Today while in the workshop running a CNC metalwork job and then following this with running a quick PCB artwork, the following came to mind.
These days since I bought the ITTP Hallmark probe I rarely use my Haimer Taster to do my referencing. It still has its uses but less and less so. A good example is when remounting the CNC vice on the tooling table. I use the Haimer to give me a running check on the vice jaw axis tracking. Beyond that the ITTP in conjunction with PathPilot probing routines meet all my referencing needs to a level of accuracy that suits.
The other thing that stuck me is how automated my process for milling printed circuit board prototypes has become. Fusion 360 Electrical module becomes more familiar to me with each passing project. It exports my PCB designs as Gerber files to import into FlatCAM. After a few clicks in FlatCAM I have a GCode file for drilling and routing. The PCB blank is gripped on my small vacuum table ready for milling and the ITTP probe references the spindle. My recent use of kitchen anti-slip material as the sacrificial layer between PCB and vacuum table top surface has made the grip on the vacuum table so much easier to achieve. The overall PCB process, whether single or double sided, has become quick, easy and repeatable. Once the board is milled I can get a reasonable looking tinned finish using a hand soldering iron and copious amounts of flux.
Techniques almost subconsciously evolve and sometimes you need to step back and see how far you have come along the road. The alternative view might be that this ‘lazy man’ has just become even more lazy.
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