New PCB Carving Algorithm

by Octapoo

Saturday, April 3, 2021 at 11:30:00 UTC

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I modified my software that makes gcode to carve my PCBs so that, if there's room to do so, it carves around traces several times to widen the gap between traces.

I really like how this looks when it's finished, but I don't so much like that it took what seemed like four or five times longer to machine and then required about half an hour of carefully removing tiny strips of copper from between parallel traces, as they would totally just fall off one day and short something out for sure. Also, the algorithm still needs some work as the gcode that it produces does some dumb stuff.

The old algorithm was kind of a nightmare in that there's so little space between traces that I can't really see if they're bridged or not, but I had improved the algorithm to the point that it automatically cut the points that would bridge, and so it just required some sandpaper and then generally seemed to be fine. So I'm kind of on the fence about whether I like this new process, but it unquestionably looks better when it is done.


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