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PCB Milling

PCB milling is the process of using a milling machine to cut out PCB traces and pads.

PCB milling allows you to quickly iterate designs and produce boards exactly as you want them to be.

The PCB milling process:
1. Create a schematic diagram and PCB layout in EDA software: Eagle, KiCad, Altium, etc.
2. Create a file with CAM extension. Open the PCB layout in one of the CAM programs: FlatCAM, Fritzing, Carbide Copper (Carbide 3D, Fusion 360 (Autodesk). Customize tracing, select drill size, etc. Generate toolpaths, create a gcode file or other file for the cutter.
3. Prepare the milling machine. Attach the PCB substrate to the bed - usually an FR-1, FR-4, or Rogers. Install the appropriate end mill in the machine spindle. Zero/adjust the cutter in the work coordinate system.
4. Perform the milling process. Load the CAM gcode file into the milling machine. Run the program to first machine the top surface with a flat and smooth cutter. Change attachments as needed.
5. Carefully remove the finished PCB from the machine. Inspect defects under a magnifying glass. Repeat milling if necessary.
6. Install the components.