Printed circuit board milling-Tooling-Alternatives

- Dec 28, 2016-

Printed circuit board milling-Tooling-



PCBs may be machined with conventional endmills, conical d-bit cutters, and spade mills. D-bits and spade mills are cheap and as they have a small point allow the traces to be close together. Taylor's equation, Vc Tn = C, can predict tool life for a given surface speed.


A method with similar advantages to mechanical milling is laser etching and laser drilling. Etching PCBs with lasers offers the same advantages as mechanical milling in regards to quick turnaround times, but the nature of the laser etching process is preferable to both milling and chemical etching when it comes to physical variations exerted on the object. Whereas mechanical milling and chemical etching exact physical stress on the board, laser etching offers non-contact surface removal, making it a superior option for PCBs where precision and geometric accuracy are at a premium, such as RF & microwave designs. Laser drilling is more precise, has extremely low power consumption compared with other techniques, requires less maintenance, does not use lubricants or drill bits, low rates of wear, does not use abrasive materials, does not ruin the boards, is more eco friendly, and in the most high-powered machines, the drilling is instant, but is expensive.

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