PCB Visualizer is a fully automated interactive web tool which allows you to check your PCB data-set before you place your order. As soon as you upload your data, PCB Visualizer starts a detailed automatic analysis. Within 2 – 3 minutes you can see the results of the analysis on screen.

PCB Visualizer checks your data against the pricing or order parameters that you have entered and against the technical design rule parameters chosen (typically against the default specifications of one of our low-cost pooling services). It checks whether all files are present and readable, whether the allocation of layers to the build is clear, and whether there are any design-rule violations. It also proposes automatic repair solutions for certain common faults, and presents them to the designer for his approval, saving valuable design time (more on this below).

PCB Visualizer is a free tool and can be used by anyone, whether they order from Eurocircuits or not. Just register as a user, complete the pricing menu, and upload your data. After the PCB Visualizer analysis make any corrections required or accept any automatic repairs and download your data-set. There are no hidden locks to force you to order from us (but check out our prices and the comments of our users on price and quality).

PCB visualizer

PCB Visualizer displays the results of the analysis in two main windows: PCB Configurator and PCB Checker.

PCB Configurator: a full status report of your board.

PCB Configurator

  1. Order details. The full details of your price quotation or order. More information on how to calculate prices here.
  2. Imported layers and Buildup. Shows the layers imported, the buildup and the layer assignment. Hover your mouse over the build for information on the materials used etc. PCB Visualizer uses hundreds of templates to calculate the build from the layer names, but if for any reason it is unable to assign a layer or the layers in the data-set don”t match the order details, you can fix this interactively here or using the Buildup tab in the Material section. More
  3. Graphical presentation of the Buildup. Hover your mouse over the names or build to find more information about each layer, pre-preg or core.
  4. Panel Editor –view or design a panel. View a delivery panel panelised by Eurocircuits or design your own special panel. Here”s how.
  1. Classification wizard to set the technology class of the PCB. We use “pattern classes” and “drill classes” as a convenient shorthand to measure the manufacturability of the PCB. Together they set the “technology class” of the PCB. This determines whether the board can be pooled and controls the price. For more information on how the classes are calculated, see our PCB Design Guidelines – Classificationto choose the optimum pattern and drill classes available for your chosen copper foil thickness. The classification classes are also used as the basis of the DRC parameter files we offer for EAGLE and Altium CAD systems.
  1. PCB PIXture editor to integrate graphics onto your PCB. Give them visual impact to make them stand out from the crowd. See when and how to use it here.
  2. Marking editor to customise board markings. Add a date code, special text or QR code to your PCB, or specify where order numbers or UL markings are allowed. Here”s how.
  3. Visualize your finished PCB. Top view and Bottom view in the Board buildup pane show what the finished PCB will look like. You can step through each individual layer or a combination of layers. Use the Detailed view pane to focus on areas of interest. Pan and zoom using your mouse or the icons top right.
  4. The data-set displayed. Shows either “Customer data”, the data-set you have uploaded, or “Production data”, the data-set prepared for production by our data preparation engineers.
  5. PCB Visualizer HELP function. Just click the icon.
  6. Price for your chosen combination of quantity and delivery. Note that if you have asked for a delivery panel, the price shown is per panel. More information on transport options and VAT rules.
  7. Save all changes to your Shopping basket.
  8. Launch an inquiry to be evaluated by our engineers. Use this option if your requirements are not covered in the Price calculation menus, if you need to panelise to an assemblers drawing and do not want to use the Panel editor, or if you would like our engineers to propose solutions to design-rule violations. An inquiry will take up to 1 working day to process. If this is a problem, talk to our online CHAT engineers and see if they can help.
  9. Remarks – critical differences between your data and order details. These need your intervention if the order is to proceed. If you have any questions about them contact our online CHAT support.
  10. Customized price matrix. We automatically show prices for alternative quantities and deliveries so that you can select the best combination of price, quantity and delivery. Use the Customized matrix to define your own alternatives.
  11. Automatically selected alternative quantities and deliveries. See last.
  12. Online CHAT support. Contact our engineers to resolve any questions you may have about our services, about your data, or on any aspect of PCB fabrication technology. Out of hours, just leave a message and we will respond as early as possible on the next working day.

To get help on any open window, press the “?” icon top right in the window title bar.
Get detailed help about a specific order detail by clicking the item.

PCB Checker: overview of all detected DRC and DFM issues in the PCB data-set.

Once PCB Visualizer has analyzed your data-set, check the PCB Visualizer column on the Shopping basket page. If there is a green tick, there are no data issues. You can place your order confident there should be no delays. If there is a red flag, there are potential issues which may delay delivery. Use PCB Checker to evaluate them.

Shopping basket

PCB Checker has two tabs which open new windows: Design Rule Check (DRC) information and Design for Manufacturability (DFM) information. The Design Rule check compares the production parameter values (minimum track, minimum gap, minimum annular ring etc.) found on the PCB with those of the chosen PCB service. The Design for Manufacturability tab shows engineering information to improve the manufacturability and assembly of the PCB.

The DRC information tab.

DRC information

DRC information tab
  1. Detailed PCB parameter overview and fault indication. The red numbers indicate potential errors. The numbers in the fourth column under the red flag indicate critical DRC issues which will prevent production of the job as it stands. Any numbers in the fifth column under the yellow triangle are non-critical DRC issues, typically small deviations from the requested values which may be due to rounding errors. These will typically be corrected by our engineers while preparing the data for production. Numbers in the last column under the spanner indicate DRC errors which have been auto-repaired. See the PCB Checker manual for more information.
  2. Detailed fault description for critical, non-critical and repaired faults. See the PCB Checker manual for detailed information on the display and on auto-repair.
  3. Bird”s eye view of all faults and repairs. Select the layer you want to view by clicking it in the Board buildup window above. Critical faults are shown in red; non-critical in yellow; and repaired in green. The orange dot indicates the fault currently shown in the Fault view window. To step through the faults use the green arrows at the bottom of the Fault view window.
  4. Detailed zoom on the fault on the PCB. Pan and zoom using your mouse or the icons at the top right of the pane.
  5. Remarks. The remarks shown in PCB Configurator #13 are repeated here.
  6. Online CHAT support: Contact our engineers to resolve any questions you may have about our services, about your data, or on any aspect of PCB fabrication technology. Out of hours, just leave a message and we will respond as early as possible on the next working day.

The DFM information tab.

DFM information

DFM information tab.
  1. Plating index value. This measures the uniformity of the copper across the PCB and hence the evenness of the finished plating. See a full description here. Blue shows areas of under-plating and red of over-plating. For the most part this is a guide to best practice, but if the plating index falls below 0.4 then you need to take steps to improve the balance. If you combine several different circuits on the same delivery panel it is particularly important to check the copper balance to make sure that all the circuits will be properly plated.
  2. Solder-paste area – surface-mount pads. Use this figure to calculate how much solder-paste will be required.
  3. Potential fiducials. From time to time board assemblers need fiducials to align tight-toleranced components accurately but none are available. PCB Checker shows pads free of soldermask, unconnected and undrilled which can be used as fiducials.
  4. Copper free of soldermask. This is needed for accurate calculation of the cost of Chemical Nickel/Gold (Che Ni/Au) surface finish.
  5. Detailed information on the figures above.
  6. Display for plating index, solderpaste area and potential fiducials
  7. Online CHAT support. Contact our engineers to resolve any questions you may have about our services, about your data, or on any aspect of PCB fabrication technology. Out of hours, just leave a message and we will respond as early as possible on the next working day.