Let's Make Robots!

Hi all, would any one need PCBs/parts cut using my machine?

It looks like my CNC is finished and ready to do stuff, so I was wondering if could make some money out of it.

Stuff I could fabricate:

I should be able to use the machine to fabricate the following stuff:

- PCBs made with Eagle up to the maximum size allowed with the free version - I'm still working on the details but I'm sure I'll get it to do this properly, first tests look promising

- parts for your robots cut out of acrylic sheets (or some other plastic material) and ply wood (I think up to 5 mm think is fine for both more than that would increase the time to fab them) maybe aluminum too I have to test at some point.

- other stuff - ideas are welcome

Now regarding PCBs I can also create kits or assemble and test your design, assuming I can find the parts.

Regarding parts, with the end mills I have available I can go as low as 1 mm, for example if you need a gear the minimum distance between the teeth should not be less than 1 mm. So think that the minimum resolution I can work with to keep things simple is 1 mm. Later I might get some smaller end mills and increase the resolution.

Quality:

I will try creating parts/PCBs of the best quality possible, but mind that I'm not going to be able to provide the quality you would get from a proffesional service, so if you need this kind of stuff you know where to go.

Quantity:

Depends on size, material and available time, the price will probably be the same as for one piece regardless of quantity unless it's a very very simple part. 

 File formats:

The designs for the PCBs can be in the Eagle format as long as I can load them in the free version. Other formats might be usable too but I haven't tested that yet.

For milling parts, SVG, DXF, and HeeksCad files should be ok later on I might be able to use others. Of course if you have no experience creating the design, I can probably help with that too. 

Prices:

I think it is best to negotiate them based on the project. 

Shipping costs I have no idea yet.

I'm willing to accept swapping for other parts if you have something to offer that of course is of interest to me.

Conditions:

1. I cannot, and will not provide any warranty on stuff I cannot test or it is designed poorly (for example you order a PCB board with your design or someone elses,  and after you assemble it it blows up ... bad luck)

2. I will only take orders I think are feasible, in my time constraints

3. Shipping will be done using postal services, except you decide to pay for another shipping service 

 

BTW: I'm used to work with metric units so it would be best to design using metric units to avoid conversion issues.

 

That's it for now it is more of a draft.

I'd like your input on this, what do you think? 

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as some might have notices, I do all my digital graphic work in MS Paint...

If I have one part prototyped in paintstick/polymorp/whatever, is there any way you can translate that into those digital formats you mentioned? One idea that struck me was to put my part on a flatbed scanner and mail you that picture, would you be able to trace that into something useful?Sorry for being so helpless.

If you have precision MS Paint work or a scan, you can use an Inkscape plugin to trace the edges.  There are some tutorials under google search "SCAL Inkscape", for example:

http://scraption.com/2008/12/how-to-use-inkscape-sure-cuts-alot-scal-software/

That'd be only good for 2-D design though, and if the part is low-contrast you might have to apply some sort of processing first.

my 2¢,
-John

BTW, great idea, TinHead.  I was thinking about doing something similar myself (supplying PCBs at cost or a little above) to test my machine at first, and maybe later to support my electronics habit.  You might want to create an EagleCAD Design Rule File for your machine. 

A joint venture sounds good -- the machines ought to have roughly similar capability (within a factor of 2) and I wouldn't mind helping out in shipping within the USA.  I have similar caveats to what you've written -- no liability, et cetera, and I'll try my best (but I'm not a professional). Mostly I'd like to help people, test my machine, and get some experience in machining.

I set up some design rules that should do for my machine as long as the minimum clearances don't come up too often:

Risky Design Rules v1: http://www.freakivy.com/Valkyrie_minimum.dru
Safe Design Rules v1: http://www.freakivy.com/Valkyrie_safe.dru

The "Safe Rules" are a good guide to what I can reliably do, and the "Risky Rules" may result in a bad trace every once in the while. (I don't think I can do much better until I improve my X-Y-Z stage assembly).

-John

... while EU people can get my help :D

I still haven't nailed PCB's yet, I find it very hard to align the head to the PCB surface, I actually had it right once while playing around manually but then when I sent the actual file trough it was off again ... I think disabling the Z-axis when it doesn't have to move might be a bad idea so I'll try leaving it enabled ... and hot as hell ... that might be true for the rest of them too ... A fact which just gave me a new idea to try: keep em enabled but with half power ... which might just do the trick >:) 

Maybe? :)

A hand drawn sketch with your design in paint, with the measurements added could be enough for me at least to tell you if it can be done, if it does then I can turn it into the digital design.  So go ahead give it a try, I'll have a look and let you know.