Design and mill PCB: Easy and Cheap – Part 1

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Milling process with my old router

I write this guide because I think It’s helpful have a starter tutorial to milling PCB in a very simple way and low budget.

Instruments: Router

If you have some passion for homemade things you must build a router.

To build It you need arduino an old scanner and an old printer.

I write old in bold because new device sometime haven’t a stepper motor but brush motor with feedback device.

Than If you have at home a dremel like It’s perfect to complete your CNC.

My old CNC is that (a mix of drawer guides, epson gt-8700 and Lexmark x642e all completed with plexyglass).

Instruments: Router Electronic

Component of CNC

  • Arduino UNO.

  • CNC Shield

  • DRV8825 or A4988.

  • Stepper from Scanner and Printer.

  • Relay to activate Dremel.

  • You must create a board to eliminate noise from limit switch.
  • I use HC-05 bluetooth to control the CNC because the noise of dremel is very high and I prefer control from another room (Explain connection here).

Program/firmware on Arduino

  • You can find here the program to upload to arduino (I must change some property of code to use without speed regulator, my dremel is activated or deactivated without PWM, you can find code ready to upload in Arduino here).

Buy a mini CNC

I think It’s better if you wait my guide to build a low cost CNC, but other solution is to buy a little CNC, you can find It at very low cost.

Instruments: FR4 Single Side Copper Clad Plate.

For the project I select a single side Copper clad plate 1.5mm thin.

Exists 2 variant one with yellow (laminate) and other white material (Glass Fiber), the second one is better for milling.

Instruments: V Style Bit (20/30° Angle and 0.1mm Tip).

It’s very cheap bit I buy 10pcs for 4$, and work well.

I prefer this pyramid style because is more strong than standard V bits.

You can buy here  

Instruments: Fritzing

A beautiful program to prototype board.

Instruments: FlatCam

A specified program to create gcode from Gerber file.

Instruments: GCode Sender

Universal GCode Sender

This program is simple and beautiful, but now I use bCNC because without autolevelling It’s very difficult to obtain perfect result, I write a guide soon.


In the video my new CNC and I write a guide to build It soon.


In the next part we are going to examine Fritzing to draw our prototype board.

  1. Instruments
  2. Fritzing
  3. FlatCam
  4. UGS and bCNC
  5. Solder Mask
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