Electronics Production

Overview

This week is my first time ever producing electronics, or a PCB. In this assignment, I tested the milling machine and found the design rules for in-house PCB production, you can find details about the test [here]. Then I used the findings to produce a PCB, which is the Quentorres created by Quentin Bolsée and redesigned by Adrián Torres.

This TikTok is a recap of the whole process of me producing the PCB. Details, files and all screenshots are found in this page. [The language of the video is Arabic but you can turn on auto translation.]

@santhewitch #pcb #electronics #bahrain ♬ original sound - null.

What is a PCB?

PCB stands for Printed Circuit Board.


Prepare your paths


MODS Project CE

  • After downloading all the designs, now we have .png images for the paths. I am using modsproject.org to generate the tool path.
  • Right Click > Programs > Select the machine you are using, the one we have in house is Roland SRM-20 mill, and I am using it to mill 2D PCB.
  • Select the png file, make sure the size is accurate and it will fit in the copper plate.
  • Start with the traces first, and after we are done with them, we will do the outline cutting.
  • Navigate to v-bit calculator, as I am using this v-bit for milling.
    • Change the following according to the bit:

    • angle: 30
    • cut width: 0.164 mm
    • cut depth: 0.12 mm
  • Adjust the speed. I put it 2.5 mm/s so it is not so fast and not so slow.
  • We are starting from the corner of the sheet, so set the origins to X:0mm, y:0mm, z:0mm.
  • Turn output on so you can have the file downloaded to upload to the machine software.
  • After calculating, you should be able to view the path generated and check if there is anything that does not look right.

  • machine Setup

  • Stick the copper sheet with double sided tape. I placed it in the left corner of the machine.
  • Make sure the bit set in the machine is the one you filled the settings for in mods projects.

  • VPanel for SRM-20

  • Now that we have the file saved, and we checked the path and they look good, go to to VPanel for SRM-20.
  • Move [x/y] axis then set the [x/y] origin.
  • Move [z] axis carefully and get it as close as possible to the z-origin from the panel without hitting the sheet, bit needs to be set manually after that. .
  • Click on Cut > Delete files and load the file to cut [quentorres_traces].
  • Click on Output to start cutting, it took around 20 minutes to finish the traces.

  • Cutting the outline

  • After finishing the traces, it is time to cut the outline of the PCB.
  • Repeat the same steps above but we are not using v-bit, we changed it to 1/16" bit.

  • Obstacle

  • After the machine finished the traces, we cleaned it and it did not look so good, the tracks did not look clean.
  • I almost gave up and went to set another sheet for cutting. But after a little bit of sanding to the surface of the PCB, it looked way better. The pictures below are to compare it before and after sanding.

  • Soldering

  • I prepared the electronics needed.
  • Electronics Components List:

    SEEED STUDIO XIAO RP2040 x1
    RES 1K OHM 1% 1/4W 1206 x4
    RES 499 OHM 1% 1/4W 1206 x1
    LED CLEAR 1206 SMD x3
    TACTILE SWITCH SPST x1
    CONN HEADER SMD 10POS 1.27MM x1
    CONN HEADER SMD R/A 6POS 2.54MM x1