New To CNC PCB Routing (Warning, Long Post)



  • I am a complete, or was 2 months ago, newbie. I bought a 3018 to isolation route guitar effect pcb's, and I'm having a devil of a time. I am using EAGLE to design the board, and Flatcam to generate g-code, and lastly, Candle to send it to my mill.
    Let me say, after watching so many YT vids, I know it can be done, I just can't seem to hit on the right combo.
    There seems be a LOT of different setting in each program that don't want to play well with each other if not correct. I know I don't know all of these settings.
    I was able, at one point, to mill a fairly decent board, but the results confirmed that a heightmap was needed to attain any usable results.
    That's when it all went south for me. The version of Candle I'm using seems to only probe in mm, and I started in inches.
    So I went back and set Eagle to mm (I think), and when I import it to the older version of FC, FC converts it to inches. I upgraded FC, and seem to be able to keep the mm's. Do the heightmap in Candle, in mm's, use the heightmap, and the mill sees the HM values as inches, and of course maxes the Z (broke my first of many bits). I am not opposed to converting the mm that the HM creates to inches, and manually changing all the results, if that would be my answer.
    The other blaring problem I have, is when I get the g-code into candle, or an online viewer, even if I change the settings, the start Z and end Z are both WAY to high.
    I have tried other software, but cant even get this far.
    I am running Win7
    I know that most, if not all, of my problems stem from my lack of knowledge.
    TIA



  • @skypn I have no idea how this fits-in with the MySensors forum - if at all.

    I find it difficult to justify the time, cost and poor quality results of home milling PCBs compared to the results you get from the likes of JLCPCB


  • Hero Member

    Lots of info here: https://forum.mysensors.org/topic/8735/cnc-pcb-milling?_=1624294898545 It's as close as you'll find to a complete walkthru.

    Turnaround is faster than JLPCB (an hour vs days). Otherwise, I would agree. TL;DR: for rapid iteration, or you simply want something fast, DIY PCB's are hard to beat.

    As to topicality, it's a subject not covered well on most other forums. CNC Zone has some posts, but that's about it.

    All in all, the tools keep getting better, and it's easier now than before to find speciallized bits that make the work easier.


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