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Thread: Anybody experienced with PCB plotters/millers

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    Administrator T-1000 vikas's Avatar
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    Default Anybody experienced with PCB plotters/millers

    Here is an example -

    http://www.salicontech.com/printed-c...quipments.html

    Guy on the phone said 1mm tracks are possible and it costs 2.5 lakhs i think , what do you say.

    Worth buying if i make my company go for it ? If time is more important than money.

    Turn around time is other wise 5 - 10 days for each PCB also due to bureaucratic hassles each PCB job takes at least 2 weeks +.
    Vikas Patial

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    HI Vkas,
    1) why not go and have a look at the machine in metal and make up ur mind.
    2) What I can make out from the picture it has 3 stepper motors and screw drives for positioning. For someone as technical as you I would not suggest it.
    WHy not make one your self(yes its very much possible) and I am sure if you make it it will meet the specifiaction small metal lathes can be made to work this way by modification.
    3) for some one like me (who is currently without job 2.5 lakh is big amount)
    4) check this out http://cgi.ebay.com/Sable-2015-CNC-R...item2eaf00d3c7
    or
    http://cgi.ebay.com/CNC-Router-Engra...item5adab3384d

    it seems this fellow is using this platform for making the CNC system. Some like us can definately make the control system for such machine in abou 10-20K


    Asimov
    Last edited by asimov_18; 08-28-2010 at 10:01 PM.

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    These will be good for prototyping. Good for single sided boards with broad tracks. I have seen one of these milling machines working, its slow, but neat.But I would not recommend these for mass production.

    I know someone at cochin, He has been my PCB guy for 5 years now for single/double sided boards(No PTH). He normally delivers in a day, and at 15 mils. With the masking and PCB side printing, the turn around time is about 3 days. Only downside was, we have to collect in person. Used to work well when I used to be in cochin. For any boards with thinner tracks, or PTH, i send it to my friend in bangalore, at a turn around time of about a week. Anything more than a week for a normal single sided PCB is bad, I suggest to change your PCB guy.

    I had real bad experience with home brew CNC machines in terms of resolution. Had made about 5 of them for various projects. It is Expensive to make a prototype at 1mm accuracy. You cant just use a lead screw, as the guy called BACKLASH is a bit too difficult to tackle. You will need ball screws, and the table need to be milled with high tolerance. It is easy to make the control electronics and the software, but for machining the parts, we need real high end machinery for anything less than 5mm. And, that, is going to be expensive.

    One of the decent area gantry system my students made, for a table of about 30cm x 30cm cost about 60k inclusive of the electronics. There was serious backlash issues at the drill axis.

    For emergency prototyping boards, I think old chemical thing will be better, if you have a good mechanism to print the tracks on to the board. What I do, if I do not have time is, make a high saturated ferric chloride solution, and rub the board with cotton dipped in the solution. Real fast.

    All said, I would buy the machine, at anything less than 70K, if it can drill. But 2.5 L - Personally I do not think it is worth it. There will be cases when some tracks run in between the IC pins. This machine at 1mm cant handle them. Chemical can.
    .... I didnt do it ! ....

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    Administrator T-1000 vikas's Avatar
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    Yes after some looking around if i buy from taiwan it is the "sable 2015" , should cost about 50 - 60 k imported to India , the company i posted the link is basically charging excessively for it. I might go in for a more exepensive machine with better specs. allbits any recommendation ?

    @asimov_18 thx for the links ... it was a good starting point.

    Im still interested in buying cause i do not like to wait 2 week plus, and if SMD is possible nothing like it. Etching takes a hell lot of time and is dirty, also high failure rate.

    Also some CNS's i saw will be able to cut metal and enclosers which is a big addon.
    Vikas Patial

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    Senior Member Cyborg
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    2.5 lakhs for this !! it does not seems promising As said by asimov_18, within 20k they are manageable in DIY style. With hacking some vise or something and sometime on Lathe can reproduce them. But 2.5 L is tooo much.
    Btw i had no experience with plotters. So how will green masking will be done for these boards? How come it will help in prototyping boards for smd as from my experience with smd green masking is at most important, even if we solder manually without solder flow system.
    I think for staring up business with investing on this will not be wise. As for mass/large production you have go with green mask board.
    Nikhil Chandra | Bangalore

    Imagination is more important than knowledge.

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    Anything good less than 70K is a good deal, only thing to watch for is the resolution and power. If it can do 15 mil, great. Here, 15 mil is not the track width, but the track spacing/tool resolution. Somehow I do not agree with DIYs, because it costs more when it comes to higher resolution. Also, we can optimise the finishing while designing the PCB, like adjusting the copper pour and increasing the track spacing. Do you have a link to the specs of the machine?
    .... I didnt do it ! ....

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    Administrator T-1000 vikas's Avatar
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    Sable 2015 ( On in the link ) should be < 70k when imported , im looking for some more better machines ... any recommendatinons would be great.

    DIY is out of question , too much time required and results will not mach the professional equipment.
    Vikas Patial

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    http://www.sunequipco.com/PCB/pcb-532005Q.htm
    http://www.sunequipco.com/PCB/pcb-532006.htm

    I could not find a the price in the price list, you might need to shoot in an inquiry. The specs seem to be good. I have not worked on any of these machines. The one I have worked on, was at a college in CUSAT, and I would not recommend that one.

    PCB-532006H seems to be good. Around 30 kg - thats going to cost you in shipping. , but i dont think this machine is cheap either. If you can get a price, let me know. My guess is about 4000$ to 6000$

    also,
    http://electronics.dapj.com/
    The EP 2006 can take in GERBER. The one from MITS Japan also seem to be good.
    Last edited by allbits; 08-30-2010 at 03:27 PM.
    .... I didnt do it ! ....

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    Super Moderator T-1000 docel's Avatar
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    These machines are basically for prototyping rather than for production. I have designed several of these for R&D labs and like, but the usability ends there.
    No self-respecting volume production company will use them for their work. The Etching process is the best there is and the fastest for mass production.

    Vikas - I fail to see why you have so much problems for PCBs. I usually get my bulk PCBs in 3days time ( if they are with Mask and printing). You probably are dealing with a very big ( = busy) PCB guy, I think.
    docel
    ^Anything is possible..
    after YOU prove it!!

    http://bangalorerobotics.tripod.com

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    A better time management and pipelinig will help. Outsourcing is much faster than doing it yourself. You need extra staff, more space (=more cost) and part of your precious attention and time. While outsourcing you mail and forget!

    Order a PCB for fab and while it is being made, design a new one, in this pipeline method you can get PCBs delivered everyday!

    Also production is a very boring thing (atleast for me)
    Avinash Gupta
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    www.eXtremeElectronics.co.in

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