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etching acrylic and glass

December 10, 2011

I took the Mantis to the TriLug meeting at Splatspace last night (Thursday, Dec 8 ) and it generated a lot of interest, both in the mill and the PCBs it creates.

I had only a tiny scrap of FR1 left, so I thought I could try milling a fake board on a piece of acrylic as a demo. LOL- with no spindle speed control, it immediately began to melt it and the bit grew a giant blob/bead of melted and cooled acrylic. It might be possible with a higher feed speed and something like a dremel steel bit.

I could control the speed of the motor but unlike a true spindle it will have less torque as it slows down.

I ended up toolpathing a tiny picture of a rose for a young fan, on that last little scrap of PCB board. That was fun. And finally I stuck in a cheap diamond-abrasive teardrop bit and tried a piece of glass.

It worked surprisingly well, which I honestly was not expecting.  I had to lie about the diameter of the bit to get cad.py to fit paths into the lines of the image, but it worked.

My single-point diamond bit arrived today- I have to see what it can do. I also have more of those diamond abrasive bits, but they are really of poor quality and may not stand up to much use at all.

(Most of these experiments are for the Holiday Ornament Make-A-Thon next weekend.)

Also, today I finally got the chance to actually mate the Atmega 168s with the Fabio 1.1 boards.  I haven’t soldered them yet; this was just the first time I actually aligned the board with the chip under the scope- confirmation that my math and the milling paths were all correct. It fits great. I hope to get the two I have cut, soldered up this weekend.

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