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This page is a reference for the PCB Milling machine in ENGR1 456A. In order to be able to use this machine, you must follow the directions found HERE. If this is your first visit to this page and you intend to utilize this machine, please go to that page first to sign up. If you are looking to use the solder rework station, you still need to sign up at the aforementioned page, however, the resource page for that machine is located HERE.


You should watch this at least twice. It is very fast paced, so take full advantage of the ability to pause and rewind. You may even want to watch it a couple times or more.

Quick Circuit 5000 Training Video

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general directions

  • suggested pcb supplier: http://t-tech.com
  • don't use Skycraft -- boards are warped and will ruin machine
  • never lift machine by top --always by base
  • be careful to not to mix up traces and drill holes, or you will break bits
  • Do not use scotch tape!!!! use blue tape (painter's tape) which can be removed more easily and does not leave a residue

Available Bit Kits

1 mil = 0.001 inches

NOTE: Not all of the following kits are necessarily available for checkout, as they could already be checked out.

5 Standard Kits, each containing
Drill Bits
  • 125 mil
  • 59.5 mil
  • 40 mil
  • 32 mil
Contour Routers
  • 62 mil
End Mills
  • 80 mil
  • 62.5 mil
  • 39.4 mil
Pointed Tools
  • 2x T1

2 Heavy Duty Kits, each containing
Drill Bits
  • 125 mil
  • 80 mil
  • 59.5 mil
  • 40 mil
Contour Routers
  • 62 mil
End Mills
  • 125 mil
  • 80 mil
  • 62.5 mil
  • 39.4 mil
Pointed Tools
  • T1

3 Surface Mount Kits, each containing
Drill Bits
  • 125 mil
  • 32 mil
  • 16 mil
Contour Routers
  • 31 mil
End Mills
  • 15 mil
  • 12 mil
  • 2x 10 mil
Pointed Tools
  • T1
  • T8

10 Dowel pin and Allen Wrench Kit, each containing
  • 1x 1/16" Allen Wrench
  • 2x 125 mil Dowel Pins

Purchase PCB supplies


control software for milling machine, very basic layout
Very good, but expensive schematic & layout program
board layout program (two copies in senior design lab on the back two computers)
free board layout program from http://cadsoft.de

Potential formats:

  • gerber (preferred)
  • dxf (tricky and result depends on units used to make the DXF file)

calibration numbers

  • ctrl-shift-h to change home position
    • x=5611
    • y=26866

machine operation

PCB checklist

  • use 1/16 allen to change bits
  • leave old broken bit in machine wrong side up to keep allen screw in place
  • use top surface protection layer when drilling fine holes - follow size recommendations posted on bulletin board.
  1. tape board and backing material together
  2. tool change to 125 mil bit, line up foot
  3. manually drill pilot hole in home position
  4. flip board 180, use old drill bit to line up pilot hole in slot
  5. drill second pilot hole
  6. press pilot pins in both board holes, use front brass hole instead of slot
  7. tool change to next bit
  • material change
  1. untape one side
  2. flip backing over
  3. push pilot pins back in
  4. line pilot pins up with holes in machine

tool and Layer order

  1. pilot holes
  2. mill initialize
  3. drill layer
  4. smallest cutter first
  5. router bit for cutout
  6. flip board over (material change)
  7. replace placeholder (broken) bit
  8. remove cut material
  9. turn off controller
  10. remove and put away pilot pins

set end mill height

  1. set foot height to be even with bit tip (lower until bit does not touch, then raise)
  2. check table in manual, raise 3-5 clicks depending on board weight
  3. manually do test cut to verify thickness is OK
    1. spindle on
    2. position to start
    3. head down
    4. move (also test a corner)
    5. head up
    6. spindle off
    7. copper should be completely cleared incl. corners
    8. shallower cuts are better than deeper cuts (too deep and you will break a bit)

set tool height

  1. set bottom travel to touch just deeper than backing material (pcb is slightly thinner)
  2. set solenoid height
  3. set top travel to be one pcb thickness higher than pcb+backing

External links

Other ways to make PCBs

Personal tools