Results from etching a circuit board – Eagle, PCB-GCODE, micRo CNC router

etched circuit board
I etched my first circuit boards today. I have found that I need better tactics for this to really work. The MDF base that I am using is not working, so I am going to try a poly cutting board, which should have better humidity tolerance. I also believe that taping the circuit board material down will improve the height differences. Using screws on the MDF made the middle of the circuit board material bind causing the router bit to etch more than normal, yet on the edges nothing would be removed.
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Converting an Eagle Board to GCODE

Eagle BoardThe first step in converting a board in Eagle to GCODE is having a board. I have drawn a very simple circuit that is simply an LED board. It’s practically useless, but I’ll use it as a springboard to get us from Eagle to PCB. After you draw your board in Eagle, I recommend saving the file someplace where you can easily access and find it. I always keep my Eagle and NGC files located in C:/mygcode/. The NGC files are the files used by EMC2 to control the router.
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Installing Eagle and PCB-GCODE in Ubuntu

This article explains the steps to install Eagle cad and PCB-GCODE to my computer. Installing Eagle is not very difficult.

  1. Go to http://www.cadsoftusa.com/download.htm. Right click the link for Linux and select save link as. Save it to the Desktop.
  2. Once downloaded, you’ll follow the instructions from Cadsoft. Open up the terminal and navigate to /home/user-name/Desktop and execute the command “sh eagle-lin-5.10.0.run”. The program will begin.

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