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How to use the PC Board CAM software with the PC Board Prototyping System to create custom PC Boards
Last Updated: 12/07/2018
This Knowledge Base Article will show you how to use the PC Board CAM software with the PC Board Prototyping System to create custom PC Boards

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PC Board CAM Workflow 4-19-2018 Rev2

Use this document to create toolpaths in PC Board CAM


Open File

Open->New Circuit

You will have to make sure that you save out your Gerber file in the correct format so that
you can load it into the Board Cam software. If you saved from Eagle using the Creating a CAM job for Eagle for the PC Board CAM software tutorial you will also open the Drills file.

For our example we will open up sample file 2

We get a prompt on the screen that the highlighted track defines the card Contour path.
Choose Yes. This tells the software that this line is the cut out line of the board



Board Dimensions

File-> Dimensions…

Check to make sure the board dimensions are correct.
The thickness for the PC boards we include in the kit are
1.32 mm so enter the thickness as 1.4 so the drills will go all the way through.





Alignment

We can then use some of the alignment features to align our board to a point on
the design as well as rotate the board if needed.

For the current sample, this is not required.
File->Origin File->Filp or Rotate


Set Up Tools

Parameters-> Tool Library…

We will now go in and set up our tools the first time we use the software

Engraving Tool

We will set the engraving tool to tool number one for engraving the circuit layer.

Cut Out Tool

We will set tool number two as our cut out tool and we will use a 1/16 inch flat endmill


Drills

We will set up the drills for each of the drill holes.

We can use different size of drills for each hole or we can let the drill route
out the holes to do the exact size that it is specified in the design.


If we let the drill route out the holes then we can use one drill for all the hole sizes.

Or we can use each individual drill size.

The drill kit we supply with the PC Board Prototyping Kit includes.

0.3mm, 0.4mm, 0.5mm, 0.6mm, 0.7mm, 0.8mm, 0.9mm, 1.0mm, 1.1mm, 1.2mm the
size is on the shank.


Select Tools

Parameters-> Selected Tools…

We will now go in and tell it which tools to use for which operations.








We will choose how we want it to drill out the holes.

We can use a single tool to cut all holes with circular boring. (Selected)

We can use an individual drill for each hole size.

If you do not have a toolchanger then I recommend using circular boring that way
you will only have to
change the drill tool once. If you have a toolchanger then you
can use individual drill sizes for each of the holes sizes.



Create Tabs

Machine>Card Contour>Add cutting tabs….

Create tabs for the cut out/Contour cutting

We are going to add tabs to the contour cut out so the board will stay in the material and
then we can break it out. This will be when it uses tool number two the 1/16 inch tool to
cut out the board. We do this at the last step in the cutting process.



I have set the width to 2mm and added 4 tabs one to each side.






Choose Layer 1 to Exit Cutting Tabs.




Calculate Contours

Machine->Calculate contours

We can now generate the tool paths that will be used to isolate all of the circuits.

When the Set contours dialog box opens it allows you to set the number of tool passes
that it will create around each circuit I typically only choose one.




Calculate Hatches (Optional)

Machine->Calculate hatches

We can now generate the hatch tool paths that will be used to remove the rest of the
copper on the board. The cutting for removing all the copper can take a long time so
it is not recommended unless you have a specific reason.



When the Set hatches dialog box opens it allows you to set a number of options.



Drills

Choose drills to use for each hole size

We will open up the Drills List and set the parameters for which drills to use for which
hole size range.


The drill kit we supply with the PC Board Prototyping Kit includes.

0.3mm, 0.4mm, 0.5mm, 0.6mm, 0.7mm, 0.8mm, 0.9mm, 1.0mm, 1.1mm, 1.2mm the size is on
the shank.





As you select the holes they are highlighted on the board




Simulate Cut

Display->Final Rendering

We can now view the simulated cut. Notice we do not have the hatches on this
rendering. You can see your tabs, the different holes, and how the traces fit
between each circuit.



Output Parameters

Parameters-> Output Data Format…

We will choose the machine we're going to use to cut out the board and make
sure all of the settings for that machine are correct.

Choose Roland EGX&MDX-40/500/540/650-0.01mm for all Roland machines
including the SRM-20 and MDX-50.

We will choose the location and what file name the software will give the toolpath
file when saved.

We could choose to have the file sent direct to the machine. If the machine is
hooked up.




Create the Toolpath File

We will now create the toolpath that we will send to the machine.

Choose Mill Icon or Machine>Mill

No Automatic Toolchanger

In the Final output dialog box we will choose a single layer at a time if we do not have a
tool changer

For Example

Section #1 Engraving layer #1



Automatic Toolchanger

If you have a toolchanger we can select all layers in the order you want the machine
to perform each operation.

For Example

Section #1 Engraving layer #1

Section #2 Drilling Tool 1

Section #3 Drilling Tool 2

Section #4 Drilling Tool 3

Section#5 Cutting out

Choose X,Y,Z Origin Point

Same Dialog Box

We will now select the XYZ origin point we are going to use. The XYZ origin point
must match in the software and on the machine. The location of the XY origin point
will change if you are doing a 1 sided board or a 2 sided board. For the 1 sided board
we can use any XY origin point, I prefer the lower left hand corner (South-West corner).
For 2 sided boards you need to use the center of the board so that when you flip it over
the holes match up.

The Z origin or Z-zero point can be the top of the board or Circuit surface or the bottom
of the board also known as the machine bed. I prefer to use the top of the board/circuit
surface.


One sided board

If you are cutting a one-sided board then use the lower left-hand corner (Southwestcorner) and Circuit surface.


Machine X,Y,Z Origin Point Location


Two sided board

If you are going to cut a two sided or you need to use the center of the board and the
origin point after you have added the centering holes go back to File>Origin and set
origin to center by dividing board size /2.

To find board size go to File>Dimensions
Select Ok - To Start Cutting

Board either starts cutting or you have created a text file with the toolpaths.
If so, you can send the text file to the machine through the V Panel software


Machine Specific Additional Info

Roland SRM-20

When you send a file to the SRM-20 the V Panel always starts with this message
so you have to chooseResume to start cutting this has to do with the tool change
command in the code.



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