Well not all Kickstarters are successful, but that doesn’t mean that the gcode03 script I have been working on isn’t a success. I have decided to share the script with everyone for free. If you feel so inclined, hit the donate button and help me out. Any issues please leave a comment on the gcode03 page.
For the past few months I have been working on and off on a ULP script that would allow for double sided PCBs on my home CNC machine. The script is 95% finished and I have been using it for a while. I recently ran into an issue where my older 5.x license of Eagle PCB was causing problems with the latest 7.x version of Eagle. Because of this I am trying to Kickstart an upgrade of my Eagle license in return for access to my ULP script that allows for double sided PCBs on a CNC, as well as allowing for non-square shapes.
Take a look at the campaign here: Eagle PCB update for CNC Double Sided PCBs
One really nice thing about having a CNC to make PCBs at home is the ability to whip up a quick adapter board in one night. Tonight I needed two adapters for a 5.5mm barrel jack, one to go to wires and one that can plug into a breadboard. Eagle allows you to make a board without a schematic which is exactly what I needed, just draw some traces on copper and route it out on the CNC. I used 40-60 mil traces and slapped on random switches I had laying around and an LED with resistor. The boards came out to be about 1.75″x0.4″ and routed perfectly with a 0.8mm router bit. I uploaded a zip with the Eagle board files and G-Code for anyone else who wants them.
So the magic box contained a 3 axis CNC! Very very cool. I have made PCBs for years, and have come to two realizations, chemical etching sucks with unreliable results and professionally made PCBs can take lots of time and money, especially for single prototypes. I bought this CNC to make PCBs on demand and on the cheap. I also plan on cutting basic plastic and metal parts, but mostly PCBs.
I purchased the unit from Ebay from the seller “igoodmart2011″ for about $900 USD. Here is a search for CNC 3040. The one I purchased included the blue control box however does not have the water cooled spindle
Here are some specs for the unit
- “No name” “CNC 3040″ from China
- 3 axis (X, Y, Z)
- 300 x 400mm area (275 x 385 x 55mm working area)
- Motors: two-phase 57/1.8A steppers
- Repeat positioning Accuracy：0.05mm
- Manual spindle control: 1000~8000RPM/MIN
- Parallel port interface
The unit was shipped from LA and arrived here in Colorado in about 4 days. The unit was mostly assembled in the box. The frame and was assembled, the table the material sits on was attached and all cables and cable trays were run and attached. The stepper motors were in a separate box and were attached without issue to the 3 axis shafts. The controller box also connected up quickly as all cables were marked. Attachment to the PC was done via an included parallel cable.
One thing to note, a DVD was included in the package, and when I tried to read it on a Windows machine it said it was blank. If you plan on using the provided software on the CD make sure you can contact the seller to get a copy if the DVD doesn’t work. I personally didn’t care because I am going to control the machine via LinuxCNC, however a digital manual would have helped.
I’ll do another post explaining how to setup and control the machine.