Published Ameen Nihad 's version 5.4 of Eagle BRD widget.

Published @ameen.nihad 's version 5.4 of Eagle BRD widget. Ameen has added an incredible amount of features with the most notable recent one your ability to mill registration holes on a set size FR4 board as seen in screenshot. This lets you flip your board accurately to mill the bottom layer.

@ameen.nihad I cleaned up some of the layout and wording to try to make things cleaner.

I checked this yesterday and he add so a lot of feature, im impressed. Awesome work!

I can not wait to try this, I don’t even know what to build!

Thanks @ameen.nihad ​ and @jlauer ​. You both did a great amount of work.

Cannot wait to get back to my 3040 and start milling 2-sided PCBs.

@ameen.nihad deserves all the credit on these changes. Tons of new stuff here. I can’t wait to use it either.

The most extensive work done in version 5.4 was in the Tabs feature, I had to inflate/deflate dimension paths without using any JavaScript library, this was necessary to add tabs to curves, here is a sample board:
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Here is another sample, BTW … I can’t add two images to one post here, I don’t know why!
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I loaded samples and simulations is showing bit offset down to right of image.

Nevermind, need to render first… opps.

Typo - “Select which layer to use as board dimansions layer.”

My first PCB with Version 5.4. For better clearance I milled traces twice with different inflation value 0.35 & 0.15 mm, I used 0.3 mm end mill, it’s a single sided board.
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Looks great @ameen.nihad ​.

Where do you buy your blank PCBs?

@ameen.nihad that is an insanely gorgeous looking PCB.

With respect to you milling traces twice at 0.15 and 0.35mm, I’ve considered that too because I do find when I go to solder that 0.3mm isolation can cause solder bridging. My preferred approach then has been to get a solder mask to be easy to do from CP, rather than make isolation paths wider. I have not yet succeeded in a solder mask approach I’m happy with, but hopefully soon I can try out my UV laser exposing technique thus why I started that Solder Mask tab.

I tried solder mask few times, I can cure the ink with UV LEDs without issues, but I can’t distribute the ink evenly over the board, at the end it works but the board doesn’t look nice.
I think two piece of glass will solve my issue, like the ones used in this video:

@Justin_Adie I normally buy blank FR4s from Aliexpress.

@ameen.nihad professional board houses sometimes use silk screen to smear on the solder mask, then tack dry in oven for 20 mins, then expose. I’m going to try that next. This removes the need for glass. Then I want to expose the all the parts minus the pads and develop away the pads. I have tried UV curing the mask and then laser ablating the pads and I get really clean cut out pads, but I get a layer of oxidation really strong it’s hard to solder. Have ended up scratching away the oxide and then I can solder, but it’s a lot of manual work to scratch the pads with fine pointed instrument.

I am using similar method to apply the soldermask. Old credit card helps to distribute the mask evenly for larger boards and help get air bubbles out. I am using tStop or bStop layer mask printed on transparency on top of the board and UV LEDs lamp to cure the mask. Finally clean residual mask (what is covered with black is not cured) with acetone.

The layers in this process are (bottom to top):

  • glass from picture frame
  • PCB with milled or etched traces
  • soldermask paint
  • piece of transparent foil, little bigger size than PCB (here I am using transparent plastic used as front cover when binding documents)
  • tStop or bStop layer printed on inkjet printer transparency
  • glass
  • clips to keep layers together
    Curing time is 12-15 minutes with my lamp.

I will soon try applying soldermask on a whole board and cure with UV light, then use laser diode to burn the mask out of pads with Chilipeppr. This will speed up the process.

One thought I had, since the laser ablating works really well actually (since the copper deflects the laser but the epoxy burns cleanly), is to maybe come back with an endmill, or modified endmill with a scotchbrite type scrubber on it, and scrape/scrub the pads. You could even take off a very slight surface without removing all the copper. Then it’s all done in ChiliPeppr and you’ve only added one extra step.

BTW, the other idea on the solder mask is to dispense it from a 1mm wide syringe using ChiliPeppr and just make sure the syringe is 0.05mm above the surface to get a 50 micron thick mask. I heard masks are around 20 micron thick. If you have auto-level data already you could even follow surface curvature with syringe dispenser. You’d still have to do the laser ablating process, but you possibly could have the syringe not cover all of the pad with dispensed mask and thus no oxides on that part.

@jlauer I thought a lot in last time about a solder mask and the youtube link from @ameen.nihad was very impressive. If it possible to put the lack/solder mask before(!!) milling the pcb? Then after mill the signals, we can use the very nice scratch-clean-process from this video to clean the pads?