Quick and Dirty Combo PC board & Box

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. 

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.
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.

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.
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.
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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