Switch to EAGLE V6 – get V7 free

Version 7 of CadSoft’s EAGLE PCB design software is scheduled for release in July 2014. Switch to EAGLE V6 now and benefit from enhanced design technology right away. Then get a FREE update to V7 when it is released.

Buy EAGLE V6 now and upgrade to V7 for FREE

CadSoft’s EAGLEsoftware is one of the most popular CAD packagesin Europe. It’s easy to learn, easy to use and affordable with a powerful range of functions and proven support. Find out more .

Eurocircuits have workedclosely with CadSoft for the last 5 – 6 years. Users can read our DRC parameters directly into EAGLE V6 and then upload their V6 data files directly into PCB Visualizer. So designers get their prototype PCBs with no delays and on our most cost-effective service.

EAGLE version 7 will be launched in July but you can get the benefits of EAGLE right away. Buy or upgrade to Version 6 and the upgrade to V7 will be FREE as soon as it launched. More info [link to blog]. Buy EAGLE V6 from Eurocircuitshere. Upgrade Terms and Conditions [ do we need this here? If so, link to blog.]

Technical blogs

We have added more technical blogs to our website.

  • Updated user interface [still not sure which blog you want here – or is it a new one?]
  • Marking editor. Use the NEW PCB Visualizer function to add custom markingto your PCB.
  • Evertiq TEC Stockholm. Read our headline conference presentation on using our smart menus to optimise your design flow.

We have an on-going program of technical papers, but if there are particular topics on which you would like us to produce a blog, please email your usual sales contact or euro@eurocircuits.com.

Approbation préalable de production

Ajoutez plus de confort dans votre processus d”achat, et d”organisez les données d”approbation avant que la commande ne soit produite.

Pas sûr de vos données, ou comment nos ingénieurs vont les interpréter?

Parfois, les données peuvent contenir des fo

Pre-production approval

CAN I VERIFY THE PRODUCTION DATA BEFORE EUROCIRCUITS STARTS MANUFACTURING?

Pre-production approval – a customer request for reassurance

Not sure about your artwork or how our engineers will interpret it? Sometimes your data files may contain features that our automated PCB Visualizer process cannot recognise. Or you may be worried that your first layout is not quite right. Whatever your concern, we can give you the reassurance you need. Set up an approval step for the production-ready data for your board just before it goes into physical manufacture. As soon as our engineers have completed their checks, we will send you an e-mail to advise you that the production files are ready and waiting for your approval.

To set up a pre-production approval: go to “running orders” in your account and select a “request pre-production approval”. You can do this for every order in your running order list that has not yet reached the status “panelise” (from status panelise on it’s too late).

The order will now also be listed under “pre-production approval overview” in the main menu (left column) in your account. The item is still in analysis, so not yet ready to verify the data.

After preparation, the production-ready job goes into the customer’s pre-production approval (PPA) folder – “items ready for your approval”. You will receive our e-mail and need only 1 click to send the job on for manufacture. How?

  • Go to “preproduction approval” – the status of your order is “waiting for your approval”.
  • Click the orange button “review for approval
    • Have a closer look in PCB Visualizer: our production data of your PCB or customer panel is displayed on your screen (especially check technical options like internal milling, customer panel layout and other specifics).
  • Then you decide to “approve” or “reject”:
    • If approved, the order will be moved directly to our production panel section, no changes are possible after that.
    • If rejected, do the following of two options
      • write clearly why in the comments section and our people will receive your message and will check how to proceed next
      • or upload a new data set after which your order is processed further through the exception flow
        PPA

WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE IS A PROBLEM WITH MY DATA?

We have always run 100% pre-production checks on customer data. That way we can be sure you will get the board you want on the day you want it.

Our online check software, PCB Visualizer, has significantly reduced the number of exceptions but there may be remaining data or order issues.

Our engineers use their know-how to make the most logical correction to the order or the data where possible. This results into two possibilities:

  1. Logical corrections by our people are possible and we only need customer approval:
    The production-ready job goes into the customer’s pre-production approval (PPA) folder. He gets our email and needs only 1 click to send the job on for manufacture. How?

    • Go to “preproduction approval” – the status of your order is “waiting for your approval”.
    • Click the orange button “review for approval” – the document with the repair details/proposal/corrections will open automatically on your screen (if not, click on the grey button “repair details” to open it).
      • Check our proposed “repairs” in the document.
      • Have a closer look in PCB Visualizer: our production data of your PCB or customer panel (including the repairs) is displayed on your screen (especially check technical options like internal milling, customer panel layout and other specifics).
    • Then you decide to “approve” or “reject”:
      • If approved, the order will be moved directly to our production panel section, no changes are possible after that.
      • If rejected, do the following of two options
        • write clearly why in the comments section and our people will receive your message and will check how to proceed next
        • or upload a new data set after which your order is processed further through the exception flow
          PPA

Nearly 90% of jobs are authorised right away and go straight into production. No delays – and the customer doesn’t have to spend time making the corrections – a win-win result: the right board on the right day with minimum disruption to the designer.

See our video.

2. A logical correction was not possible and we need the customers input:

    • If the detected PCB data issue is not “repairable” by Eurocircuits and no solution can be proposed, then we will raise an “exception” as we have always done.
    • Go online to “exception overview” – check the problem, correct your data and upload your new complete PCB dataset.
    • The delivery date will be recalculated at the moment when you upload your dataset. Do this as fast as possible to avoid any delay in delivery.

Aprovação de pré-produção

 Acrescente um conforto adicional no seu processo de compra, e organize a sua própria aprovação de dados antes da encomenda ser produzida

Não tem a certeza sobre os seus dados, ou como os nossos engenheiros vão interpretá-los?

Às vezes, os de dados pode conter recursos que o nosso processo de PCB Visualizer automatizado não pode reconhecer. Ou você pode estar preocupado que seu primeiro layout não é muito justo. Seja qual for a sua preocupação, podemos dar-lhe a garantia de que você precisa. Configure uma etapa de aprovação para os dados de produção-pronto para sua placa apenas antes de entrar em produção física. Assim que nossos engenheiros tenham concluído os seus cheques, nós lhe enviaremos um e-mail para avisá-lo de que os arquivos de produção estão prontos e esperando para sua aprovação. Vê-los usando nossas ferramentas PCB Visualizer, e continuar a ordem, confiante de que você vai ter as placas pretendidos

Este é o nosso processo de “aprovação de pré-produção”.

Como funciona?

Confirme em “proceed to check out” um item do seu “Carrinho de compras” para lançar a sua encomenda.

A encomenda irá aparecer no menu “running orders”The order will then appear in the “Running orders”. Aí poderá seleccionar novamente a encomenda e escolher a opção “request for pre-production approval”.

A encomenda aparece agora no menu “pre-production approval overview”

Uma vez que os arquivos de produção estão prontos, a encomenda aparece na parte superior do ecran e estará pronta para a sua aprovação. Será notificado sobre isto por e-mail.

Os dados de produção de seu pedido estão prontos para aprovação. Pode ver e verificar os seus dados com o nosso programa PCB Visualizer e visualizar os detalhes do pedido.

Carrege em “Next” para ir para a próxima etapa

A mensagem de aviso fala por si. Ao clicar em OK vai  para a próxima fase

Se tudo estiver correto, escolhe ” Approve & release for production” para libertar a encomenda e para que esta possa avançar para a produção.

No caso de encontrar uma inconsistência, escolha  ” Send your comments “.

A janela de diálogo ” send your comments” identifica quem é. Pode completar ou alterar esta informação.

No campo da mensagem pode formular seus comentários.

A função “Anexar um arquivo” permite apoiar seus comentários com documentos externos ou com novos dados PCB.

Envie e a sua comunicação será recibida pelos nossos engenheiros.

A  notificação “Message sent” aparecerá.Os nossos engenheiros entrarão em contato consigo depois.

Aprobación de pre-producción

Añada una comodidad adicional en su proceso de compra, y organice sus propios datos de aprobación antes de que se produzca la orden.

No está seguro acerca de sus datos, o como nuestros ingenieros van a interpretarlos?

A veces, sus datos podrán contener características que nuestro proceso automatizado PCB Visualizer no puede reconocer. O usted puede estar preocupado de que su primer diseño no sea del todo correcto. Sea cual sea su preocupación, podemos darle la seguridad que necesita. Establezca un paso de aprobación para los datos de producción  de su PCB justo antes de entrar en producción física. Una vez que nuestros ingenieros han completado sus análisis, le enviaremos un e-mail para hacerle saber que los archivos de salida están listos y esperando su aprobación. Puede mirar los archivos de producción utilizando nuestras herramientas PCB Visualizer, y continuar con el orden, confiado de que obtendrá los PCBs deseados

Este es nuestro proceso de “aprobación de pre-producción.”

Cómo funciona?

Confirmar en “proceed to checkout” un artículo de su “cesta de compras” para iniciar su pedido.

El pedido aparecerá entonces en “running orders”. Ahí podrá seleccionar nuevamente el pedido y elegir la opción “request for pre-production approval”.

El pedido aparece ahora en el menu “pre-production approval overview”.

Puesto que los archivos de produccion están listos, el pedido se colocará en la parte superior de la pantalla y estará listo para su aprobación. Será notificado de esto por correo electrónico.

Los datos de producción del pedido están listos para su aprobación. Usted puede ver y verificar sus datos con nuestro programa Visualizer PCB y ver los detalles de la aplicación.

Pulse en “next” para pasar a la siguiente etapa.

Si todo está correcto, seleccione “” Approve & release for production” para lanzar la orden y para que pueda proceder a la producción.

En el caso de encontrar una incoherencia, seleccione “Enviar sus comentarios”. Se abrirá una ventana.

If everything is correct, push “Approve & release for production” to release the order so it can proceed to the production department.

In case you find an inconsistency, push “Send your comments”. A dialog window will open.

El cuadro de diálogo “enviar sus comentarios” identifica quién es usted. Puede completar o modificar esta información.

En el campo del mensaje pueden hacer sus comentarios.

El “Adjuntar un archivo” permite adicionar a sus comentarios documentos externos o nuevos datos de PCB.

Panel editor

  1. Panel editor – the next level of efficiency in PCB Visualizer

“I want my boards delivered as a panel, but I need to see what it looks like before I place my order”

“I want to make sure that I have got the maximum number of circuits on my assembly panel”

“My assembly people need fiducials and tooling-holes in exactly the right place.  I haven’t got time to make a drawing, but they want to check the panel’s OK for them before I order.”

Eurocircuits have always had options to deliver a customer’s circuits in a panel (see our Panel Guidelines), but there has never been an opportunity to see the panel before placing the order, to experiment to find the best circuit “fill”, or to order a special layout without providing a drawing.  The new PCB Visualizer tool, Panel Editor, changes that.  Now you can view the Eurocircuits panelisation you have specified before you place your order.  Or, if you need a special panelisation, you can create your own panel directly on-screen.  Place your order confident that what you have seen or what you have laid out is what you will get as your finished panel – and there will be no delays while our engineers query your requirements.

How do I …..?

  1. Use PCB Visualizer Panel Editor to get a fast price without uploading data?
  2. View or modify my eC-panel by Eurocircuits?
  3. Make a custom panel?
  4. Set up/change panel and board properties?
  5. Change the step and repeat values?
  6. “Fill” a panel?
  7. Define special panel settings (stepped blocks, rotated circuits/blocks, custom blocks e.g. “nested” for L- and T-shaped circuits?)
  8. Add my own border features (tooling holes, fiducials, text etc.)?
  9. Specify panels with several different circuits (multipanels)?
  10. Get confirmation I did it all right, even if I did it for the first time? Use our pre-production approval process.

Our BLOG explains it all and contains 2 movies to illustrate the processes.

See separate sections for each topic.  If you have any questions, use our online chat line to talk to one of our engineers.

1. Use PCB Visualizer Panel Editor to get a fast price without uploading data?

Most Panel Editor options can be used before you upload your data.  For this, PCB Visualizer  uses dummy PCBs.

There are three panel options.  To select one, go to the Delivery format box at the top of the screen.  For more details of each, see our Panel Guidelines.  Selecting eC-panel by Eurocircuits or Custom panel by Eurocircuits automatically opens the Panel menu.

delivery format

eC-panel by Eurocircuits

Specify the repeats you want in X and Y.  Select the panel border, and the PCB spacing from the pull-down boxes.  All eC-panels are eC-registration compatible.  This means that they have the necessary tooling holes in the border if you want to use a solder-paste stencil with our eC-stencil-mate or eC-stencil-fix.  As they also have our standard pattern tooling holes and fiducials in the corners (see Panel Guidelines p. 6), they are 100% suitable for use with other registration systems.

Click Panel editor to see the panel with the dummy PCBs.  For the full range of options, see below.

Customer panel by Eurocircuits

Click the Panel editor wizard and proceed as below to specify the step and repeat, border and separation distance required.  Ignore the red warning message about the 0,0 panel size – this will be changed by the Panel editor.  PCB Visualizer will display the default board size, so for an accurate price enter the correct circuit size, make any other size changes required and click Apply.

TIP: Don’t put in the border elements at this stage as they will be lost when you upload the real board data.

Customer panel by customer.

Use this panel option if you have already prepared Gerber files with the complete panelisation for a special layout or for a multi-panel (panel with several different designs).  Your layout should meet our panelisation requirements for panel border and distance between the circuits.  This option won’t open Panel Editor as the files will display correctly in PCB Visualizer.

TIP: All delivery panels require a border to hold them together during transport and handling.  If you have not included a border or want to put additional features into the border, select Custom panel by Eurocircuits and specify a 1-up panel using the Panel editor wizard.

2. View or modify eC-panel by Eurocircuits

Step 1.  Load the job into PCB Visualizer.

Use the “Price Calculator” option to get a price and then upload your data.  Or choose the “Analyse your data” route, so that PCB Configurator fills out the board parameters for you.  Go to Shopping basket and click the PCB Visualizer column for the job you want.

Step 2.  View eC-panel by Eurocircuits.

If you have already specified the step and repeat, border size, PCB separation method and distance, click the Panel editor wizard to see the panelised circuit.

NOTE:

The router path is shown as a hatched area.  Our engineers will place rout tabs in this area to ensure a stable panel.

TIP: If there are areas in which you do not want rout tabs to appear due to sensitive components etc., specify them in a mechanical drawing.

You can now change:

  • Repeat in X and/or Y
  • PCB separation method
  • Panel border
  • PCB spacing

For any other changes, click “Advanced panel options”.

Click “Apply” at the bottom of the screen and the price in PCB Configurator will automatically update to the new configuration.  Click the orange “Save changes” box to update the basket.

price summary

In the next menu just click Continue.  There is no need to re-upload the job.

MOVIE: create and view an eC-panel with panel editor

This film gives an overview of how to make an eC-panel with our new panel  editor module, part of our PCB Visualizer software.

YouTube settings

You can always view this video in full screen mode by clicking the right symbol  on the navigation bar and upgrade the resolution by clicking the setting symbol .

3.  Lay out a custom panel by Eurocircuits.

TIPS:

  1. For hints and tips on designing stable panels including panelising round circuits and handling overhanging and heavy components, click here.
  2. If you are using an external assembly company and they supply a detailed dimensioned drawing of their requirements, you may find it easier to use the Launch inquiry route to get a price.  Upload your single circuit data, the drawing and your step and repeat instructions (as a README file) and our engineers will lay out the panel and give you a price.  This may take up to 1 working day.

PROCESS

Step 1.  Load the job into PCB Visualizer as Section 2 step 1 above.

Click the Panel editor wizard.  Ignore the red warning about the 0,0 panel size – the Panel editor will complete the correct size.

Step 2.  Select your panel border and enter your preferred value:

Step 3. Set up the circuit separation method and spacing:

Step 4. Choose the panel content type.

Select:

  1. Stepped PCB if you want to build your PCB out of single circuits.
  2. Stepped block if you want to build your panel out of a custom block of two or more interlocked or “nested” circuits, typically L- or T-shaped.  For this option, see below.

Step 4. Select “Stepped PCB”. And click “Next >”.

Step 5. Set up the basic step and repeat, and the rotation if required.  Additional options will be available in the editor.

Step 6. PCB Visualizer now shows the board together with top and bottom birds-eye view, the Panel and board properties menu and the panel tools menu.

  1. Swap top and bottom views by clicking on the bird’s eye menu, or using the tool menu icon.
  2. Pan and zoom with your mouse or use the pull-down zoom menu.

Click the orange “Apply” button to accept the panelisation and go back to the PCB Configurator menu.

4. Change panel and board properties.

Use this menu to change:

  • Panel size.
  • Panel border
  • Board separation method
  • Board separation distance

Or to add eC-compatible registration holes if you want to use a solder-paste stencil with our eC-stencil-mate or eC-stencil-fix.

TIP: If the board size is incorrect, PCB Visualizer will show a dummy panel.  Correct the size in the menu (“Board size”).

5. Change the step and repeat of the job

Click within the existing stepped circuits to select the block.  This opens the “Stepped PCB properties” menu.  You can now change the repeat and the rotation of the PCB.  Use to action

6. To “fill” a panel

    • Un-tick the Automatic X and Automatic Y boxes in the “Panel and board properties” menu.
    • Select the panel size you require (e.g. the Eurocircuits recommended maximum panel 350 X 250 mm, or your assembly company’s maximum size e.g. 300 x 200 mm)
    • Use the “Step/repeat block properties” menu to change the step and repeat and rotation to find the best fit
    • Re-click the Automatic boxes to get the final panel size.

7. Define special panel settings.

        • Stepped PCB
        • Stepped Block
        • Block (Custom block of nested PCBs: L-shapes, T-shapes, etc…)

These allow you to customise your panel layout.

Tools

 

TIPS:

    1. To deselect a tool, double-click the Select button or pick the next tool.
    2. To select a border element that is below another border element, you need to click with the right mouse button to first highlight it (orange border), then you can click with the left mouse button to select it.
    3. Use “Reset the panel definition” to
        • restart the Panel wizard – select “Create new panel definition”
        • clear everything and go back to the PCB Configurator menu – select “Clear panel definition”

7.1.  Add stepped PCB pattern

TIP: Use this function to step and repeat PCB blocks or to add rotated PCBs.

            1. Click the tool “Add stepped PCBs”.
            2. Select the orange location box where you want to repeat the same circuit pattern.
            3. This opens the “Stepped PCB properties” menu.  Enter the repeat values you require and click the location boxes as required.TIP: By default PCB Visualizer will retain the last repeat values used.  If these are incorrect, simply change them and the screen image will correct automatically.
              .
            4. Add spacers as required to control the distance between the blocks. Click “Select the object to edit” to clear the location boxes and show the true distances.TIP:The spacers change the distance between the blocks of circuits, not the individual circuits.  Change the distance between circuits in the “Panel and board properties” menu.

7.2. Rotated blocks:

There are two ways to panelise with rotated and non-rotated circuits depending on your requirements.  To build a panel with rotated circuit patterns, follow the procedures here.  To put rotated and non-rotated in a set, see below.

            1. Click the tool “Add stepped PCBs”.
            2. Select the orange location box where you want to add the rotated pattern
            3. Enter the required repeat and rotation values
            4. Add a spacer to control the exact distance between the blocks.

7.3.  Panelise with stepped blocks (“nested” PCBs).

Use this function to interlock (“nest”) L-shaped or T-shaped PCBs.

            1. Open the Panel editor
            2. Select the border required
            3. Set your preferred PCB spacing and separation
            4. Set the Panel content type to “Stepped Blocks”
            5. Click “Next>” to open the “Edit block definition” box.  Click “Edit block”.
            6. This opens the editing screen.
            7. The offset will normally remain at X = 0, Y = 0 for the first circuit.  For the demo job, change the rotation to 180°.
            8. To add a second circuit, click “Add a PCB”.  To avoid a second circuit being placed directly over the first circuit, it is given a notional offset, roughly 20% of its X & Y dimensions.
            9. Add the desired offsets for the finished set. Click Apply to return to the wizard.
            10. Click “Next>” to move to the “Define step values menu”.  Enter your preferred repeat and click “Finish”.

7.4.  Add a spacer.

Use this function to increase the width of a single border or the space between blocks of circuits.

            1. Select “Add a spacer” tool.
            2. Click on the orange locator box where you want to insert the space
            3. Enter your chosen spacer value.
            4. Click on “Select the object to edit” or “Apply” to show the new image.

TIP: Tick the Automatic box if you have a fixed panel size which the circuits do not fill exactly and you want to maintain e.g. the relationship between the circuits and the panel edge.  The automatic spacer will push the circuits into the required position.

8.  Define customer specific border elements.

TIPS:

            1. To see how these different options work together, see the illustration of an eC-panel above or the finished panel at the end of this section.
            2. All border elements are dimensioned from 8 reference points.  These are placed in the middle of the laminate border in the 4 corners and on the centre line of the panel.  For each tool click the tool, select the (first) reference point, and the tool menu will open.
            3. Border elements (except drill holes) can be placed on copper, soldermask or legend layers, and on top, bottom or both sides.

8.1 Add a drill hole border element.

            1. Select the “Drill hole border element” tool and the reference point.
            2. Enter the drill hole diameter plus the copper, soldermask and legend clearances and any offset required.
            3. Click to insert the hole.  Select the next reference point – the values entered will carry over.

8.2 Add a frame border element.

 

Specify the width, the side and the layer required (copper, soldermask and/or legend). Unless an offset is specified this will appear in the centre of each border.

 

8.3. Add a clearance border element.

 

Tooling holes, fiducials and text come with automatic clearances to your chosen values.  Use the clearance function if you need to clear copper, soldermask or legend for any reason.  The cut-off allows the corner to be rounded.

8.4. Add copper pad.

 

For example as a fiducial.  You can specify the pad size, the clearances from copper, soldermask and legend, and the offset from each reference point.

 

8.5. Add text border element.

 

 

 

Enter the text, dimensions, layer (copper, soldermask or legend), and the clearances required.  The cut-off value gives a curved clearance.  The soldermask and legend clearances will default to the copper values but they can be changed if you prefer.

8.6. Add hash fiducials

 

You can set copper, soldermask and legend clearances for hash fiducials.

 

8.7. Finished panel

Including eC-compatible tooling holes

 

MOVIE: use panel editor to create your own custom panel

This film gives an overview of how to make a custom panel using our new panel editor module, part of our PCB Visualizer software.

You can always view this video in full screen mode by clicking the right symbol  on the navigation bar and upgrade the resolution by clicking the setting symbol .

9. Specify panels with several different circuits (“Multipanels”)

PCB Visualizer has been developed as a Gerber file analyser to run Design Rule (DRC) and increasingly Design for Manufacturability (DFM) checks on single circuits.  There is at present no functionality to allow you to import and place interactively separate circuits into one delivery panel.

If you want to put several different circuits on one delivery panel, you have three options:

  1. Prepare a single Gerber file for each layer including the circuits you require in the positions where you want them in the panel.  Make sure that you provide a suitable border and distance between circuits.
    More …

TIPS

  • You can use PCB Visualizer to analyse the panel as though it is a single circuit. If you need to add a border or border features, load the job as a 1 x 1 Customer panel by Eurocircuits.
  • To ensure optimum manufacturability we have rules for the maximum size and copper balance for panels with multiple different circuits.
  • Use the Launch inquiry route.  Upload a single .zip file including separate .zip files for each circuits and an exact drawing how you want them panelised.  Our engineers will check the data files and build the panel for you.  We will send you a quotation and you will be able to see the finished panel in PCB Visualizer.
  • Place your order and upload a single .zip file including separate .zip files for each circuits and an exact drawing how you want them panelised.  Skip PCB Visualizer.  If you want to check the panel before it goes into production click the box “Request pre-production approval” in the Running menu.

10. Pre-production approval

Not sure about the panel you have created and need reassurance before your panel goes into production? Use our pre-production approval check. More info in our BLOG.

EAGLE-V7.0

THIS OFFER EXPIRED 31.12.2014

Buy EAGLE Version 6 and upgrade to Version 7 for FREE + a PCB order discount of 30 Euro netto

CadSoft’s EAGLE software is one of the most popular CAD packages in the market today.  Whether you are an experienced PCB designer or looking for your first CAD package, EAGLE CAD is easy to learn and easy to use.  It offers powerful PCB design solutions, including Schematic Capture, Board Layout and Auto router, all at affordable prices.  Thanks to a full range of support options, switching to EAGLE is fast into use and stress-free.  Find out more.

Watch the EAGLE introductory video.

Switch to EAGLE offer.

EAGLE V7 will be released in July, but you can start getting the benefits of EAGLE right away.  Purchase EAGLE V6 before the V7 launch date and you will get V7 for FREE as soon as it is released. On top of that you can still profit from our Eurocircuits 2014 EAGLE campaign and receive in your Eurocircuits customer account a PCB order discount key of 30 Euro netto to be used with your next PCB order. Terms here.

Order EAGLE V6 from Eurocircuits here.

V7 – new features

  • Hierarchical schematic design, which allows the designer to create structured schematic drawings.  The top sheet  can contain module boxes representing parts of the schematic.
  • Improvement of the autorouter: A new router algorithm pre-routes the layout.  The result is smoother tracking with fewer angles.
  • Support for multi-core processors. This will allow EAGLE  to route simultaneously several jobs (with different settings).

Eurocircuits and EAGLE.

We have worked with CadSoft over the last 5 – 6 years to integrate EAGLE into our workflow.  EAGLE users can upload the .BRD data files directly into PCB Visualizer without the need for conversion.  Designers can download free EAGLE DRU files from our website.  These come with built-in component libraries to speed your design process, as well as design rule parameters based on our order-pooling services.  Use these parameters and you can be confident that your design has the optimum price – and will go into production without any delays caused by data issues.

EAGLE V7 upgrade offer terms and conditions, defined by CadSoft Computer GmbH.

The Evertiq Event – Stockholm – May 2014

During TEC-Stockholm Eurocircuits showed how to achieve an ideal PCB Design flow by using its smart menus

Eurocircuits was a Main Sponsor at The Evertiq Conference 2014 in Stockholm, 13.5.2014. We exhibited and were at the conference as speaker.

Marketing cup

First we would like to thank our customers who registered to the conference mentioning they were invited by us. Eurocircuits” customers were the largest group attending the event which lead to Eurocircuits winning the marketing cup, TEC Stockholm 2014.

Thanks to you all.

Our presentation

Helping our electronics design customers to define the best PCB layout flow possible and thus save time, avoid communication problems and achieve the best price and reliability for their PCB, is our goal. To achieve this goal, we have created smart menus and PCB visualization tools.

Smart menus.

The Eurocircuits calculator is based upon the technology of our PCB Configurator software which is part of the PCB Visualization tools of our website. However this calculator can work without attaching data to it. You will have the complete service scope of Eurocircuits at your finger tips including all technical validation rules that apply when choosing different technical options for your board.

We therefore call it “smart menus”. They contain:

  • Build-up wizard: more than 700 predefined build ups including blind and buried combinations can be chosen.
  • Panel editor: contains full CAM editing functionality to define a professional customer panel
  • Technical validation: around 300 rules are built into the smart menus helping you to choose only those combinations of options that are viable. All violation are explained and possible corrections advised. If none are clear or what you had in mind, calling operator assistance through “launch inquiry” is always possible.
  • Classification wizard: our classification aide shows you the possible pattern and drill classes in function of the chosen base copper foils.
  • Price guidance: on every option you choose, the smart menu informs you if there will be a slight cost increase or if the board is no longer poolable and the cost will be calculated based on production panels. All prices are always calculated including alternatives based upon other more favourable quantities and delivery terms. Also a full customer definable price matrix is possible.

Visualization tools

After you have finished your PCB Layout based upon the PCB design parameters you defined using our smart menus , you can load your PCB data into the shopping basket of your account. Our PCB Visualizer software will start analysing your data and will come up with a reply some minutes later. Your board is now viewable. What can you discover?

  • PCB Configurator: You can view the board based upon the chosen order details or the default details in case you choose analyse my data. Going through all order details, you can view all comments and possible violation. It also allows you to change the order details and bring them in accordance with the content of your data. Extra CAM functions are:
    • Panel editor: making standard or complex customer panels interactively on screen.
    • Marking editor: QR-code, UL-logo, text, date codes, etc… if and where you want them
  • PCB Checker: shows the result of the design rule check (DRC) of your data against the order details of the basket item. You can consult all possible errors individually and evaluate. It also contains some DFM function like: plating index, solder paste surface, possible fiducial in a design, ….

Presentation “PCB design flow”

Our presentation takes a tour through all Eurocircuits” smart menus and PCB Visualization tools and how they can help you gain time, avoid misunderstandings and save costs by defining an ideal PCB design flow.

View the Presentation – click here

The presentation is best viewed when you open the speaker notes and view them on a second screen. This can be controlled from the option button in the bottom left corner.

Custom marking – new RF PCB options

New functionality from Eurocircuits to speed up the design process for RF and non-RF PCBs.

1. Custom marking – a new PCB Visualizer function. Place the order number or UL logo where you want it. Define and place date codes, text and QR codes.

2. RF pool upgraded. New RF build options as requested by our customers.

Custom marking – a new PCB Visualizer function.

  • Do you need a special text, date code or QR code on your PCB?
  • Do you need the order number or UL logo to appear in a specific place?

Use the new interactive Marking function in PCB Visualizer to define and place what you need on-screen. You can see exactly how the finished board will look, and you don’t need to spend time making detailed drawings or QR calculations. To see how it works, go to our blog [link to blog]

RF pool upgraded

RF engineers have asked us for:1. A low cost solution for RF prototype and development PCBs2. Standard materials and builds to be used as the basis for new designs.

We consulted with our customers and with sector experts to develop a new range of builds for the updated RF pool. Based around Isola’s new lower cost I-Tera MT very low loss laminate and Rogers higher specification RO4350B™ and using order pooling technology, these builds offer a flexible solution with an optimal combination of low cost and high performance. More … [ link to blog]

Technical blogs

We have added more technical blogs to our website.

  • How do we assure the quality of your PCB? Part 1 describes the tests that we carry out on your boards and on our processes during production. It also explains each section of the PCB Passport. Part 2 sets out the tests that we make on the finished boards to ensure that they meet and exceed your quality requirements.
  • Tolerances on PCBs. What tolerances should I design into my PCB?
  • Marking. What the new marking function in PCB Visualizer offers the designer, and how to use it.
  • RF pool – insights and details. Updated to give more information on the new materials and builds.

We have an on-going program of technical papers, but if there are particular topics on which you would like us to produce a blog, please email your usual sales contact or euro@eurocircuits.com.

Marking editor

Adding custom markings – yet another PCB Visualizer function

Do you need special text or a QR code on your PCB?  Or a production date code specific to this order? Or a logo that your design system can’t handle? Or is it important that order numbers and UL marking are in a particular location?  We have harnessed the power of PCB Visualizer to bring you on-screen interactive functionality to meet these requirements.

Watch our movie at the end of this BLOG.

NEW August 2014

Add logo

Under Custom marking you can now add a company logo or similar image in legend, soldermask or copper.  The image can be in JPEG, PNG, GIF or BMP format.

Marking summary.

Internal job number

All boards have our internal job number on the top legend layer in letters about 1 mm high.  Using the new functionality you can move it but, as It forms the basis of our traceability system, you cannot remove it or place it outside the PCB outline.

UL

Where the customer requests UL marking our engineers have always placed it in a clear area on the legend at their discretion.  If customers wanted to have the marking placed in a particular location, they needed to provide a drawing.  Now, when time is tight, you can use PCB Visualizer to place the markings interactively on screen and see how the finished board will look without spending time on a drawing.  UL marking is a cost-free option.

Other custom markings

Custom marking may be a date code, text, QR code or LOGO.  The new functionality allows you to select your preferred date code format.  You can type in the text you want to appear as lettering or in the QR code. The logo can be imported as a JPEG, PNG, GIF or BMP file. In each case you can move the item around on screen to see where it fits best. Custom marking is now a cost-free option.

How to use the new function

  1. Load the job into PCB Visualizer.  Either use the Price Calculator to get a price and then upload your data, or use the “Analyse your data” option, so that PCB Configurator fills out the board parameters for you.  Go to Shopping basket and click PCB Visualizer for the job you want.
  2. Scroll down the PCB Configurator menu to Advanced options.
    advanced options – Marking

    To add markings, make sure that the options you require have been ticked: “UL marking” or customer “Specific marking”, both at no extra cost.
    If you want to check or edit the placing of the order number and/or want to edit your UL and customer specific markings, click the “Marking” box.

  3. The Marking screen shows a bird”s eyes view of both sides of the PCB and one detailed view of either Top or Bottom, any markings already made, a legend overview of where they are and the tool options.
    marking editor overview

Tools:

marking tools

The function of the tools: “select”, “switch view”, “delete”, “undo” and “redo” need no further explanation as they are self-explanatory.

The function “add an extra order number” makes it possible to add a second Eurocircuits order number on the PCB should you wish to do so. This function can also be used in case our automatic data analyses tool was not able to place an order number automatically on your PCB. This can be because the layout and legend of the board are too dense or the shape is too complex. You can then add an order number yourself.

To place the order number, push the icon and move your cursor to the desired location on the board and click to add it. You can then still drag it to any position on the board either on the top or bottom. Moving it from the top to the bottom is easy by just moving it to the bird”s eye view of the bottom. This will place it there and will open the details view of the bottom at the same time. Further fine tuning of its position can then be done. You can also change the rotation.

order number properties

Tips:

  1. Don’t place any legend features over holes.  Automatic clipping may render it illegible.
  2. The order number will appear in a legend layer, typically on the top layer.  It is not necessary to have ordered a bottom legend to use the bottom layer for the order number.
  3. At this stage the order number will be the basket number.  When the order is placed this will change to the order number.

UL marking

marking UL

If you have not ticked the “UL marking” box in the PCB Configurator menu, you must tick the box here.  This will open the UL menu here.  The PCB Configurator menu and order details will be updated when you click Apply at the end of the Marking selection process.

Tips:

  1. UL marking can appear on a copper layer, in the solder-mask, or on a legend layer. The size of the UL marking is defined by UL and cannot be changed neither should it overlap other items.
    UL logo properties
  2. At this stage there are no automatic checks to prevent the logo shorting any tracks or pads on a copper layer. Any problem introduced at this stage will be picked up by our data preparation engineers at the moment of order and will result into an exception that will be reported back to you.

Customer specific markings

marking customer specific info

If you have not ticked the “Specific marking” box in the PCB Configurator menu, you must tick the box here.  This will open the Custom marking menu here.  The PCB Configurator menu and order details will be updated when you click Apply at the end of the Marking selection process.

Add QR code:

To add a QR code, click the icon and move your cursor to the desired location on the board and click to add it. You can then still drag it to any position on the top or bottom of the board. Moving it from the top to the bottom is easy by just moving it to the bird”s eye view of the bottom. This will place it there and will open the details view of the bottom at the same time. Further fine tuning of its position can then be done. You can then change the content of the QR code as well as the size.

Tips:

  1. The Value can be up to 2953 alphanumeric characters using the standard ISO8859-1 character set (covers most characters in European languages). But the larger the content the denser the QR-code will become and thus the larger in size it will need to be to stay readable.
    QR code properties.png
  2. The minimum legible size will depend on the number of characters used.  In any case we do not allow a size below 8 x 8 mm.  Anything smaller will not be legible.

Add text:

To add a custom TEXT, click the icon and move your cursor to the desired location on the board and click to add it. You can then still drag it to any position on the top or bottom of the board. Moving it from the top to the bottom is easy by just moving it to the bird”s eye view of the bottom. This will place it there and will open the details view of the bottom at the same time. Further fine tuning of its position can then be done. You can then input the text and adapt its height and rotation.

Tips:

  1. Text uses the same ISO8859-1 character set as the QR code.
    TEXT properties
  2. We use proportional fonts, so the height of the letters determines the size of the box.

Add production date:

To add the production date, click the icon and move your cursor to the desired location on the board and click to add it. You can then still drag it to any position on the top or bottom of the board. Moving it from the top to the bottom is easy by just moving it to the bird”s eye view of the bottom. This will place it there and will open the details view of the bottom at the same time. Further fine tuning of its position can then be done. You can then choose the date format and adapt its height and rotation.

Tips:

  1. You have a choice of 6 formats.  Select the format here.
    production date properties
  2. Our front-end engineering system will automatically insert the date on which we generate the production pooling panel.

Add custom LOGO

customer logo

Select your image from the list of images already uploaded or use the Browse function to upload a new file.  File format can be JPEG, PNG, GIF or BMP.  Select the size of the image and the layer where you want it to appear.  If you alter Height or Width manually the wizard will calculate the other dimension to preserve the original image ratio.  Move your cursor to the desired location on the board and click to add it. You can then drag it to any position on the top or bottom of the board. Moving it from the top to the bottom is easy by just moving it to the bird”s eye view of the bottom. This will place it there and will open the detailed view of the bottom at the same time. You can then further fine-tune its position.

Tips:

  1. The logo will appear in solid colour without grey-scales.  If you prefer a pixellated grey-scaled image, use the PCB PIXture wizard in the PCB Definition box.
  2. Logos placed on legend layers are subject to Eurocircuits’ legend rules.  The image will be clipped back from soldermask windows around component pads and holes.  Also the narrowest line which can be successfully printed is 0.17 mm. Check your image size and placement as violations may impair the appearance of the logo. To view the final manufacturing files before we start production, use our Pre-production approval function.

Marking legend

In the left bottom corner of the marking editor screen, you can find the “marking legend”.

marking legend

The marking legend gives an overview of all 5 markings that may appear on the board. It shows how many times a marking appears on top or bottom of the board.

How to save the new data

  1. When you have placed the elements to your satisfaction, click Apply to return to the main PCB Configurator menu.  The changes you have made will appear on Top and Bottom view.  If they don’t, make sure that you have not switched off “UL marking” or “Specific marking”.
  2. Click the orange “Save changes” box on the right of the screen.
  3. In the next “Complete action” screen, just click Continue.  If you upload new data, you will lose the placements you have just made.

MOVIE: create and view custom markings on your PCB with our marking editor

This film gives an overview of how to introduce custome markings on your board with our new marking editor module, part of our PCB Visualizer software.

You can always view this video in full screen mode by clicking the right symbol on the navigation bar and upgrade the resolution by clicking the setting symbol .

If you have any questions, click the Chat box on the right of the screen and chat with one of our experts.