Portalcyclone CNC for pcb

After a long time and many experiments with this good enough cnc ,it’s time to present it here so that other people be helped or compare it with other machines.It is Portalcyclone PCB

My main goal was for pcb engraving, when I complete it i realize that it should be muuuch smaller for pcb ,it is too big for pcb and this is going to cost of accuracy. I may also had build Cyclone pcb factory for my needs ,but as always I say bigger is better! (finally not always) . But I can engrave  wood, maybe plastic,  plexiglass or something else. I have to say i have enough accuracy but i can not mill traces or clearance smaller than 0.4mm. It is hard also to mill between the leg of a chip . I try many Chinese bits,but i didn’t manage to trace between legs of a IC,   if anybody with have done it ,it would be nice to let me know. All plastic part made from my 3d printer with abs material.

Total cost was a bit more 200 euros, total time was around two months but much more time was for adjusting and experiments with it,really hard thing. Let’s begin with printed parts . Everything you need to build it ,you can find in thingiverse ,all credits goes to azamo the publisher of this .


































That’s all with the down side, now continue with the upper , i also paint the plate with silver spary















Cnc shield








Arduino base with power supply








Now it’s time for wiring



Almost done. I also use an extra plate with nut inside for fasten pcb better








I place power supply for motor and pcbs in a box. Upper right is power supply for engraving motor, down right a new power supply for arduino that is change. Down left is arduino board with cnc shield and upper is




It is now finished. I start testing with a pen with very good results. Program i use is bcnc, it is very powerful program from a Greek programmer.










And now going to the point ,pcb.  I am using flat cam. I have test  4-5 programs and i conclude flatcam. It is easy,free and you can do everything for making pcb. I have done many many test with pcb, 0.01 here is determinant. There is not something standard ,every pcb need different setting that you will find out only with testings try & error.

Bits also is a determinative factor for best result, mine are all Chinese, if you can afford i am sure you will have better result with named bits & not Chinese like those



Some tests below

































Some video tests

Probing with bcnc


One of my very first attempt was a double side pcb, with flatcam i think it is easy enough procedure, if you understand rationale


Engraving pcb


And now holes drilling


And now i will try to get a closer look with a focused camera to see the engraved paths. It is mobile camera sorry for focusing problems. One of my next projects is raspberry camera for pcb inspection with adjustable base,stay tuned…



2 thoughts on “Portalcyclone CNC for pcb

  1. Thank you for sharing your work and notes. I am trying to make this cnc too and I have already visited your page many times for reference.
    I also liked your suggestion in software especially bcnc is a must have.

  2. Hi friend, i am happy you like it. It is good enough cnc but you have to dedicate enough time so that learn flat cam. It is e very special program that you can do everything and with a graphic interafce that you can understand what you are going to do before you do it.Spent enough time to this , it deserve it. Bcnc is good also ,too many things but you only need 10% af all those for making pcbs. I want to find some time to make some tests on wood or plexi glass , I would like to hear news from you when you finish it and discuss about feedrate ,motor rpm and other…enjoy building …

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