Help Screen (shows every time you run the program):
Example EAGLE schematic:
Example EAGLE layout for above schematic (note the use of ground plane by drawing a rectangular polygon on top
layer and naming it GND):
At this point you would run the PCBGCODE.ULP and generate the milling files for top (and bottom if needed).
The files are simple text files you can open and edit in NOTEPAD.
You then start PCB-GCODE-WIZARD and load the pcbgcode file and view it.
Initial Plot All Screen for above layout (red lines = XY axis, red dots = drill locations, blue lines = trace outlines):
Note that redundant milling paths were created for the ground plane fill too, we want to remove those to reduce milling time.
Gcode File Statistics shown after loading:
(Note that you can estimate total milling time if you know your feedrate and rapid rate, just use the Total Milling Length
and Total G00 Rapid Length shown.)
After clicking Zoom button and dragging a desired zoom rectangle:
This shows the use of the Measure button to get the distance between any two locations (you must DRAG the mouse):
Enter any Tool Diameter to see how the milled board would look:
Press the T key to toggle display of the wider milled lines:
Position the cursor near a point and press the P key to get the coordinates of the nearest point.
The point will be highlighted with a red circle and dot.
Pressing the Optimize button will show you all of the original un-optimized G00 Rapid movements (i.e. tool up).
The plot below is an example of a large board.
After you click OK the shortest path though the G00 Rapids will be calculated and shown. It will look like a squiggly line.
Here we see the 1st outline highlighted in red after starting the CLEAN mode. This will cycle through ALL outlines in the file
and let you KEEP (Esc key also) or DELETE (Delete key also) it. Below we see a redundant outline due to the copper pour
that was used on the board for ground plane fill, so we would likely want to DELETE it.
Here is the 3rd outline, which is obviously a desired trace, so we would KEEP it.
Here is the 7th outline. It is a small piece of copper that also isn't really part of the circuit, so we could DELETE it.
Note that in Clean mode, the screen zoom factor constantly adjusts to best fit the outline being presented. Sometimes
the outlines are of a very, very small area.
After the last outline has been shown, you will get this message:
So finally, here is the final CLEANED plot, which only has ONE milling path to isolate the traces. All redundant paths have
been removed. This view is actually shown in the SELECT mode, where you can mouse-click on individual outlines to
delete them. Press U to Undo (one time only) and Escape to exit SELECT mode.
Finally, after being Cleaned and Optimized, you will want to SAVE a new Gcode file. You will be given the option to
keep all of the original comment lines, or discard them and a few other comments added at the beginning instead.
You will then be given the option to add "N" line numbers. Note, any original line numbers are always discarded,
because the clean and optimize processes would put them out of order. You can also use this to add line numbers
to a Gcode file that doesn't already have them (just load the file and save it using this dialog).
Here is another example of an original Gcode file, one that had 4 or 5 milling passes to widen the isolation amount to
what was specified in PCB-GCODE.ULP. If you only were interested in milling ONE pass, you would set up the isolation
parameters so that only 2 passes were created (set ISO MAX to less than TOOL SIZE).
In this plot we have a Gcode file that only created two milling passes, again because we used ground plane fill in the design.
We would delete the redundant paths (by using either SELECT mode or CLEAN mode) and cut the total milling time by roughly in half.
This is the main purspose of using PCB-Gcode-Wizard, other than as a nice viewer and rapids optimizer.
END OF SCREENSHOTS
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