Make your own PCBs form A to Z
Eagle Layout Editor + Photoshop
Making your own PCBs is a procedure that needs extreme care so
the result become usefull. Many times you faced up the challenge
to print out your own PCBs many times or many different PCBs in
one sheet. In this article we will discuss how you can do this
compining common software tools. Also we will discuss how to
print out PCBs from Elektor magazine along with your own custom
made PCB in one transparency, after processing it using
Photoshop CS for better results.
The software tools you need are:
Adobe Photoshop CS
Adobe Acrobat Reader
Eagle Layout Editor
PDF files from
Elektor magazine (available at their website)
see (page 3/3) for resources.
For the beginning we will design a simple circuit
to Eagle which will flash two LED diodes.
Open Eagle, under Projects
right click and then left click to
name to the new Project, for example Blinking Led
and then click
Under the Project
you created, right click and select
Right away the schematic editor will show up
Project : Blinking Led
After finishing the
you must check it out for design faults or not connected
components. This can be done clicking
button from the tools.
we must transfer the design to the PCB design program. This can
be done clicking on
button and the program will automatically start putting the
components and there connections on the work area.
At this point you must arrange the components as
you like, but you should have in mind to put them in places so
the shortest route connects them.`
After completing the components arrangement use
the tools bar to let the program re-route the components
connections to be the shortest possible. Final click Auto
and select the Layer you wish (for
example Top for one side PCBs)
and then click
OK so the PCB traces will
The result is like the PCB shown below.
1 TOP [N/A]
- 16 Bottom [*]. You leave the
rest as is.
When the PCB design is ready it's time to export
it to an image file to be able to process it using Photoshop CS.
First of all we must hide the layers we don't
need, for example the components, the names, values and let only
the PCB traces.
To achieve this we must click on
button from the tools bar and "Del" the following selections:
After pressing OK we must see some a screen
similar to this one:
Then click File
This image will show up:
As more Resolution
the best processing will occur in Photoshop CS,
also you must check
Monochrome box, give a name and click OK.
You must be careful choosing Resolution,
because the more dpi has result the best quality but the
bigger file size, 300 dpi it's a good
resolution for print out.
The result is this:
At this point we no longer need
Eagle, the next step it processing
the image using Photoshop CS
Processing image using