Good Etch on PLA

A project log for 100% Homemade PCBs, by 3D Printing

No longer do we need to drill holes; they are pre-made. Cheaper prototyping and PCB manufacure

Dylan BrophyDylan Brophy 07/07/2017 at 22:226 Comments

Got my copper tape in the mail today; here is a first test:

Now I am having problems getting an image converted to a 3d model. Will keep you posted!


agp.cooper wrote 07/08/2017 at 01:42 point

If your interested I have an alternative PCB "isolation" (trace image outlines) code you can look at.
I wrote a macro to do this in DeltaCad (  The "isolations" need to get to Cad at some point so I started in a Cad package to begin. Okay, not everyone has DeltaCad but at $50 it is cheap.

I also wrote a GCode cleaner (, which I use to cleanup laser CNC files (it has an option to kill z movements for laser CNC) but it is general.


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Dylan Brophy wrote 07/08/2017 at 02:43 point

Thank you, I will too look at this.

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Morning.Star wrote 07/07/2017 at 22:54 point

Take a look at the code in #CirKit :-) 

It isnt 100% complete but it does have a routine that converts an image to scanlines in a list, plus another that generates clean GCode from them that can mill out that shape. If you do a bit of snipping to remove the outlining routine and simply feed the entire image as a list of scanlines to the GCode writer you'll get an unoptimised single layer print in a file.

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Dylan Brophy wrote 07/07/2017 at 23:57 point

This would work very well for the mask, as it should be thin.  The board itself is... different.  It needs to be many layers thick.  Perhaps GCODE can be converted to stl, modified, and resliced?  I will look into this.

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Morning.Star wrote 07/08/2017 at 08:09 point

No need :-) If you repeat the image-list-gcode process many times, and rotate the image 90 degrees in between each pass the file will contain a solid. You'd have to add a Z coordinate to each layer, but the GCode will still describe the layers as a path in X-Y. (and each one will cross the preceding one with the rotate.)

I havent looked at .STL format, that would be complicated as it's compressed. However it would be very easy to write a WaveFront file that you could import into most packages. They are just a list of corners and edges normalised on Z, perfect for prints.

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Morning.Star wrote 07/08/2017 at 08:33 point

In Cirkit I've uploaded a zip containing a program I was writing before the government stomped on me and Bea. GString is a 3D wireframe designer application, it's capable of creating and writing WaveFront objects and GCode.

I've modified the WF format slightly to include GString meta's in WF's comments so they can still be read by anything that understands a simple normalised list of vertices and edges.

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