cmiyc @ instructables.com writes:
Creating a solder paste stencil for a toaster reflow oven or hot plate is simple when you have access to a laser cutter. I used the Laser Cutter at my local TechShop to create this and other PCB stencils.
This Instructable assumes you have created a PCB and are able to generate the Gerber Files for it. Specific directions will be given for EAGLE, but other PCB software can be used. The board used in this example is an Arduino RTC Shield based on the DS3231. Follow the link for the EAGLE design files if you want to follow along.
Polyimide (Kapton) PCB Solder Paste Stencil - [Link]
Tom Hausherr’s blog is dealing with component package technology and libraries standards and providing lots of great and clear information. If you are designing your own libraries for your next project you definatelly have to check it out!
Tom Hausherr’s Blog - [Link]
Author: James Connors
Description: This ULP is quite creative and simple to use. Draw a 0 with wire on the milling layer. Run the ULP, the dialog box selection will provide options to either draw an array of holes or vias. Parameters such as Diameter, signal name amount of holes and distance can be defined.
Eagle UPL: Create Drill Line Array - [Link]
Christian Aurich developed a script to import Eagle boards into FreeCAD. This way he is able to design custom enclosures.
The common solution until now is to export your board with eagleUp and assemble it with a case in Sketchup. This also gives you some drawbacks. The most important to me was that the Sketchup files are mesh based like the data used for 3D printing usually, but for further use in CAD systems this is not really usable. You also will not be able to get a STEP model that you can give to your costumers out of this data.
Script lets you import Eagle boards for use in FreeCAD - [Link]
HackEDA is an online automatic circuit design tool that compiles different Eagle schematics and boards to build a complete schematic. This is now possible because Cadsoft switched to an open XML text format for board files: [via]
At it’s core, it’s a system for collecting reusable-sized pieces of electronic designs, along with the knowledge necessary to reuse them in new designs. The library is available to browse online, you can download the individual bits, and there’s also a tool for creating custom circuits by simply selecting the features your project needs.
HackEDA builds Eagle schematics and PCBs from standard circuit blocks - [Link]
Eagle PCB Tip: Pin and Gateswapping
To optimize board routing, there are times that interchanging pins or gates is necessary. Recent article on Dangerous Prototypes gives us a full description and procedure to make this happen in EAGLE.
Eagle Tip: Gateswap and Pinswap tool - [Link]
Surprisingly often, I find myself wanting to import vector images into eagle, and have them appear as polygons – usually for silkscreen. Whilst importing vectors as lines is practical – although ridiculously awkward – up until now I haven’t found a single practical way to import a vector drawing as polygons.
Importing SVG images as polygons Into Eagle - [Link]
Many users often request if there are any tools that can simplify library part creation. Make-symbol-device-package-bsdl.ulp is one of those tools, it can parse a BSDL file and automatically create a part for you, device, symbol, package everything in just a few clicks. It’s one of the more sophisticated ULPs that ship with EAGLE and can be used to speed up part creation especially with high-pin count components such as FPGA and large microcontrollers. Most manufacturers such as TI and Microchip provide BSDL files for their parts. This is also one of two ULPs that come with a manual you can find it in the doc folder of your EAGLE installation. [via]
Eagle Quick Tip: Simplify library part creation - [Link]
Our dear friend Vassilis notes an easy way to trim ground fills on EAGLE PCBs. This tip is really helpful if you would like to prevent ground to be filled on small areas without having to add a new polygon.
Normally, if we like to add a ground plane on a PCB we use a polygon named GND and then empty space is filled with copper attached to GND net (keepout distance from traces, pads etc can be adjusted). In most cases you will notice that copper is filled in areas that we would not like to be filled. A solution to this is to add a polygon on tRestrict layer to prevent copper to be added on that area. This solution works nice for relative large areas of board.
Another way to prevent ground to fill a small area is to use a wire on tRestrict layer placed in such a way to “cut” the ground filling path. Using such wires on the above PCB give us better results as you can see on the screen below.