PCBs & Panels: CNC vs Etching
EDIT: I decided to get a DIY CNC kit! Read about me putting it together I'm trying to decide for my next generation of synth building what to do.
On one hand there is the Mantis mini-CNC which costs around $200-$300 to build.
On the other hand, do I need to go that far around to get to a closer goal? I'm considering using stickers on aluminum panels + drilling them, and etching circuit boards using chemicals. It would save the otherwise relatively large task of building, maintaining, and learning to use a CNC and I could get to modular synth building immediately. It'd also keep my startup costs down to almost nothing, selling one or two of my current DIY synths would be more than enough to cover the startup costs involved.
It's not as exciting but I'd have the starts of a modular finished within months instead of a year.
link summarizing PCB making: http://www.electricstuff.co.uk/pcbs.html