LPKF SOP


Using the LPKF S63 Circuit Board Plotter

Before You Start

  1. Login to controller PC
  2. Turn on the S63 (Open the cover; The power switch is on the bottom right front corner.)
  3. Start the LPKF CircuitPro software
  4. Select the job type
    • Single Sided: single_sided
    • 2 layer (no plating): double_sided_NoTHP
    • 2 layer (platting machine): double_sided_GalvonicTHP (see plating SOP)

Import Files

(Refer to https://github.com/psu-epl/psu-epl.github.com/wiki/Design-rules for generating Gerber files.)

  1. Select **File Import …**
    • Navigate to the folder containing your files. For a two-sided board, you need 4 files:
      • Top Gerber
      • Bottom Gerber
      • Board Outline Gerber
      • Excellon Drill Data
  2. Assign layers

    The import dialog will show a list of the four data files. There is a column labeled ‘Layer/Template’ which maps each data file to a processing layer. These fields should be set to:

    • TopLayer
    • BottomLayer
    • BoardOutline
    • DrillUnplated (or DrillPlated if plating)

If you run into trouble assigning layers in a file gen, try editing the gerber file. Look for a line like %LNdefault*%. I’ve seen this string in gerbers generated by ADS, and it seems to force the LPKF software into assigning it to that named layer.


Add Fiducials

Fiducials are holes used to align the blank during processing, typically when the board is flipped to do the second side. You should use three or more fiducials, usually located near the corners of the board.

  1. Insert > Fiducial > Fiducial…
    • Click on the points where you would like the fiducial holes to be.
    • Choose close

Generate Toolpath

Most of the options controlling how the board will be milled are set here.

  1. Open Toolpath > Technology Dialog.

Edit Material Settings

Set Isolation type

controls how much copper will be removed around your features.

Routing Type

Extra

Uncheck steps you won’t be using (Drills? Fiducials? Pockets?)


Setup Machine To Cut

  1. Check Tool Magazine

    Open Edit > Tool Magazine. Under the list of required tools, make sure there are no red X’s. If there are, you need to physically add the tools (bits) to the tool magazine in the machine.

(Trouble shooting tip: If the router throws a connection error, be sure the lid to the LPKF is closed, then go to Machining > Connect… if errors come up, alert the manager on duty)

Click 'OK'. You shouldn't need to recalculate the toolpaths. 

This step may not be necessary. If neither the material thickness nor the bit has been changed since the last job, the milling width will probably be fine. If it appears wrong (either leaving rough cut edges, or wrong isolation width, or both), the first thing to check is the bit. To do this, remove the bit from the tool magazine using the bit removal tool (the blue cylindrical thing which is stuck magnetically to the shelf support.) Look at it under the microscope under maximum zoom. If the straight V cutting edges look at all dented, the bit is finished. After the bit is verified/changed, if the milling width is still wrong, then do the following: