Cnc Machine for Pcb

rflorencio
rflorencio used Ask the Experts™
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Hi,

I need to make some printed circuit boards, can anyone suggest a cnc machine up to 1 000 /1 200 € / $.
Is to make 10 to 15 per month.

best regards
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Amazon list machines from $250 to $7000.  Here is one at $1000:
  https://www.amazon.com/Zen-Toolworks-7x12-Milling-Package/dp/B00H2Y2IDE/ref=sr_1_20?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1539614114&sr=1-20&keywords=cnc+pcb

And here is a recent blog post:
   https://www.amazon.com/Zen-Toolworks-7x12-Milling-Package/dp/B00H2Y2IDE/ref=sr_1_20?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1539614114&sr=1-20&keywords=cnc+pcb

But before you buy anything, it is important to decide what sort of PCB's you are going to be making.
  • Are you making 10 to 15 different boards a month, or 10 to 15 copies of a single design?
  • What size parts are you going to be using?  What tolerances do you need?
  • Can you get by with a one-sided board?  If not, how do you plan to handle the alignment for the second side?
  • Can you deal with the loss of plated through holes?

We have been looking at the PCB milling machines for years, and they really don't make sense for us.
We might have two or three PCB designs in a month, and two to twenty boards per design.
We can get one week turnaround from PCB Express, and the boards are much better than milled prototypes:
  • Tight tolerances and 4-layers
  • Plated-through holes and ROHS or tin/lead finish
  • Solder mask and silk screened labels
  • Easier to assemble and more reliable than a milled board

If we really need a board today or tomorrow, we can still hand wire a circuit on a prototype board.  And when that happens, it is an emergency, and sure sign of either poor planning or inadequate testng.
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer

Commented:
I agree with d-glitch's comment above.  For small quantities of boards it makes no sense to buy equipment to make them.  You have to buy copper-clad that is more expensive than a finished PCB, for starters.  Then for the etching process you must deal with noxious chemicals, have either a process camera or use special high-density toner to make masks.  And for the milling process you end up with a board that may work, but looks like what it is ... a one-off custom that is just barely good enough for a prototype.

I deal with AllPCB and their price for small quantities of boards is very reasonable.  They do boards 2500 mm^2 or smaller, quantity 5, for $10 with free shipping and 24 hour lead time.  It would take a long time and a lot of boards to break even on a $1000 PCB mill at that price.  With about four day turnaround for larger orders, they can supply anything but an emergency.  And as d-glitch says, if a quantity of PCBs is required, it is rarely an emergency situation.

http://www.allpcb.com/setinvite.aspx?inviteid=32951&url=https://www.allpcb.com/

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Commented:
Hi,

For now i think is the best choice.

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