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Dremel PCB's

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Ken Gerber, Jun 24, 2007.

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  1. Ken Gerber

    Ken Gerber Guest

    I have heard some people make there own PCB's using copper clad board
    and a dremel tool.

    Does anyone have any experience or hints regarding this technique?

    I can imagine it might work better by placing the drill in some kind
    of stand like a router to maintain an even depth.

    Ken Gerber
  2. colin

    colin Guest

    I do this a lot, and have got it down to a fine art after many years,
    I now have an elctric motor the type used in cordless drills/screwdrivers,
    with a broken 1mm carbide milling cutter atatched directly.

    the shaft and shank are both 1/8" so just needs a sleave,
    its important to get it precisly true.

    the broken end was cleaned up with a small diamond saw disc.
    and some extra cutting edges.

    the corner of the cutter is used so it can make incredibly fine cuts.

    I run it at high speed, about 2x overvoltage.
    and had to replace the bush bearings with double ball races.

    I find it easy to use for 0.05" SOIC chips,
    and also try use it for the 0.6mm pitch ics but this is rather hard,
    usualy end up using a scalpel instead, its so difficult to see too.
    I dont like those plastic leadless ics at all,
    theyr just not suitable for hand made prototypes,
    the ceramic ones dont seem to bad although stil tricky.

    ive made such a pcb for a dspic33 with 64pins.

    I just use it in hand. being small and able to hold it close to the work end
    its easy to control.

    I only make small pcbs,
    basically just the pads to mount ICS and SM components,
    many tracks can be made quite short,
    any long tracks are done with .2mm ec wire.

    best thing is you can build one part of the circuit and debug it and add
    easily by just cutting more pads/tracks, then put the next part of the
    circuit next to it.

    oh and I find its best to use a mask.

    Colin =^.^=
  3. Guest

    The paradox of someone named "gerber" inquiring about how not to use
    gerber files amuses me.
  4. N Cook

    N Cook Guest

    Have you tried the refinement of laying the board over a X-Y traverse
    consisting of a thin mesh of the main pitch spacing and ball-bearings held
    under a carrier for the board to get better positional registration.
    Not something I've personally tried, just hearing about along the way. It
    may be just grooves of the relevant pitch rather than a full X and Y mesh as
    the template
  5. colin

    colin Guest

    No, I just do it by hand.
    but I did modify a scalpel so it took two blades side by side,
    the gap was just the right size ~ 0.6mm.
    I previously tried a stack of thin bits of metal and spacers,
    so as to cut many parallell tracks,
    but it was hard to get it to cut or even mark each line properly.
    it was quite good to use as a template with the scalpel though.
    ive also used the legs of the IC as a template too. (carefully)

    its just the sub 0.05" pitch wich is real difficult,
    otherwise its quite easy and realy fast.

    Colin =^.^=
  6. Mook Johnson

    Mook Johnson Guest

    The best 60 or so bucks you cna spend is with

    three 2.5 x 3.8" boards, free, easy to use layout software.

    I have often split up small circuits into sections and created multis on a
    single board. If you're careful during layout you can get hte board realy
    tight and get more stuff in a given area.

    $63 shipped to your door in a week.
  7. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    I have a DIY PCB time of about 1 hour with a max 1/1000 resolution on
    a single side SMD. (Photoresist method.)
    And...I can get it done on holidays and weekends. :p
    D from BC
  8. colin

    colin Guest

    last pcb I made was 10mm x 25mm just had one chip, 1 IC, 1 connector 1 bolt
    hole and a few caps.

    Colin =^.^=
  9. I would like to learn your process to make the boards so quickly. Please
    contact me off-group at DfromBC dot 10 dot jocjo at xoxy dot net.

  10. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    There's 2 pages of detail for dry film and 2 pages of detail for
    everything else...That's a little too much typing for me..
    I'll briefly describe...
    Cut board,apply dry film,expose,etch and strip.
    Just follow the instructions provided with the dry film.
    Other details can be found in news achieves or on the web.
    But I'll answer some quick questions.
    D from BC
  11. Thanks.

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