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Author Topic: PCB Isolation Routing, DXF to G-Code  (Read 3692 times)
Mad Professor
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« on: May 03, 2011, 15:03:11 pm »

Good day all.

I am not sure if this is the right place to put this post, but if it is in the wrong place please move to where it should be.
 
I am looking for help and advice, regarding converting a PCB design from DipTrace into useable g-code via the use of CamBam.

DipTrace as of yet does not directly export any kind of g-code for PCB Isolation Routing, but can export drill g-code.

DipTrace is able to export the design to filetypes like dxf/dxg/jpg ect.

Here is the board I am waiting to try and make.



As you can see nothing complex about it.

Here is the dxf output file from DipTrace: http://www.mad-professor.co.uk/Misc/Interconnect%20Board.dxf

I would like to route this board by removing all un-needed copper, and just leaving the needed traces.

I am using the free version of CamBam unto I get somewhat used to the software, then I will be upgrading to the full version.

Can you please advice.

Thankd for your time.
 
Best Regards.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2011, 16:23:45 pm by Mad Professor » Logged
FatFreddie
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2011, 17:12:35 pm »

If you open the dxf file with cambam, then select the objects in edge_bottom and board_outline and then select machining/pocket and specify a small tool (slightly smaller than the smallest gap between traces) cambam will (eventually) produce a program to mill away the excess copper but it will take a long time to run.

I think it is normal for isolation routing to either just mill around the traces or to at least fill in the large areas.

What is DipTrace like to use?

* Interconnect Board.cb (86.8 KB - downloaded 108 times.)
« Last Edit: May 03, 2011, 17:34:09 pm by FatFreddie » Logged
lloydsp
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2011, 17:53:59 pm »

It depends upon your layout requirements whether or not you mill away all of the copper except the traces.

High-frequency RF circuits may need that done, to minimize inter-trace coupling effects, or capacitance to ground planes.  Most audio analog circuitry, and most digital logic clocking up to about 20MHz can run fine with just "isolation" traces.  You can even benefit from it by plotting the extra copper as actual "ground", and using that to isolate signals from one another.

It takes a LONG time to remove the whole plane with a 0.020" diameter bit!

LLoyd
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mwhiterabbit
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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2011, 05:33:45 am »

Just a piece of advice for future searches. If you isolate the traces as it was intended then you can remove the extra copper very easily with a soldering iron. Just heat it up and it will peel right off. No need to let the machine run overnight.
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lloydsp
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« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2011, 11:46:21 am »

Oh DEAR!  That is SO ugly an idea I cannot bring myself to think of doing it intentionally.

It's bad enough to have a "popped" pad due to careless soldering practice, but to deliberately pop the whole surface like that?

No... I would plan my layout well enough so I only needed to remove strategic areas of copper, or I'd send the work out to a custom PCB house like ExpressPCB.  They're cheap, fast, and do really high-quality work.

LLoyd
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Dragonfly
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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2011, 11:46:23 am »

Hi there. Look in this thread
http://www.cambam.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=1770.msg10399#msg10399

I've discovered that DipTrace can export the outside edges of the tracks, also the board outline and drilling in separate layers which are interpreted nicely by CB. What is to be exported can be selected in the DXF export dialog of DipTrace.
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