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Design Commons

Milling Certification
PRACTICAL
Milling is the physical process of fabricating a PCB (printed circuit board) by means of cutting,
or subtracting away, areas of the copper PCB. This leaves only the traces, pads, and component
structures remaining. The PCB mill featured in the Design Commons is a computer-controlled
device. Layout of the PCB board is done on the computer software, and then the operator need
only assist the mill by changing out drill bits and heads as the mills cuts the board.
Format of the Certification
To pass the certification, you will first be given one week to read through the necessary materials
needed for training. After that, you will be given a quiz, graded as follows:
80% and above is passing
60-70% will merit a retry on the certification in one more week
A score of below 60% is failing
If you fail the quiz, you will have to retry the certification, from the beginning, during the next
training cycle. If issues arise, discuss them with one of the Senior Design TAs.
After passing the quiz, you will be given one week to complete a practical on your own. Details
of the practical are as follows below. Be prepared to submit a detailed report summarizing your
findings. The Milling TA will then evaluate your report and give you a PASS/FAIL grade. At
that point, if you pass, you will officially become a Milling Apprentice. If you fail, you may
retry the certification from the beginning at a later date.
Materials Needed

Mill Bits These can be purchased at catalog.ece.okstate.edu. You will have to pay for
these on your own or find a friend to borrow from. OSU Mill Kit will be a good place to
get started.
6x6 Double Sided Copper Board This will be given to you by the milling TA if you are
in ECEN 4013 or purchased from the catalog otherwise.
Backup Board This will be kept with the milling machine, so you do not need to
acquire it on your own.

The Practical
Congratulations - you passed the Milling Certification Quiz.
The next step is to perform the practical part of the certification. Details have been included
later in this document. You will be making a Firefly circuit. The complete circuit will be done

on the small 6x6 copper board.


It is also very important to remember that these boards need to have their space conserved as
much as possible, as you will be sharing the limited supplies amongst yourselves. The 6x6
boards can accommodate multiple Firefly circuits. I expect you to orient your designs properly
so as to save as much space as possible.
You will be required to submit a milled Firefly PCB for the practical as your deliverable.
These will be evaluated by the TA and then a PASS/FAIL grade will be given to you.
DO NOT FORGET to mill your name on the boards before submitting them, or your
boards will not be graded!
Milling a Firefly
Using the 6x6 pieces of copper board, mill out one complete Firefly board for submission.
These schematics can be found in the Layouts folder in the Training Documents > PCB Milling
section of the Sharepoint website:
1. Open up the Firefly.ewprj file in Ultiboard
2. Export the Board Outline, Copper Top, Copper Bottom, and Drill layers as Gerber-247X
files
3. Import the 4 layers into IsoPro for isolation and milling
4. Do not forget to create a new layer in IsoPro that uses the pointed tool to mill your
name somewhere onto the Firefly board!
You will be evaluated on the following:
Wasting as little copper as possible

Clean lines
Smooth board edges
Connectivity
Trace Depth
Pads
Drill holes
Submission

The 6x6 boards can easily produce 4 Firefly boards, so


make sure that you properly orient your Firefly onto the
copper and waste as little as possible! Take note: you
will be sharing these pieces of copper board with
others!
All traces must be clean and free of burrs; alternatively,
there should be no lifted traces, either
The edges of the cutout board must be smooth
The traces on the board should be connected properly
The traces should not run too deep, nor too shallow, into
the board
The pads should be cut cleanly and not lifted due to
drilling errors
The drill holes should be clean and evenly cut through the
board

Submit your completed Firefly to the designated TA within 1 week of receiving these
instructions.