FlatCAM pratical tutorial: gcode and PCB milling – Part 6

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Finally we are going to create a gcode for our machine.

Tools normalization

First we “normalize” all tools and depth, simply open all geometry to trasform in gcode and set all tools to C1 so you can set depth to 0.07mm (or other depth if you prefer).

FlatCAM Geometry Object set tool panel
FlatCAM Geometry Object set tool panel

Join geometry

Other operation to get a better readability of the project is to join th geometry with Edit --> Conversion --> Join Geo/Gerber/Exc -> Geo

FlatCAM Beta join geometry
FlatCAM Beta join geometry

Now I’m going to Join like so:

PCB_PCF8574_03_copperBottom.gbl_iso1
PCB_PCF8574_03_copperBottom.gbl_iso2
01-First2Passes
PCB_PCF8574_03_copperBottom.gbl_iso2 02-LastPass
PCB_PCF8574_03_copperBottom.gbl_iso3_ncc03-RemoveIslands
PCB_PCF8574_03_logo.gbo_iso_paint
PCB_PCF8574_03_label.gbo_iso_paint
PCB_PCF8574_03_GND.gbo_iso_paint
04-Silkscreen
PCB_PCF8574_03_contour.gm1_cutout05-Countour

Generate GCode

Now we are going to open all geometry files in sequence and click on Generate CNCJob object, but pay attention!!! you must select all Tools of Joined geometry, to simplify click on grid of tools and click “Crtl-A” first.

FlatCAM Geometry Object Panel select all and generate gcode
FlatCAM Geometry Object Panel select all and generate gcode

So now you have generated five gcode file:

  • 01-First2Passes.nc
  • 02-LastPass_cnc.nc
  • 03-RemoveIslands_cnc.nc
  • 04-SilkScreen.nc
  • 05-Countour_cnc.nc

Drill gcode files

Now are missing only the gcode files to drill the PCB.

You need a bits like this

PCB drill bits
PCB drill bits

You find here

Click on the excellon file and choose a group of tips to use, normally I use 0.8 mm and 1 mm. I use the 1mm tip above 9.5mm, then set the depth (Cut Z) to -1.9mm I select the first 3 tools in the table (which are below 9.5mm) and generate the GCode file.

FlatCAM Excellon Object Panel tools selection
FlatCAM Excellon Object Panel tools selection

So you can create 2 gcode file: one 0.8mm bit one for the 1mm bit.

  • 06-Drill_08_Bit.txt_cnc.nc
  • 07-Drill_09_Bit.txt_cnc.nc

Now we have covered all milling part, as you can see in the screen.

FlatCAM completed project with GCode
FlatCAM completed project with GCode

Mill the PCB

I started a tutorial on bCNC and I use all these files as a demonstration, I start with probe and autolevel and then all the milling files.

Final result

After clean It with sandpapaer the result is here. In this case I use a 0.07mm depth, but when 0.07 is not sufficient I raise the depth and redò the work.

FlatCAM PCB pcf8574 result
FlatCAM PCB pcf8574 result

Thanks

  1. FlatCAM pratical tutorial: introduction, installation and import
  2. FlatCAM pratical tutorial: copper traces geometry
  3. FlatCAM pratical tutorial: clean non copper area
  4. FlatCAM pratical tutorial: silkscreen geometry
  5. FlatCAM pratical tutorial: contour
  6. FlatCAM pratical tutorial: gcode and PCB milling

You can find Gerber, fritzing, images and FlatCAM project files here.


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