Quick and Dirty Combo PC board & Box

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PCB/box combo ready to go after a bit of deburring.

Maybe when you get a new hammer, everything is *not* a nail, but when you have CNC, everything turns into a CNC project ;-). I used to hand-cut a lot lot of copper-clad circuit board material for a variety of projects. It was a quick and dirty way to get stuff built, but cutting PC traces and peeling copper with a hobby knife is slow and hard on your hands.

After needing more than one of this little test box, I turned the board AND box into a quick CNC-cut “kit”, much like model airplane parts. 

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Mounting plate to hold 4×6″ blank PCB. There are 0.07″ walls to hold the board in place. A few 1″ strips of VHB tape then hold the board solidly in place.
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Blank PCB in the holder

The cut pattern was laid out with Fusion360 which also plots the toolpath. A nice feature is that Fusion360 also makes it easy to add tabs to hold all the pieces in place during cutting. Extra credit for the future would be cut a real PCB pattern into the bottom instead of just a grid of boxes, but this is quick and easy and all I need right now.

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After cutting. There are some burrs that a sharper endmill would probably reduce. This was cut with a 1/16″ carbide two-flute endmill running at 10000 RPM. Faster would have been even better, but that’s the limit of my machine.
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Copper clad after deburring and tack-soldered together.  Strength is pretty robust with just a few tack solder blobs here and there. There is no top for this example. The bottom has a built-in pads to hook up whatever. The bottom could even be a complete surface mount PCB circuit as long as it was confined to one side. A few jumpers might be small price to pay for not needing a separate box.
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All built and ready for mad scientist action.

This would be a great way to update the SMD tweezers Cheap SMD Measuring Tweezers, but it’s not high on my punch list right now.

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