which pcb cnc milling should i go for ?

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#1
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Hi!
my boss just decided to buy a professional CNC Milling system for PCB prototypes, but we dont have enough information about which one should we choose?

LKPF s60 or Acuratecnc a362or any other brand?

i dont know about most , hope any one here can help me to decide,

also want to consider about availability of the accessories and pricing as well as performance.My requirements mainly are for 2-sided boards...

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The folks at Elektor magazine collaborated on the design of this one. I have no experience with it ... just thought that I would add to your decision nightmare :lol:

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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In interested in the case for routed boards vs externally-produced boards.

It's been a few years since I've soldered routed boards (my university had one), but they were generally a pain in the neck to populate compared to a nicely prepared solder-resist "professional" PCB.

If I remember correctly, the routing bit had to be replaced often and we were strongly discouraged from bulk copper removal, except where absolutely required (RF, for example).

What's the payoff compared to externally-produced silk-screen PCBs? Is it mostly in fast iterations of boards? Or is it a volume issue where lots and lots of prototypes are being made?

-- Damien

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I have to agree with you Damien. Personally I prefer to etch prototypes here if I can ... and it is rare that I cannot wait for an outside made prototype when its complexity is too great for the local etch approach.

But what "the boss" wants, may be what s/he gets.

Cheers,

Ross

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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At issue is not the method of copper removal, at issue is ability to generate a soldermask.

Ziggy
Iconic PCB
Brisbane

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Quote:
at issue is ability to generate a soldermask.
...which means that, for fine pitch PCBs, you may end up with a blob of solder instead of a chip or other components.

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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John,

Fair comment but not in my experience

Ziggy
Iconic PCB
Brisbane

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I have used mills to produce boards, I cant remember the mill but the software we used was Iso-Pro. The whole idea sounds great, but IMHO
Initially expensive & high running costs.
Noisy & dusty (copper & fibre glass)
Wasteful of board.
Lot of retry due to getting layers wrong or poor registration.
Boards were hard to solder as the copper oxidizes and once it does it is always difficult to get the solderability correct again.
Fine tracks are impossible!
No through hole plating!
One issue with isolation is that large areas of copper which are not connected to anything are left on the board (to save on milling time & mill wear. These areas cause problems with stray capacitance and should be earthed.
No leverage if multiple boards being done.
Drilling fantastic!
The optimum is photo etch with NC drilling! (still no through hole though).

If you think you can justify installing a mill, think again.
There are board houses who will do quick prototypes, tin or gold plated connectors/THP's , solder mask, silkscreen etc.
Multiples no problem!
Just send them the Gerber's and the job's done!

Charles Darwin, Lord Kelvin & Murphy are always lurking about!
Lee -.-
Riddle me this...How did the serpent move around before the fall?

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IsoPro is a T-Tech product.
A chenical etching process is more of a headache than a milling process.
Chemical etching is great for mass production.

Poor registration is a sign of onferior approach to the manufacturing.

Poor solderability of copper only surface when compared to HASL finish is not a valid compariosn. Any board no matter how iti s manufactured needs some form of surface treatment to ensure solderability.

Fine tracks are not a problem and let me put a number on fine; 0.008" space features routinely done, 0.004" with some care on both double sided and multilayer designs.

LArge unconnected areas of copper are only an issue in high frequency designs. Removal of excess copper not really an issue with correct selection of tools.

Hole activation is a problem which needs to be addressed either chemically or through vapour deposition process; both a specialist area ( I use Paladium activation process ).

Electrical testing to design data ( usually Gerber which is not always correct)is something a do-it-yourselfer can not do without proper equipment.

Ziggy
Iconic PCB
Brisbane