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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Precision Board Layout

In the shop we had a problem, we ran out of one of the kits for freshman exploratory. We had all the parts and documentation but we had no boards, so off I when to make an exact duplicate of the board. We did this to make the assembly instruction compatible with the board that came premade with the kit. Time was of the essence we had to have 12 board made up the next day by noon time so the students didn't have any down time, cost is about three times what a kit cost so we really didn't save money and ordering kits were out of the question there is about a 5 week lead time on orders.

How I did it, will with a set of calipers I measure each component hole X and Y coordinates using the Left Bottom of the board as X=0000,Y=0000 reference point. I also had to make a couple of custom foot print for switches. The interesting thing is the software (traxmaker) reference point starts at X=1000,Y=1000 so everything is offset by 1000 mills.

Here is a photo of the board

Heres the copy:

after printing it out and holding the PCB up to the paper printout everything lines up perfectly. The test PCB I milled lined up as well, I used a T-Tech 5000 Milling machine.