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which pcb cnc milling should i go for ?

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sherazi

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Hi!
my boss just decided to buy a professional CNC Milling system for PCB prototypes, but we dont have enough information about which one should we choose?

LKPF s60 or Acuratecnc a362or any other brand?

i dont know about most , hope any one here can help me to decide,

also want to consider about availability of the accessories and pricing as well as performance.My requirements mainly are for 2-sided boards...
 

marce

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Look for ease of data translation, if possible get them to show the whole run from design to machined board using one of your own designs. A simple interface is best.
Used LKPF in the past, and found it easy, havn't used any other type so couldn't comment.
 

jpanhalt

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The big, unanswerable question is how long will the manufacturer be around.

A friend has a Tormach CNC mill (About | Tormach | We provide personal small CNC machines, CNC tooling, and many more CNC items). I believe it is the 1100 or similar. It is usable for many things (he makes gun sights as a business), but it also does a pretty good job with PCB's. Of course, the software makes the difference and I don't remember what he uses.

I suggest looking at Tormach as a lower cost option that has been around for a few years and might meet your PCB needs as well as be adaptable to other purposes for prototyping.

John
 

jpanhalt

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I would insist on a demo of the resolution (1.8 micron) and repeatability (4 micron) claims. In one part, the machines are specified as 25 micron, then in another as 1.8 micron. They claim to use "special anti-backlash nuts" on the leadscrews, instead of ball screws, but don't say much more about them. How do they wear? I would demand details about the lead screws. How are they made, what are the special nuts made of (Delrin?), and so forth. The warranty seems vague. All in all, I would be suspicious, but would give it consideration because of the price.

The fact that it may appear like a hobbyist gantry-style CNC (how does one maintain 4 micron repeatability with that amount of potential flexing?) doesn't mean it can't do the job you need. However, when sales puffery gets way ahead of what's delivered, I wonder about the company and its longevity. At a minimum, you can add your own specifications to the sales contract and include full refund should it not meet specifications. The latter is to protect your company from the claim that while the machine didn't quite meet specifications, it was adequate for the job for which you bought it. A 30-day or longer trial/lease might be more practical.

John
 
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marce

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I would second Johns suggestion above about trialing a machine. What you may also fine is with the prices of 2 layer prototypes from PCB manufacturers these days that by the time you have:
Machined the basic PCB (always takes longer than you think it will or the marketing blurb tells you).
Attempted to poison yourself trying to plate through the holes, or spend more hours soldering links through the vias.
It probably works out cheeper and safer and more reliable to get prototypes made, we did many tears ago (sorry years):)
Marc
 

Rame

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Hi,

Since you say its for a prototype purpose only then you can do little bit of research before you zero in, other thing you haven't disclosed about the layer counts, that also matters.

Hence before researching note the requirements upfront and then start your search.

Thanks and Best Regards,
Rame
 

pool_77

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How do you do vias (plated through-holes)?
Thanks,
Pool
 

jpanhalt

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This is actually a pretty old thread. Your question might be better posed as a separate thread. As for me personally, when I have a DIY double-sided board, I used either a tin rivet or a small piece of wire to connect both sides. A TH device can serve that purpose, if you solder it on both sides.

John
 

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