machine and did a
quick test cut to be
sure the orientation
and fit were right
(Figure 22), then
placed a store-bought
enclosure onto the
CNC bed and cut out
the component slots
(Figure 23). After lining
up all the components
(Figure 24), we
populated the holes
beginning with the square
snap-in switches (Figure 25),
then the toggle switch, and
lastly some LED holders
(Figure 26). So now,
Das BlinkenBoard has
Das BlinkenBox (Figure 27)!
■ FIGURE 23. Finished front
panel bezel for Das BlinkenBox.
■ FIGURE 24. Parts ready to go into the bezel.
■ FIGURE 25. The snap-ins switches
shown here in various states of
As you can see, besides cutting CD-ROM earrings
it's quite possible to create your own professional-grade
circuit boards and front panel bezels right in your own
shop using a CNC machine. If you've been looking for
an excuse to get into CNC systems, the time and money
you'll save over mail-order PCB services, added to the
frustration you'll save yourself over hand-fabricating your
electronic enclosures, makes a CNC system pretty tempting! There are plenty of folks already involved in CNC and
quite a few of them are ready to help out the new folks
just starting out.
If you want to see some
impressive things created by CNC
owners, go by the PROBOTIX online
■ FIGURE 26.
and most of
forums and check out the pictures. As always, if you
have any questions, feel free to drop me an email at
■ FIGURE 27. Das BlinkenBox front
bezel with parts mounted.
July 2009 65