The Design Step
Designing and making a printed circuit board (PCB) is a real world process and it is important to introduce the concept to students. Of course, it takes real practice and considerable time to create complicated designs but at least the students have stepped through the processes.
The design phase is the starting point and we choose Circuit Wizard as a good software package that enables a variety of design processes
The final design is easily transported to Techsoft 2D PCB for manufacture.
Note: We can also take Gerber files from software such as EAGLE, Protel and DIPTRACE via milling software such as CopperCAM.
Engraving machine process
This process is often termed “CAM” for computer aided manufacture. The design is manipulated in the software that actually runs the machine or creates the final path of the tool or tools.
Techsoft 2D PCB easily links with Circuit Wizard and controls the machine in terms of the conversion of the deisgn to actual tool path and the specific features such as tool depth, tool speed and tool spindle speed. These are all important factors for the successful production of the PCB by the engraving or isolation process.
The specific steps in engraving, drilling and routing are defined in the tool menus.
Why engrave - I am happy with chemical etching.
Great for industry but most of the chemicals are dangerous. You still have to make negatives, expose, develop, press and peel, etch. Do you check the operation of the fume chamber? Who is responsible for accidents? What about the time? What about heating the etchants.
Engraving is simpler and you get the option of drilling and routing out complex shapes.
Choice of engraving machines
Great engraving machine with a 40mm engraving depth. The automatic height system with a nose cone means you always get the correct engraving depth.
Easy to set up for engraving/drilling and routing with the remote control pendant. Supported by Techsoft 2d PCB and Coppercam software.
Ideal system with potential for expansion.
Large machine with 400x500mm work area.