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Electronics news

PCB milling versus etching

PCB milling is the middle ground between DIY etching and 3D printing for creating functional prototypes quickly and inexpensively.

Milling is faster, easier and cheaper than chemical etching. There are no hazardous chemicals to deal with.

1. Etching achieves finer trace resolution - up to 6 mil vs. 8-10 mil.
2. Milling makes it easier to create irregularly shaped boards.
3. PCB milling compared to SLA 3D printing:
- 3D printing offers higher accuracy, but is much slower and requires higher material costs.
- Milling allows the creation of larger sized boards. 3D printing has limited assembly volumes.
- 3D printing is best suited for low volume production with unique designs. Milling is better suited for small batch prototyping.