■ FIGURE 16. Test cut #1 shows the Z axis
depth was too deep resulting in burred
edges to the copper traces.
■ FIGURE 17. Test cut #2 shows the Z axis at
the correct depth. Note the underlying PC
board material is mostly intact.
■ FIGURE 18. Copper clad PCB
material ready to be cut.
■ FIGURE 19. EMC2
running the etch pass
on the v90.
the z axis off just enough
to release the paper.
It's common to set the
z axis a bit high since we
can always go back and
etch deeper a second time
if needed. In the creation
of the Das BlinkenBoard
prototype, we actually
did this "creeping down to
copper" quite a few
times to get it right. It’s
important to get this
depth accurate because
if you go too deep, the
underlying board material is
pulled up past the copper
cladding resulting in a
burred edge to the trace
(Figure 16). When you get
the depth set correctly, you
will see evidence of the
underlying board material
being rubbed by the end of
the bit, creating little circles
in the path (Figure 17).
CUT IT OUT ALREADY
■ FIGURE 20.
EMC2 alerts you
when its time to
■ FIGURE 21.
So, with our copper clad board mounted in place
(Figure 18), it’s just a matter of starting the run and
keeping a close eye on the progress (Figure 19). (Note:
Please use proper eye protection! The bit will throw
debris!) Change the bits when asked (Figure 20) and then
take your finished PCB and solder it up to see if it works
(Figure 21). Ours did on the first try!
Now that we had success with the PCB creation,
it was time to move on to cutting a case for Das
BlinkenBoard. We used a similar process as that above,
but since we didn't need to do the complex schematic
and trace isolation work, we used VCarve Pro. We simply
measured the various components and then layed out the
holes/outlines for them. VCarve then created the GCODE
and we used that same thumb drive to take it over to the
v90 for cutting.
We placed a scrap piece of plastic in the CNC
DAS BLINKENBOARD UPDATE
■ FIGURE 22.
box ready to
be test-cut for
testing the bezel
As I promised last month, some updated information
has been posted on the Das BlinkenBoard website,
including new software patterns focused on circular
displays and a tutorial on how to reprogram the
processor on the board using an inexpensive
programming tool. Come by the website at
www.DasBlinkenBoard.com and see what’s new!