After months of trial and error, I am finally getting decent single-sided PCBs milled with X-Carve.  I am currently using 5 apps: EagleCAD, Pixelmator, SuperVectorizer, AutoDesk Graphic and Inventables’ Easel.  Here is the workflow I am using from my MacBook:

  1. EagleCAD to draw up the circuit
    1. Edit > Net Classes
      1. Width to 0.04 inches or 40mil
      2. Drill: 20mil
      3. Clearance:10mil
    2. Set board dimension to the size of copper plate, note the dimensions in inches
    3. Hide dimension and other layers except top traces and pads.
    4. Export monochrome image as a bitmap (.BMP) @ 600dpi, note dimension in pixels
  2. Pixelmator:  Just one step here, invert colors so the traces are black.
  3. SuperVectorizer to create an SVG.  Use these settings:
    1. Mode: Color
    2. Gray: OFF
    3. Stack: OFF
    4. Colors: 2
    5. Smooth Radius: 15
  4. AutoDesk Graphic (formerly iDraw)
    1. Modify > Artwork Size
    2. Change to pixels and use the X and Y values from EagleCAD step #4.
    3. Uncheck “Scale Proportionally”
    4. Export SVG
  5. Easel
    1. Import SVG into Easel
    2. Set mill depth to .015” and 10in/min feed
    3. Use mill bit 0.02” @ 15 or 20-degrees
    4. Select PCB as material and set X-Y dimensions to blank dimensions
    5. Set copper Z thickness, verify with calipers
    6. Center on circuit on board
    7. CARVE!
  6. Drilling holes with a Dremel
    1. Make sure speed is fast enough else tips will break
    2. 0.9mm Tip Spiral Flute Tungsten Carbide Micro PCB Drill Bit for Screw Terminals
    3. 0.7mm for Male Headers