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116 posts

Master Geek

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# 42810 11-Oct-2009 20:09
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Not wanting to chemically etch PCBs anymore I went looking for a cheap CNC mill for the job.

Professional machines are not cheap.
The big names are LPFK and T-TECH
http://www.lpkf.com/products/rapid-pcb-prototyping/index.htm
http://www.t-tech.com/

A good used on will set you back us$5-10k

While there is no question they would do the job it's a little much for a garage tinkerer like myself.
Don't think the wife would approve.

My hunt lead me to this machine.
http://lumenlab.com/store/robloks/catalog/product/view/id/160/category/6

At the time it was still to be released.
Cost would have been us$1500 shipped.
More now with all the options available.

All I needed was something that did the job, no frills.

I do mostly surface mount so I don't have to drill.
The few through hole components become surface mount as well.

Then came across this unit.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=120471713742
Photobucket
Laptop not included.

Not much online in the way of reviews but at that price it was worth a go.
All up us$780 shipped.
Just add your own PC.

I have only used it to make PCBs but it is capable of a lot more.

The full rundown of my experience here
http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=84512

Do check out my blog to see what I will be doing with it :)
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/MrWestie

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2260 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 263872 14-Oct-2009 14:17
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They looks awesome :)

I might have to pick one up, would love to etch some custom perspex panels or even metal :)

did you get charged tax at all?
I reckon my 1005HA would work well as a netbook with it




I have moved across the ditch.  Now residing in Melbourne as a VOIP/Video Technical Trainer/Engineer. 



116 posts

Master Geek

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  # 263873 14-Oct-2009 14:20
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I got lucky and missed tax.
Be sure to ship to a residential address to improve your chances.

Note: The computer needs to have a real parallel port, not a usb one.
It doesn't have to be fast so even a P3 0.8ghz one will do.

 
 
 
 


2260 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 264260 16-Oct-2009 13:29
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Oh mean, pics of when you have done a few circuits would be great :)

Guess you could even start up a small business cutting out perspex and PCBs for the modding community ;)




I have moved across the ditch.  Now residing in Melbourne as a VOIP/Video Technical Trainer/Engineer. 



116 posts

Master Geek

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  # 264282 16-Oct-2009 14:56
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Plenty of images in the linked thread but here is two.

Your standard 1.6mm from Jaycar
Photobucket

Some 0.3mm
Photobucket

Since there was no easy way to hold that sucker flat I had to make a floating head for the mill for that board.

Happy to rent out machine time :)
Cheap or free to geeks.

At most I will only be using it maybe 3 hrs a month.

The first non pcb job it will be doing is engraving guns.

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