Eagle > pcbgcode & eagle > DXF > Autocad > DXF> SheetCAM = board

John Ferguson

I'm pretty close to having a speedy system for generating one or two-off boards.  My interest in getting all the necessary features for one of my boards milled was more directed to generating the G-Code for the traces and G-Code for cutting out the board, and any openings, mounting holes, all set-up so that the origin and orientation for the traces and contour cuts and holes is the same.

I'm still a bit wary of getting confused but the Subject above pretty much tells the tale.  The Eagle and PcbGcode part is easy and with the way I'm setting up the router - reliable.  I've also learned how to make component files and can now fake whatever I need as far as pins, holes, and pads are concerned.

So far I can do all my stuff on the bottom of a one side board.  I export a DXF of the Eagle file to AutoCAD LT ( I have a 1992 version), then lay out board boundary and mounting holes.  Then DXF output of the milling stuff to SheetCAM which figures out toolpath and generates G-Code. 

Then all I have to do is mount the board stock, run etch, drill and contour, and I'm done. Except for tinning.

The only real problem with this is the acute attention required to keep from cutting out the board somewhere other than around the traces.  It would be really nice if AutoDesk put a little more cad capability in the milling design, but as it is, I'm getting what i want.

Who would have thought something like this can be done at home?