In doing research for making wiring boards for the EPIC (used in my F-15C project) I discovered a technique for making printed circuit boards (PCBs) that doesn’t involve any etching chemicals.
The process is called PCB Isolation Routing and is done by using a CNC router with a VERY small “V” bit in it. The bit used has a tip diameter of about 0.007″.
PCB-GCODE is a plug-in for Eagle that will take your board layout and generate the needed code to drive any standard CNC router that understands G-code.
If you head over to this site, you can get a pretty good overview of the process itself.
In order to use this process with my ShopBot, I needed to come up with a way to hold down the PCB material while the machine was working on it. Below is the jig I created.
When you add two more hold downs, this jig can hold down a pretty good sized board. The jig itself is 11-3/4″ high and about 13″ wide.
The grooves you can see cut in the right corner are for alignment blocks. They consist of two 6″x3/4″ .125″ thick aluminum bars that are used to locate the PCB material in the lower right hand corner of the jig, where the X & Y “home” is. By leaving the bars in place, you have a repeatable point for locating your material when you flip it if you’re doing double sided boards.
When my double sided PCB stock arrives next week, I’ll put together a video showing how it works using my new EPIC input boards as an example.