With this free viewer, you can upload your Gerber files and have a 360 degree view of your PCB design. Launch the viewer to load your own design or view one of the example boards. So simple yet so effective! Worth a donate.
3D Gerber Viewer in your browser - [Link]
Etching is the process of eating away a pattern on a target material by using an etchant liquid that attacks the target material.
The most common target materials are copper and brass. The most common etchant liquids are ferric chloride, ammonium persulphate and cupric chloride
On a hobby scale it is common to submerge the target into a container filled with the etchant. This can be very slow and is often sped up by either mechanical agitation or using an aquarium / fish-tank bubbler. Even with the speed up from sloshing the container around this process can take 10-15 minutes for a PCB or over an hour for a thick brass plate.
The spray etching method uses the same etchant liquid as the submersion method, but instead sprays the liquid onto the target. This can speed up the process by an order of magnitude.
The Etchinator – low cost spray etcher - [Link]
Manufacture pcb using vinyl sticker and laser printer. Faster, easier and cheaper then ever.
Manufacture PCB using Vinyl Sticker and Laser Printer - [Link]
While sometimes quick and dirty works fine for footprints, if you ever have to deal with enclosures or particularly dense boards, you’ll soon find out that accurate footprints can make your life much easier.
There are some really nice, detailed and accurate footprints in the default Eagle libraries, but there aren’t a lot of resources out there on how to create them. This guide will hopefully serve that purpose, highlighting what works for me making connectors and similar types of footprints.
Creating Accurate Footprints in Eagle - [Link]
Florin made a head to head comparison of Seeed and ITead’s inexpensive PCB services. He made the orders with the same design files, on the same day. While the Seeed order came in after 4 weeks, ITead’s came just 15 days after the order was made. The author however suspects it might have been a fluke, since all his earlier orders from ITead took around 4 weeks to complete too.
Seeed Studio vs ITead Studio PCB service head to head - [Link]
PCB design toolkit – PCB Via Current | PCB Trace Width | Differential Pair Calculator | PCB Impedance – [via]
The Saturn PCB Toolkit is the best resource for PCB related calculations you can find. It incorporates many features that PCB designers and engineers are in regular need of like current capacity of a PCB trace, via current, differential pairs and much more. Please download our PCB Toolkit today for free and enjoy!
PCB design toolkit – PCB Via Current | PCB Trace Width | Differential Pair Calculator | PCB Impedance - [Link]
Ian @ dangerousprototypes.com
In Eagle polygons are used to make big copper areas on a PCB that aren’t necessarily traces. We use them all the time to fill blank space on a PCB with copper connected to ground. Less frequently we use them to make large power traces such as with the ATX Breakout Board. Here’s some notes on how to use and customize polygons in Cadsoft Eagle.
Polygons and ground fills for PCBs in Eagle - [Link]
There are many CAD developed to assist the electronic designers during drawing of PCBs and schematics; often they are integrated in complete suite to project, simulate and realize a whole electronic system. Besides the many commercial versions, there are also free CADs available. Today we’d like to analyze one of the most diffused and known software: Eaglecad (eagle does not mean the powerful bird but it is the acronym of Easily Applicable Graphical Layout Editor) made by Cadsoft, actually at version 6.2.0. We have chosen this one because, as you know as an Arduino’s fan, the official pcbs and schematic files of the boards are developed and available free of charge to everybody in Eaglecad format; you can find also a lot of libraries and circuits made by famous DIY website (Sparkfun for first) available for free.
How to make an Arduino shield with Eagle CAD - [Link]
Rik shows how to design PCBs with more than two layers in Cadsoft Eagle. The tutorial covers the basics, as well as some advanced subjects like BGA escape routing. Keep in mind you’ll need a standard or pro version of Eagle, as the free version doesn’t support designs with more then 2 layers. [via]
Designing multilayer PCBs in Cadsoft Eagle - [Link]
ZofzPCB is a gerber viewer geared to make verification quick and easy. It shows the board and layers in 3D so it’s easier to spot errors. It can also make each trace a different color so the location is clearer. [via]
- ZofzPCB 3D Gerber Viewer can display 3D PCB model, using your design CAM files.
- Gerber and Excellon files are assigned to layers in auto or manual mode. – Stackup dimensions are fully editable.
3D approach allows more direct visual examination of your design.
- ZofzPCB 3D Gerber Viewer aided by DirectX and modern graphic hardware, brings impressive real-time images to your desk.
- ZofzPCB recreates netlist and can mark each net with different color.
- ZofzPCB allows you to take mechanical measurements, also between layers.
ZofzPCB 3D gerber viewer - [Link]