Our latest accessory: MC Etcher

These went live in the shop last week:

Looking forward to seeing what folks engrave w/ them!

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They look very nice!

Is it MC Etcher or McEtcher? Only the first seems to make any sense, pun-wise, unless I’m missing something.

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Would this be suitable as a dead-simple way of “milling” PCBs, while being a bit more tolerant of boards that aren’t perfectly flat?

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Anyway to get Winston to run this and get us some examples?

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Love the name :slight_smile: Now, with your Shapeoko and MC Etcher, you can create designs that have never been physically possible before!

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Are we able to adjust the spring tension?

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The finish would not be pretty, since it would be pushing copper to the side instead of removing it.

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I wouldn’t recommend it, it might work with really really large traces but it would be dragging the copper around and ripping it up.

bCNC (and BitZero) and one of the small PCB engravers does a fantastic job.

For reference, this was my 1st attempt with autoleveling:

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Uneven boards has often been an issue with me. How does this autoleveling work?

After probing the board and making a map of Z differences, it adjusts the Z height in the gcode accordingly.

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Those look great, and I have a 1-2 type of question:

  1. Do these have replaceable diamond tips

    and if so,

  2. When will the spare / replacement tips be available?

I ask because I am 1) a bit of a tool whore and 2) I like having replacements because once I start something, the worst feeling is having to pause the project or scrap it and wait until replacement tools come in to restart it.

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The description is pretty scant.

  • is there tension adjustment?
  • is the bit portion replaceable?
  • is the spring replaceable?
  • how is the bit held in place? Magnetic? Machining?

Also important for those doing very fine work is how much play between bit and housing. I’ve had to buy three different spring-loaded drag bit assemblies to find one precise to engrace tiny circles versus ellipses.

Video later this week.

@bpedit Tension is adjustable via set screw at the back.

Diamond tip is technically replaceable, but the cost differential vs the entire tool is pretty small so we will probably just sell he whole engraver as a package deal. Luke’s design is remarkably elegant and efficient from a production standpoint.

Spring can be removed and replaced if you so choose, though you’re straying into uncharted/unsupported territory if you do so. The starting spring force MUST be higher than that of the BitSetter, otherwise you will get a false tool length reading when using MC Etcher on a Shapeoko w/ BitSetter equipped. Ditto Nomad.

Diamond tip is kind of a nail shape, and is captive within the tool body.

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Just to set my expectations - I (and everyone else) want a MC Hammer 1980’s inspired dance to “launch” this.

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I exclude myself from the “everyone else” :slight_smile:

I mean… a drag bit that “can’t touch this” is not so useful, is it?

And it’s clearly MC Escher that’s the inspiration. So I propose this:

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Are there any guideline feed speeds for using this on various materials (glass, granite, metal, etc)? Would going too fast rip the diamond out?

If my young nephew just built himself a gaming PC with the acrylic side panel/window, would this be the go to tool to engrave a scene/design made up of their favorite games on the acrylic panel? Also would it really stand out with LED lighting from inside the case?

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@wmoy Can this be used to cut glass in shapes? So instead of using a glasscutter (https://youtu.be/1D0XLXVkJKE?t=238), you could make the lines with the etcher and tap the glass to remove the excess glass?

Yes, and Yes.

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It will scratch glass, but proper glass cutting tools have carbide wheels that leave deeper grooves. If you pushed that hard with this tool it would likely wear out quite quickly due to friction. You want to stick with light pressure on drag engravers.

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