Our boss likes to get PCB mill (Accurate 360 or LPKF S62 – still not decided
I have some questions
1) How is the process to match top and bottom layers ?
2) What is the max. drill diameter ( both machines have 1/8 collet) ?
3) What kind of maintenance is needed ?
4) Are they operating under the 64- bit W (7/vista) ?
5) What kind of Gerber files are needed are they the same from different CAD ?
6) Any practical impressions from PhCNC or CircuitCAM
7) How complicated boards we can run ?
8 ) What is the advantage of automatic tool change (seems that S62 has it) ?
9) What kind of tools are used ?
I have many more question… but enough for now..
@ohararp already comment S62. I don’t have any hands on experience with S62, but have 19 months with Accurate A360
1.There are two ways to match top to bottom layers, using registration pins or using the camera (fiducial registration). I personally prefer the second one, it is easy, fast and more accurate.
2. A360 do not has any limitation in the diameter of the drilled holes. It simply uses a router bit for all holes larger than the bit. It is the same one that I am using for final cut-out. Software arranges this with just one mouse click.
3. Maintenance looks easy, according to Accurate, the linear bearings are lubricated for life and the screws need to be lubricated once in 3-4 years. I have contacted them on this matter. They offer small amount of the special lubricant used in the screws. I have changed already two spindle drive belts. Seems that they last less than Accurate pretends.
4. A360 have USB drivers for 32&64 bits Widows OS. Seems that the compatibility of S62 is based on USB to RS-232 outside converter, and the camera option is real USB. I just think that they have drivers for the camera, compatible with 64 bits OS.
5. I think both PhCNC and CircuitCAM don’t have problems with Gerber and drill files coming from any CAD system. A few months ago I have found a comparison tests, but can’t remember where.
6. My opinion is worthy only for PhCNC – easy, convenient and well build SW.
I had good impressions from CircuitCAM but they are dated more than two years ago, seems to me that it is more complicated and a bit harder to understand. The separate program to control the plotter (the name was Board Master I think) also makes the usage kind of more complicated.
In PhCNC you can go back and forth between CAM and CNC mode and correct things even after you start the machining (between the operations).
7. So far I did more than 30 boards (not only for me), many of them with LQFP packages and tight spacing.
8. I liked ATC too, but after my intensive questioning to the customer service of LPKF how the machine handles the difference between tool rings settings I have been told that the V type of tools should be set manually. That makes ATC not so impressive to me. On top of this the system was priced (at that time) at $22K.
Here are some useful sources for info: http://www.cityofxanthi.gr/ilias/Preise ... 011205.pdf
Second hand S62 are relatively hard to find and the prices are still too high.
9. Here is more useful info: http://ilab.usc.edu/wiki/index.php/CNC
I am buying my tools from PreciseBits http://www.precisebits.com/products/car ... ngrave.asp
and Tink & Thinker: http://www.thinktink.com/stack/volumes/ ... chmill.htm
Looking at Accurate website seems that my A360 is replaced with new models. I am still very happy with it and don’t think that I need to change it.