Fully Automated CNC PCB Drill Press

Difficulty: Star LitStar LitStar LitStar LitStar Unlit (4/5)

This might be a bit overkill but here it is. A sneak peek of my Computer Numeric Controlled Printed Circuit Board Drill Press, better know as my CNC PCB Drill Press.

CNC PCB Drill PressCNC PCB Drill Press - Back

Drilling tiny holes in custom etched circuit boards can be tough considering the boards are made of fiberglass. It’s nice to have a helping hand to keep these tiny bits at the right angle while automatically raising and lowering at a feed rate set in the Arduino software.

The rigid frame is constructed with square  1″x 1″ steel tubing with an aluminum carriage bolted to it. Sitting on top of the z axis is a Nema 23 Stepper Motor for accurate control.

The High Speed Spindle’s RPM are controlled with an Arduino Pro Mini using one of it’s PWM pins giving you full control of speed.

It features a fully Custom USB Jog Wheel that uses the inexpensive Rotary Encoder, a Custom Spindle Mount, TB6560 Driver Board,  sitting on a Custom PCB.

CNC PCB Drill Press - Custom Jog Wheel RenderCNC PCB Drill Press - Jog WheelCNC PCB Drill Press - SpindleRotary Encoder

For operation you use the jog wheel to bring the spindle towards the board until it lightly touches or just about. By quickly pushing down the jog wheel you can select the speed for raising or lowering the z-axis.

When set to fast (5mm increments) the WS2812B RGB LED shines green , and when set to slow (0.5mm increments) it shines red. Once you are ready you simply hold in the jog wheel until the program begins and you can tell because the light will blink blue.

The Nema 23 Stepper Motor is controlled with a TB6560 single axis driver board receiving step signals from the Arduino Pro Mini.

If you’d like to see more please drop a comment below, email me directly using admin@triplemike.com or hit me up at any of my social links with your comments and suggestions.

My 3D Printers – Old and New

PrintrBot Simple WoodI’ve been 3D printing for years now with the same old PrintrBot Simple 1405. I bought this little printer as a DIY kit with a 100mm x 100mm print volume and it has been my work horse.  It’s definitely had it’s issues that is for sure, but once the Auto Bed Leveling Probe (ABL) was calibrated it ran great for year with zero maintenance. I did eventually upgrade the bed’s width to over 300mm but found that printing all the way to the edges was very difficult because my heated bed was only in the middle.

CR-10 MiniMore recently the cost of 3D printers has dropped so drastically I thought it’s time for an upgrade. After weighing all my options I went with the Creality CR-10 Mini with a build volume of 300mm x 220mm x 300mm. Along with its built in heated bed this is a massive upgrade for me at an amazingly low price.

I have a laundry list of upgrade to get the most out of this not so mini CR-10 Mini. Maybe an ABL probe first? Maybe OctoPrint? Stay tuned!

If you’d like to see more please drop a comment below, email me directly using admin@triplemike.com or hit me up at any of my social links with your comments and suggestions.