I wish that I could relate tips for troubleshooting the Modela milling machine in this post – but I have hit a brick wall. (However, I recommend you try the steps below if you are troubleshooting your own milling machine.) My boards have been milling extremely hairy for weeks – punctuated by a workable board or two out of 50 or so milled.
I have tried:
- changing the bit
- changing / tightening the set screws
- moving the position of the spindle (from high to low – low to high)
- scraping the bed with razorblades to ensure that the boards are level (we accumulate tape and glue on the bed sometimes).
- moving the position of the copper to be milled on the bed (sometimes this helps and but I can not replicate the same results in the same place twice.)
- I have tried using different batches of whatever copper stock we have left in the lab.
- I read the manual – no real help there – mostly Modela specific software tips.
- I tried booting into Windows (we usually run the machine using Ubuntu) to see if there was a “recalibration” or “troubleshooting” program or setting in the Modela software – I couldn’t find anything to run that was machine based.
When I first began using the Modela back in January – I often had these types of problems, but as I became better acquainted with the machine, the boards came out better overall, with an occasional hairy board. However, in the last few weeks I mill almost exclusively mangled boards with the occasional usable board being produced.
As I am completely out of time – I thought I would try to cut my remaining infrared prototype boards for my final project / networking on the vinyl cutter out of flexible copper sheets. The boards are very tiny – I am not sure I can get them off off the sticky background without destroying them. I cut many multiples to use as spare parts for when parts get torn. Hopefully this will work and I can finish my projects.