How to mill a PCB at Home!

  • Hey Friends,

    i'm proud to present my small VideoSessions (2) to describe the complete process to mill a PCB with chilipeppr. I hope you like it? Comments are welcome!

    This Playlist describe the process (Eagle + Chilipeppr + Prepare CNC + Mill on CNC) on my CNC (eShapeoko) to made a PCB with Chilipeppr and GRBL.

  • Hardware Contributor

    thx for share. very nice vids πŸ˜ƒ

  • @Frank-Herrmann said:


    Awesome vid! Now I need to look in to that eShapeoko!

  • Mod

    @Frank-Herrmann said:

    my CNC (eShapeoko)

    That seems like a very affordable CNC! Didn't know it existed until you wrote about it.
    Did you order it as a kit?

  • Yes i got this (nice) machine last year from this shop. It's a kind of shapeoko2. The guy work hard, but he has to much orders. I guess a small xcarve are also ok. But i have to warn you, it's not a cheap hobby πŸ™‚

    Here some machines they could mill PCB's: (IMHO the best for PCB milling)

  • I did build my own CNC mill. It's build of MDF and I use ballscrews from Ebay, also tracks from Ebay, motors and so on. I am not even close to the price of what that will costs. I can mill on a surface as big as 1100x800mm. I mill in wood, plastic and even PCB boards. To mill PCB and some plastic have I build a vacuum board driven by a standard vacuum cleaner.
    It's really fun project. Now mine is finished , but I do upgrades time to time.

  • @Lars65 said:

    It's really fun project. Now mine is finished , but I do upgrades time to time.

    Same by me, now i can mill my PCB's and i want to make a solder dispenser/pick and place header. my Dream, build a Header he can:

    • mill a double side PCB
    • put the solder paste drops to PCB
    • put the (smd) components on PCB

    I'll add this features to chilipeppr πŸ™‚

    lars, can we see some photos from your machine and maybe a foto from a milled PCB?

  • Here is my CNC mill, when i mill PCB boards do I use a plastic sheet, and have an opening just for the PCB board. I also use a 60 degree engraving bit, and mill to a depth of 0,145mm. The vacuum table do mill of about 1 tenth of a mm, time to time so I know that it's 100% flat. No need to probe more than to find the top of the PCB
    The spindle is 1kw aircold, so I can't run it below 6000rpm Max speed is 24 000 rpm.
    Router 2.jpg Router 1.jpg

  • More info about milling. I use a software "designsparks" to draw the PCB. From Designspark do I export the file as an gerber file *.gbr. Next do I open the *.gbr in an another software "CamBam", this is the software to create the *.nc file for the mill. In this do I set up what tools I will use in the mill, also what cutting speed, and spindle speed.
    Anyone interested of building a mill, you have a load of websites on the internet. Ebay is also a good source of buying things, but you need to have study what things you buy. Stepper motors for the X,Y and Z movements there is standards like NEMA 17, NEMA 24 etc. But some suppliers sell not so good motors, so reading forums and study is a really good thing to do.

  • Engraving the PCB
    Gravering – 00:26
    β€” lars165

    Drilling the PCB

    Software I use:
    Designspark This do I use to draw the PCB and it's a free software.

    Cambam is the software I use to produce G-code to my CNC. This is not free, but you can run up to 500 raws of code.

    Vacuum table.jpg
    This is my vacuum table.

    Finnished PCB.jpg
    This is a finnished PCB, a serial gaway.

    Serial gateway.jpg
    This is the finnished gatway up and running.


  • Hi all,
    Just bought a little CNC + Laser engraver machine that I'm going to use for PCB milling and have some questians for the experienced users.

    @Frank-Herrmann will your Chillipeppr code work on all arduino/gcode based CNC routers?

    Any other free software like BamCam for use will small projects?

    What cutting bits are you using for PCB milling?

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