Re: Using FreeCAD to mill PCB Traces and Pads.
That would be the very best way to Confuse and Frustrate any student (and teacher). There are too many shortcomings that require knowledge and problem solving (not to mention Crashes).
And, there are no tools/features to tweak them beyond tweaking as you would other objects.
But, you can use the Stepup workbench to load Kicad PCB’s and Traces/Pads. Sometimes is works great, usually (not) but, that does depend on the details of the PCB and your FreeCAD pref’s setups.
Once getting the traces and pads into FreeCAD the Path workbench can mill them (after too much setup work… it’s Free so, try it)
There are folks that like Flatcam. I don’t. Thus, not able to help you.
For me, the Simplest, less Frustrating and Most Straight-Forward Useful Toolchain is:
- In Kicad, Plot the Gerbers of the Trace layers and Edge_Cut.
- Using CopperCam, load those layers
- Set the milling and export parameters (one time is good for all PCB’s with similar aspects (speed, feed, depth of cuts… And, you can setup the parameters for your KOSY mill)
- Run the milling/machining process and save results (.NC file)
- Load the .NC file into your CNC mill and run it
The GIF video below shows those steps (there was no need to reset any of my parameters so, I just opened some panels to demo what some look like. Also, I did not save save the file but do show how to do it… And. I did not save the PCB board shape cut (to save video time/file size for posting).
I like Big pads so, all my Kicad parts use them and, thus, where needed, I either tweak them in CopperCam or, add a separator between them (as shown on two pads in video). Same process for tweaking traces…etc.
CopperCam has all the tools for tweaking pads/traces/holes…etc where as FreeCad does not. CopperCam has free demo usage for small PCB’s so, you can try it out.
Lastly, FYI: I run CopperCam on a Mac using Wine virtual machine…