Talk:Kit wishlist

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PCB manufacturing tools

I disagree with the lack of need for chemical PCB etch/expose equipment. The milling technique is quite slow and expensive and not the a very cost effective use of milling equipment, except maybe for prototyping very small boards. Also the proposed mill will not be able to produce high quality PCB with fine traces and pads for SMT components. TH 17:38, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

I second that. Milling is good for drilling holes, and has a niche for fast turnaround tiny boards (ie babysit the machine for 3 hours, not wait a week). The accuracy is pretty poor, so forget any kind of fine-pitch surface mount (even SOIC is pushing it on our machine). Milling tips are expensive and snap regularly. It's very easy to get the depth wrong, snap the tip or gouge great grooves out of your board. You'll always get far better definition from optical transfer and chemical etch, even basic methods eg laser-printed projector film and UV exposure. That level of basic chemical etch is worth having, as well as some recommended cheap low-volume board fabs (eg Olimex or - both non-UK ones I haven't tried; are there any cheap local ones?) TheoMarkettos 23:56, 20 May 2012 (BST)

I'm not convinced either way, yet. If it's a one-off simple project then veroboard etc is probably just as good a way to go. If it's more adventurous, with SM, two or more sides, 0.25mm track and gap or less, etc, then getting PCB made by professionals is likely to work much better. And etch chemicals adds a whole layer of COSH and Health and Safety hassle. Kim SJ 11:24, 17 October 2012 (BST)

There some bag-type etching systems that could be used if you are really eager to do etching. I have made lots of boards with silkscreen, pen, tape, etc and it is a low-quality result unless you put a lot of money into the kit. The best option for Makespace would be laser foil transfer with a small seal-able bag with copper sulfate (ferric cloride is messy and needs spray to do well). As this is almost all consumables (foil and chemical) people who want to do this could do it at home as easily as at makespace. There are low-cost pick and place robots if making PCBs was a big priority however. That needs a lot of boards to justify, and if you have a lot of boards, subcontract it. (Michael)

Loading Trolleys

Given the fact that we can expect members to be moving some moderately large projects and tools in an out of the space, it would probably be a good idea to have a couple of loading trolleys. In particular this would help with getting heavier items from a car paused in Mill Lane. -- AndrewD 15:48, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

I have a 2 ton hydraulic pump truck which will take a pallet (I can get a pallet too, if desired). This could serve as a loading trolley, although not ideal for rough ground. Max clearance is about 100mm. Happy to donate if deemed appropriate -- BenEvans 08:58, 24 April 2013 (BST)


I have a pipe vice to donate which will grip round stuff from 20mm conduit upwards to a maximum of about 3inch diameter. It needs to be mounted to a reasonably substantial bench. (Roger/rotwang)