Was wondering if anyone is able to share their knowledge as I'm about to go mad going through thousands of irrelevant google results.
I built a 3 axis CNC machine and it is controlled by Mach 3.
I want to etch some PCB boards by first PLOTTING them on my CNC with a Permanent Pen, and then using chemicals to etch the unwanted copper away.
I am going to mount a Staedtler 313 permanent marker with a fine tip of 0.4mm onto my CNC mill to use as a plotter pen.
I am after a software which is able to convert my Gerber (.gbr), Penplot (.pen) or even PDF files (containing the traces) into G CODE so that MACH 3 can plot the traces (like an engraver) and NOT the insulation paths.
This seems like a rather easy task but I had no luck discovering which software can do this.
I have tried using insulation method with a carbide tip cutter but the results were poor and require too much time, checking for short circuits as well as other issues which make this method unappealing.
Also tried heat transfer, the result is even worse.
So if anyone knows of any CAM software capable of taking the gerber traces and giving me the SAME traces (not insulation cutting paths) as a G CODE, your input would be much appreciated and will hopefully be up for other people to see if they should encounter similar problems.
Thanks in advance.
Looks like nobody's out there...
Anyways, in the meantime tried using LazyCam (with a twist.) Importing Gerber file worked ok... However all the 'pads' were chained as circles at their most outer edge... which in practise would mean that the circle once drawn would be larger for the diameter of the plotter pen... there is no quick and easy way to use Lazycam to ofset for this as far as I could see so I altered the pad sizes just before exporting gerber in my DesignSpark PCB software.
Seemed to do the trick for now, it's a bit of a long process tho and so far only tested on photo paper. Will try it on PCB tomorrow.
If anyone else has any knowledge regarding this, your input would be much appreciated.