A Paint Stencil With PCB Board Blanks and a CNC Router

paint-stencil-cnc-routerIn preparation for the upcoming Maker Faire in Raleigh, NC this Saturday, I decided it would be extremely cool to be able to mark “JCOPRO.NET” on stuff.  Since I have a CNC router, making stencils for spray paint should be quite easy.  I’ve already made them for several bleach T-shirts (here’s my latest), so the same process would probably work.

This may be true, but I have many circuit board blanks from Inventables that I haven’t used (here’s my first try using them), and wanted to try using one as a stencil.  As it turned out, my engraving bit worked best even though it was cutting, since the longer 1/8 bit had a bit more flex to it than I wanted.

One challenge that I haven’t really overcome yet is using holding tabs on certain parts to keep, say, the middle of the “O” not painted.  This could be done if I was going to hand-draw each letter (I used Draftsight to draw it, then CamBAM to make up the G-code).  Maybe I could find a DXF library for them, but I was in a hurry, and the results turned out good enough.

Good enough on wood that is, on the acrylic safety shield (installed for the show) shown in the article’s first picture, the paint really turned out terribly.  I wiped it off first using water, then bug spray since that was the first seemingly organic spray that I saw.  The bug spray actually worked pretty well.  The next day though, I painted some letters on the canvas that I plan to use as a tablecloth in Raleigh on Saturday.  That turned out better than the acrylic.

Be sure to stop by my booth if you’re around.  This will be my first show, so hopefully it will be a great time!  Btw, I plan to take more than my router, I’ll have my bolt-action mini potato cannon, as well as Boxie the Creepster, and probably other stuff that I still have in a semi-functional state if you’d like to see any of that!


  1. Super Easy 2×4 Business Card Holder | JCOPRO.NET - pingback on June 21, 2012 at 11:02 pm
  2. NC Maker Faire 2012: Machine Tools and 3D Printers - Hack a Day - pingback on June 24, 2012 at 11:02 am
  3. Nice Zen !! 🙂

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