Click on Start.
    • When routing is complete, if manually controlling power to your router, turn it off.
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