The Bay Area’s Maker Faire 2018 encompasses an impressive scope of activities. Pedal-powered live music, fire-breathing machines, kids building stuff, corn dogs, fresh honey, LEDs, soldering, roaming robots, and so much more. The last couple of days I made a few posts on the things I saw at Maker Faire. In this post, I’ll summarize many things that don’t fit together, but I wanted to mention that I enjoyed seeing.

Click here to check out my other Maker Faire 2018 posts. They include first-looks at the two new exciting Arduino boards, five companies I didn’t expect to see at the show, and a photo gallery of my favorite stuff.

There are two methods to making a prototype PCB: 1) Etch Your Own or 2) Send to a Prototyping Service. While there are many prototyping service options, most cause you to wait anywhere between 24 hours and 30 days before you get your boards back.

If you need a PCB done today, etching at home is a great option. Chemical etching involves all kinds of steps with all kinds of weird chemicals. If you don’t want your neighbors to think you’re the next Walter White, then mechanical etching is a better option. Which is why I bought an X-Carve from Inventables. It’s a CNC Milling Kit you build yourself.

Keep reading for my X-Carve CNC Review and first-hand experience on etching my first PCB. Plus, lots of pictures!

Early on in planning the design for the Quadrotor, we knew that eventually some of the metal parts would need to be milled.  Having very little milling experience, other than a couple of basic-use classes at TechShop, I had no milling experience.  When it came time to start buying router bits for the ShopBot and Tormach CNC routers, I didn’t know what kind of bits were necessary.

Understanding End Mills

Greg over at 100kGarages put together a primer titled CNC Router Bits Demystified, which does a great job of explaining the basics of an End Mill, Ball Nose, Downcut, Upcut etc.