Printing PCB Boards with the Modela

The Modela is a very useful little milling machine that will allow you to mill PCB boards to create circuit boards of your own.


  • Circuit design - Eagle Files - image files
  • Modela printer - 1/64 and 1/32 bit
  • copper board (FR1)
  • components
  • soldering equipment
  • epoxy
  • double sided tape


Black and White file of board


Prepare your files, these just need to follow a few specific rules

a. a png image

b. somewere between 500-1000

c. The traces should be white and the background should be black

These files can be prepared with Eagle software but I'm also guessing that you
could create a file on any drawing program as long as you keep to the minimum characteristics.

You can use gimp on the computer of the modela to prepare your files.

Type "fab" on the terminal


Open you files in the "fab" module. To open the fab module simply open a terminal on the computer and type "fab"

set format and process


Import your files. Set the format to png. Set the process to Roland Modela rml. Load the png

Mill Trace 1/64


In the "defaults" pull-down menu, set the material to Mill Trace 1/64

Make Path


Make Path

xmin and ymin


Move the x and y minimum value to set the starting point of your trace.

Go to the Modela Machine


Push the "view" button on the Modela. this will bring the milling platform close to you.


Put double stick tape on the back of your board, try to cover the whole back without overlapping the tape.


Making sure you clean the sacrificial board to get rid of old tape. Stick the board down.


Insert the 1/64 bit all the way up in the milling head. If there is a 1/64 bit there already still make sure to loosen the screws and push the bit all the way up.


Lightly tighten the screws


Press "View" again to get things into postition. The head will go to the (x,y) position you set on step 6. you will need to re calibrate (x,y) to make sure it aligns with the lower left corner of your board.


Press and hold the "down" button to bring the bit close to the board.


Stopping far enough from the board, loosen the screws and carefully let the bit out until it lightly touches the board. Re-tighten the screws. Be careful on this step, if you hit the tip of the bit it might break.

Make RML


On the Fab Module, click "Make rml" (everytime you move your (x,y) you must re-make the rml)


Click send


Get Soldering