The introduction of the Arduino platform and Raspberry Pi has made the production of custom electronics components accessible for people who need small-scale production. As our needs grew from hobby into production, we needed a better way to produce, reproduce and stabilize our work than we could achieve with breadboards, perf boards and strip boards. Having our custom electronics manufactured would have been prohibitively expensive for our needed scale of fewer than a dozen units, so we tasked our CNC router to do the work.
After several months of research and experimentation, I discovered lots of things that work, and even more that do not. Since I couldn’t find anything on the Internet that went through the entire process from start-to-finish, I wrote my own.
It’s a very long article, but it covers everything you’ll need to know to get from nothing to a custom-made Printed Circuit Board on your CNC router.
This Instructable is part 1 of 3. Part 2 will build on the ability to create a custom PCB and will show you how to create a WiFi controller for LED light strips. Part 3 ties it all together and shows how I have been making backlit signs. Check back in November for parts 2 and 3.
UPDATE: Part 2 is here. (Instructables link)