Getting the best out of EAGLE CAD:
Upload V.6 and higher BRD files directly onto Eurocircuits website
If you are using EAGLE V6 or higher, you can upload the native EAGLE BRD files directly into PCB Visualizer to check your layout, calculate a price or place an order. To upload the BRD files, just select them using Browse in the “Upload your data” box. PCB Visualizer will automatically recognize and process them. This is faster and more convenient than first using the CAM processor to generate the Gerber data and then uploading it into PCB Visualizer.
With direct upload you retain complete control over the critical data transfer from designer to fabricator. PCB Visualizer shows you on screen the PCB layers just as they have been imported. PCB Checker then shows any design rule issues detected in the data. Each issue is pinpointed on the board layout with a clear presentation of the value required by the order or the design rules and the value measured in the data. Backed by Eurocircuits’ smart menus, wizards and data validation rules PCB Visualizer makes the ordering process faster, safer and simpler.
You can see the complete and unaltered EAGLE layer structure in the Buildup wizard. Click on the “Buildup” button. The complete structure is shown in the “Imported Layers” pane. There you can assign or un-assign the EAGLE layers to the Buildup as required.
2 EAGLE layers are NOT visible as separate EAGLE layers in the Imported layers section: “17 – Pads” and “18 – Vias”. These 2 layers are automatically combined with the copper layers of EAGLE to generate a complete layer image (the copper layers in EAGLE only contain traces and polygons, no pads).
By default, PCB Visualizer always assigns EAGLE layers (if present) to the Buildup as follows:
20 – Dimension -> Used to detect the PCB Outline
29 – tStop -> Top soldermask
30 – bStop -> Bottom soldermask
21 – tPlace PLUS 25 – tNames – >Top legend
22 – bPlace PLUS 26 – bNames -> Bottom legend
31 – tCream -> Top solderpaste
32 – bCream -> Bottom solderpaste
Individual EAGLE copper layers are automatically combined with layer 17 – Pads and layer 18 – Vias to complete outer and inner layers.
Layer 44 – Drills and layer 45 – Holes are combined to give the correct drill layers (plated/unplated/blind)
Layer 46 – Milling -> Rout for additional cutouts.
You can, of course, change the default assignment in PCB Visualizer using the functionality provided in the Buildup selector (more…)
If you prefer to send Gerber and Excellon files, please follow these basic rules to avoid data issues.
The basic rules are:
- Data (Gerber and Excellon) in scale 1/1(100%)
- All data (Gerber and Excellon) should have the same offset, or better no offset at all, and same rotation
- All data (Gerber and Excellon) should use the same units (mm or inch) and the same grid or coordinate format
- All data (Gerber and Excellon) must be generated as seen from top to bottom, so no mirroring
- Gerber data should use flashes and proper contour generation with no “painted” pads or copper areas
- There should be 1 Gerber file which ONLY contains the board outline.
- Gerber data should be GerberX1 format (also known as Extended Gerber or RS-274X) or GerberX2 format, and not the obsolete Gerber RS274D format.
Recent developments in EAGLE schematic and layout.
CadSoft has a policy of continual development of new and improved functionality. If you haven’t seen then already, check out the following:
- XML database structure redesign
- More accurate conversions between mm and inches through increased internal resolution
- Maximum size increased to 4 x 4m (about 150 x 150 inch)
- Merge board/schematic pairs using the PASTE function with full consistency
- Benefit from differential pair routing and automatic meanders
- Create restricted areas with Cutout polygons
- Define your own context menu
- 64bit version of EAGLE is now available
- TopRouter: The new autorouter includes the option to use the TopRouter. The new TopRouter algorithm reduces the number of vias, delivering a more cost-effective and robust layout needing less manual “clean-up”.