Eurocircuits Tips & Tricks – Marking Editor

PCB Services | eC Solutions
Eurocircuits Tips & Tricks – Marking Editor

Eurocircuits tips & tricks – Marking Editor

Did you know that you could add your company logo to your PCB design, add text, Date code, UL marking or even determine where to locate your order number? Not only this but place them either in the copper layer or the silk legend layer?

But why would you do this? The answer is simple and opens a new world of possibilities and tools for design engineers. You can make your design more personalised by adding your company logo, what about adding your name to the board or easily marking it to identify a prototype and not production board? Add a QR code to the board to make it universally identifiable, Or how about simply specifying where your order number should be placed to ensure it is where you want and need it?

All of this has been made possible and easy to do through your PCB Visualizer, in just 3 minutes we can show you in the video below how to open a new world of PCB identification.

We have also create a short blog with more details to help you make the most of your Marking editor

If you have any questions about this or any other service please feel free to get in touch and we will be more than happy to help. Try out our online chat!

Blogs

Company news

Production

eC-tools

eC-equipment

  • eC-placer: fast, accurate PCB prototype assembly solution./li>

If you would like us to produce a blog or white paper on a particular aspect of PCB manufacturing technology or PCB soldering, e-mail us at euro@eurocircuits.com

Interact with us

The best way to share ideas and knowledge is face to face.

Come and meet us at

Eurocircuits meets students

Eurocircuits Tips & Tricks – KiCAD native data direct import

PCB Services | eC Solutions
Eurocircuits Tips & Tricks – PCBA Visualizer
Eurocircuits Tips & Tricks – KiCAD native data direct import

We process over 400 data sets a day for our customers. Front end data preparation is a critical stage of the process to ensure that the data we receive reflects what the designer had in mind, that it is manufacturable and that all requirements are fulfilled.

There are many CAD systems available on the market which are designed to provide Gerber data required to make your PCB’s. However one of the problems we often see with the data provided and which leads to delays and back and forth communication is ambiguous data labelling and missing data, this will be the difference between getting what you want, when you need it or not.

We have worked in the past to provide Design Rule Templates for Altium and Eagle which is a simple and effective way to guide you to producing the most cost effective design layout. In addition to this we developed our PCB Visualizer interface to directly utilise the container format from Eagle (*.BRD), this is a structured output which removes any ambiguity regarding layer structure, board outline and many other features which may normally require us to get clarification from you, additionally, every required layer is included (if you knew how many times we receive data without the drill file for the holes).

You will now be pleased to know that we have opened these benefits to KiCAD users by providing the possibility to Upload directly to PCB Visualizer the . kicad-pcb files, this is an encapsulated file format containing all the data required, with logical layer naming and ordering ensuring no misinterpretation or additional clarification.

Your can find more information here on what KiCAD-PCB provides and how you can configure this output.

If you have any questions about this or any other service please feel free to get in touch and we will be more than happy to help. Try out our online chat!

Blogs

Company news

Production

eC-tools

eC-equipment

  • eC-placer: fast, accurate PCB prototype assembly solution./li>

If you would like us to produce a blog or white paper on a particular aspect of PCB manufacturing technology or PCB soldering, e-mail us at euro@eurocircuits.com

Interact with us

The best way to share ideas and knowledge is face to face.

Come and meet us at

Eurocircuits meets students

KiCAD – design rules

Eurocircuits Tips & Tricks – How to create a Panel

PCB Services | eC Solutions
Eurocircuits Tips & Tricks – PCBA Visualizer

Eurocircuits Tips & Tricks – Panel editor

The purpose of our Tips and tricks series is to help guide designers and purchasers to the best and most cost effective service possible saving time and energy doing things which we have created the tools online to do for you.One question which we are often faced is how to create Panels from your designs and this often comes in 3 forms:

I have a single PCB design but need it to be panelised

Eurocircuits’ Panel Editor

I have several different designs which I would like to be put into a panel

I have designed my own panel how do I define this in Visualizer

Eurocircuits’ How to create custom panel?

Of course our cleaver development team have provided excellent tools (panel editor) in our PCB Visualizer to make the Panelisation process very fast and easy.

To help further we have collected our experiences together to give advice to design the best layout for Panels and how to deal with Small or round PCB’s.

But did you know that we also offer 2 different ways to have your boards separated (V-cut and Break routing)?

If you have any questions about this or any other service please feel free to get in touch and we will be more than happy to help. Try out our online chat!

Blogs

Company news

Production

eC-tools

eC-equipment

  • eC-placer: fast, accurate PCB prototype assembly solution./li>

If you would like us to produce a blog or white paper on a particular aspect of PCB manufacturing technology or PCB soldering, e-mail us at euro@eurocircuits.com

Interact with us

The best way to share ideas and knowledge is face to face.

Come and meet us at

Eurocircuits meets students

Eurocircuits TIPS & TRICKS – PCBA Visualizer




Eurocircuits Tips & Tricks – PCBA Visualizer


We are 3 months on the way now with our PCBA Visualizer beta testing phase and we would like to share our experiences and some tips & tricks how to use our tool efficiently.

After launching PCBA Visualizer, the natural DRC DFM extension tool of our well proven PCB Visualizer for bare boards, we processed about 5 jobs per day for various customers. This has given us the necessary info to start building a professional verified component data base and improving the tools to complete your BoM and CPL analyses.

We have compiled our message in a video on Eurocircuits.TV

If you have any questions about this or any other service please feel free to get in touch and we will be more than happy to help. Try out our online chat! 

Blogs

Company news

Production

eC-tools

eC-equipment

  • eC-placer: fast, accurate PCB prototype assembly solution./li>

If you would like us to produce a blog or white paper on a particular aspect of PCB manufacturing technology or PCB soldering, e-mail us at

euro@eurocircuits.com

Interact with us

The best way to share ideas and knowledge is face to face.

Come and meet us at

Eurocircuits meets students

Why you should supply us with Gerber X2 files.

The benefits of the Gerber X2 format

Perfectly understanding customer data and not losing any PCB design information in data transfer, are key issues to seemlessly produce and deliver quick turn around PCB prototypes.

In our BLOG section we already explained the history of the Gerber Format. We have written a white paper on which actions we need to perform once we have received your data to check them and make them production ready. And we have informed you that UCAMCO is no longer supporting the old Gerber RS-274D format.

Gerber X2 is todays” standard. Why should you use it?

X2 adds intelligence to the Gerber format by its use of attributes. When PCB Vislualizer processes your new job, attributes allow the software to put the layers directly in the correct position in the stack-up. Other attributes identify the via pads, the SMD pads and so on. This avoids manual interaction and offers extra info for DRC and DFM checks. UCAMCO”s Gerber X2 intro movie offers a sneak preview in the CAM-engineers environment where he uses a UCAM system reading in X2 and experiencing its benefits.

CAD systems – KiCAD, Pulsonix, Easy-PC, DipTrace and Altium – can all generate Gerber X2 files. UCAMCO cooperated with the CAD and other software vendors to validate their X2 output. We like the efficiency of X2, please use it as It will improve data transfer from you to us in a safe and practical way. 

All about the Gerber format on the UCAMCO website

Eurocircuits ULP for EAGLE users

Eurocircuits ULP for EAGLE users – start calculating prices directly from your board parameters.

Users of EAGLE version 6 or higher can install a ULP from Eurocircuits to allow fast price calculations for their PCB based upon their board parameters.

Board.jpg

The ULP transfers the basic PCB parameters to the Eurocircuits price calculation page and opens it with these parameters filled out in the appropriate fields. The user then only needs to fill in the non-Gerber details to complete the calculation. This can be performed at all times even if the final details of your design are not fully ready yet.

PCB_quote_service.jpg

Order_screen.jpg

To install the ULP download the zip file containing installer via this link. Extract the zip file and Double-click the eurocircuits-button.exe file and the installer will open this screen.

Setup.jpg

Information.jpg

The ULP installs a button in you EAGLE navigation bar.

ULP_navigation_bar.jpg

Using polygons in EAGLE

POLYGONS are needed for a number of different tasks in a PCB design:

  • As a ground plane under RF lines like microstripe or coplanar lines.
  • As a power plane (for example Vcc) and/or groundplane, to create a low resistance connections.
  • Generally to make a low resistance connection for tracks that carry a high current.

To define a valid POLYGON in EAGLE you must follow some rules:

  • The POLYGON outline must be a closed contour. The contour must be drawn in the correct sequence and with one line. It cannot be built up in sections. When you have drawn the complete closed contour, the outline changes from a solid to a dotted line.
  • A valid POLYGON should not overlap itself.

Use the RATSNEST command to calculate and display the surface of the Polygon. Type in the command Line “Ratsnest” or use the Command button.

Ratsnest.jpg

A Polygon which overlaps itself cannot be calculated. An Error Message will appear: “Signal contains an invalid Polygon”.

Signal_1.jpg

Signal_2.jpg

When you have solved the error use the RATSNEST command again, to calculate and display the surface of the POLYGON. Use RIPUP @ ; to switch back to outline mode.

RIPUP.jpg

Polygon options can be changed via the parameter toolbar

toolbar.jpg

Or, under Properties, right click on the POLYGON outline.

properties.jpg


Width
– specifies the thickness of the line used to fill the POLYGON.

TIP: Select the largest possible line width. Too fine lines create unnecessarily large files when you output the data for manufacture. In any case the line used to fill the polygon should never be less than the minimum line width in the layout.

Polygon pour – specifies the fill type. The preferred fill is a whole area (Solid) fill, but you can also select a grid (Hatch) fill. If you choose Hatch fill, make sure that you set a suitable value under Spacing. The combination of line width and spacing must leave openings large enough for production. You can find more information in our PCB Design Guidelines

The special type CUTOUT is used to define POLYGONS that are cut out (subtracted) from all other signal POLYGONS within the same layer. Cutouts are typically used to define restricted areas in polygons on inner signal layers. It is the only case where a POLYGON can be drawn with a line of width “0”. The CUTOUT option is only used to define the open space and therefore it does not generate additional data. Draw a Polygon and set the option in Properties to Cutout. Run again the command Ratsnest and the Polygon with open space is displayed.

cutout.jpg


Isolate
– defines the isolation distance between the POLYGON and all other copper objects that do not carry the same electrical signal or objects in the Dimension, tRestrict or bRestrict layer. Set the value to 0 if you want to use the isolation value defined in the DRC Rules. If there is enough space in the layout, we recommend a minimum isolation between plane and copper of 0.25mm. The soldermask window around a pad is typically 0.1 mm on all sides. An isolation distance of 0.25 mm compensates for any manufacturing tolerance when the soldermask is applied and ensures that there are no exposed areas on the copper plane which could short to an adjacent pad. For tight complex designs, we can accept smaller values. Check our PCB Design Guidelines for Soldermask to choose a tolerance.

Picture below shows the standard soldermask window around a pad – 0.1 mm on all sides.

soldermask.jpg


Rank
– set values in this box to prevent overlapping POLYGONS from creating shorts. The Rank value determines which POLYGONS are to be subtracted from others. A POLYGON with rank = 1 has the highest priority in the Layout, so no other POLYGON drawn in the layout is ever subtracted from it. A POLYGON with rank = 6 has the lowest priority. If it is overlapped by a higher rank polygon the overlap area is cut out from the lower ranked POLYGON. POLYGONS with the same rank are checked by the DRC to ensure that there are no shorts. The rank property works only for POLYGONS with different signals. Overlapping POLYGONS with the same signal names are simply drawn one over the other.

Thermal – determines whether pads and drill holes in the POLYGON are connected using Thermal relief pads, or if they are connected directly to the copper plane. This applies to vias as well if the via option has been activated in the design rules.

Thermal.jpg

The width of the thermal connectors should normally be set as half of the pad”s drill diameter, with a minimum value of the wire width of the POLYGON and a maximum of twice the wire width. The length of the thermal connectors is defined by the Thermal isolation value in the Design Rules” Supply tab.

Error.jpg

TIPS:
1. Don”t set too fine a wire width for the POLYGON, or the thermal connectors won”t be able to handle the current load. The DRC will warn if this is the case (see illustration).
2. This also applies to necked POLYGONS. The minimum width of the copper area (neck) is determined by POLYGON’S wire width.

Orphans – Determines if a POLYGON may contain areas (islands) which are not electrically connected to the POLYGON”S signal. If Orphans is set to Off, such un-connected areas won”t be drawn.

New major EAGLE software update

Today, CadSoft released a major update for its EAGLE CAD software. Version 7.4 not only solves bugs but also introduces important new software functionality. All new features in version 7 can be viewed here in chronological order.

CadSoft takes this opportunity to offer interesting conditions to purchase new licenses and upgrades.

NEW licenses

10% on new licenses. Customers who do not have a paid license will receive a 10% on new licenses purchased before 30th September 2015.

Upgrade campaigns

V6 customers

  • 20% discount on upgrades purchased between 1st and 30th September 2015
  • 15% discount on upgrades purchased between 1st and 31st October 2015
  • 10% discount on upgrades purchased between 1st and 30th November 2015

This offer is valid for license owners of EAGLE version 6 licenses. Discount not combinable with other discounts and only applicable for the existing license. The discount cannot be applied on the purchase of additional modules, users or a bigger edition.

V5 customers

  • 40% discount on upgrades purchased between 1st September and 31st December 2015

This offer is valid for license owners of EAGLE version 5 licenses. Discount not combinable with other discounts and only applicable for the existing license. The discount cannot be applied on the purchase of additional modules, users or a bigger edition. Offer valid until 31st December 2015.

New MAKE rental licenses

On top of this CadSoft releases a new product portfolio, called “EAGLE Make”. For now EAGLE Make includes two license schemes: EAGLE Make Pro and EAGLE Make Personal. EAGLE Make Pro is a rental license and EAGLE Make Personal is the license previously known as the Hobbyist version.

They are both released with a promotional 20% discount. The campaign runs till 31st October 2015.

All prices and discounts mentioned here are reflected in our EAGLE license calculator :

  • Prices mentioned here are excluded from any taxes. The prices including the correct taxes are only presented in the calculator as only there we can establish the correct country depended values for the taxes. And only from there can one order.
  • Discounts can only be granted when the order and payment are received before the discount specific expiring date.

EAGLE Light

EAGLE Standard

EAGLE Professional

EAGLE Make Personal
(previous known as EAGLE Hobbyist)

EAGLE Make Pro

License Model

Perpetual

Perpetual

Perpetual

Perpetual

Annual license

Use

Commercial

Commercial / Educational

Commercial / Educational

Non-commercial

Commercial

Seats

Single seat

Multiple seats possible

Multiple seats possible

Single seat

Single seat

Modules included

Layout, Schematic, Autorouter

Possible variations:

  • Layout,Schematic & AutoRouter
  • Layout+Schematic
  • Layout+AutoRouter
  • Layout
  • Schematic

Possible variations:

  • Layout,Schematic & AutoRouter
  • Layout+Schematic
  • Layout+AutoRouter
  • Layout
  • Schematic

Layout, Schematic, AutoRouter

Layout & Schematic

Layers

2

6

16

6

4

Sheets

1

99

999

99

99

Board size

100x80mm

160x100mm

4mx4m

160×100 mm fixed

1.6 dm² variable

Price (excl. taxes)

62 €

Use our online calculator

Use our online calculator

140 €

250 €

Upgrade prices

(excl. taxes)

Depends on your purchased modules. Use our online calculator to check for possible upgrades.

Depends on your purchased modules. Use our online calculator to check for possible upgrades.

AutoRouter (150 €)

Need to be online

No

No

No

No

Yes

Version updates included

No. Updates according to the strd. CadSoft policy

No. Updates according to the strd. CadSoft policy

No. Updates according to the strd. CadSoft policy

No. Updates according to the strd. CadSoft policy

Yes

Upgrade Path

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes