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CNC Studio Life

Nidra bought one of the first CNC Studio machines. Dragan Pajic, Managing Director of Nidra, describes where and how the machine is used and his experience with the machine.

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CAM software for PCB milling

ProtoLiner Pro

ProtoLiner Pro is a professional CAM package specially developed for the electronics industry. With this package, you can generate contours using data intended for PCB fabrication using chemical processes. These contours are translated into a language understood by milling machines.

ProtoLiner is used worldwide for milling high-quality prototype boards, front panels, and other components used the electronics industry. The program is very easy to use. A wizard guides you through the entire process step by step, from importing the data to generating the toolpaths and producing the machine code. Intelligent contour processes and clever tool use ensure that the produced boards are virtually indistinguishable from chemically etched boards.

Download a demo version of ProtoLiner Pro

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Internationally unique

ProtoLiner Pro is one of the most powerful contour generators available. It imports the designs you produce using your favourite drawing package and displays them on the screen. Contouring of the various layers is performed automatically.

No restrictions

Unlike other packages, ProtoLiner can process very complex PCBs, with or without large copper areas. The package can easily read in commonly used file formats, including Gerber, GerberX, and Excellon. Traces and islands can be isolated in various manners. Editing options, step-and-repeat, mirroring, rotation, and many other capabilities are standard features.

CAM station

ProtoLiner is more than just a contour generator: it is actually a sophisticated CAM station. You can fully adapt the imported design. For example, you can modify trace widths or separations and enlarge or shrink islands and holes.


CAD module

You can design simple PCB layouts and front panels directly in ProtoLiner. This capability is highly appreciated for designing HF PCBs. ProtoLiner works with True Type fonts, which gives you potent engraving options.

Design Rule Check

Rigorous design rule checking ensures that your design can be processed, and database management gives you complete control over the tools and parameters. The file that is sent to the machine contains all the information necessary for stand-alone machining. No additional machine settings are necessary.

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Importing Gerber and Excellon files

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Generated contours

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Detail offset milling

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Step and repeat

General overview

  • Imports
    • Gerber RS274X & Gerber 274D
      • Negative polarity plot files
      • Polygon definition
      • Full macro support
    • HPGL
    • Excellon 1 & 2, simple and extended version
  • Exports
    • Colinbus Binary Format (BFF)
    • ISO G-code
    • 274NGC G-code
    • HPGL
  • General Features
    • Design rule check for any tool
    • Up to 4 different tool types for insulation and copper removal
    • Full featured, unlimited tool database
      • User can own tools
      • Tool life monitoring
      • Tool preview
    • 2 different tool types for board cutting
    • Multiple contouring modes
      • Smart contouring - uses most suitable tools for fastest processing time
      • Contour smoothing
      • Seperate settings for insulation thickness with smaller tools
      • Adjustable overlap of tool paths
      • Remove all copper on negative polarity plots
      • User defined step for contouring pads multiple times
    • Tool path optimization
    • Multiple modes for copper removal
      • parallel
      • Expanded
      • Mixed
      • Meander
    • Supports plated and non plated holes
    • Quick change of aperture and drill sizes (individual objects or groups)
    • Editing features
      • Creating
        • Lines
        • Polygons (Filled and empty)
        • Polylines
      • Delete
      • Copy
      • Move
      • Rotate
      • Mirror
      • Scale
      • Step and repeat
      • Supports all true type fonts and has a special
        vector font
      • All these features applies for all layers, also
        contour layers
    • Measuring tool for point to point measuring
    • Can transfer elements between layers
    • User defined copper removal area
      • Whole board
      • Rectangle area(s)
      • Circle area(s)
      • Polygon area(s)
    • Separated layer contouring or All-at-once contouring
    • Any object on screen can be milled on line or around
    • Text can be milled on line or around
    • Monochrome and color printing support
    • Can highlight pads
    • Toggle modes for showing contours and/or tracks in
      true size or as hairlines
    • Can work in Inches or in Millimeters
    • Quick features to align misaligned layers, can align
      layers to:
      • Pad center
      • Object center
      • Element boundary
      • Element center
  • Special features if ProtoLiner is used without ColiDrive
    • Seperated depth and feed controle for each tool
    • Includes tool descriptions in export files
    • Creates multiple files for multiple layers with
      alignment marks
    • Provision for making alignment holes when working
      with pins (for board positioning)
    • Provision for creating output if working in a machine
      corner