Mayhew Labs writes:
Whether you’re a first-time circuit board designer or you’ve been doing it for years, you know how difficult it can be to visualize layout, spacing, and relative size in PCB layout software. You might have also experienced that uneasy “I hope everything is right” feeling when you submit your design files for manufacturing. You’re not alone! I’ve ordered boards with silkscreen text way too small to read, components on the wrong side of the board, and even had my silkscreen and soldermask layers reversed by mistake! Each of these times, the real problem was not having a good view of the design.
I came up with a solution to these problems and designed (with the help of a web developer) an online 3D Gerber viewer that anyone can use. If you’re not familiar with Gerber files, they are the files that layout software (like Eagle, Altium, etc) export for manufacturing. They describe everything pertinent about your board that will be required to actually create your PCB.
View Your PCB Design in 3D Online for Free - [Link]
Some PCB fab houses (like SeeedStudio, with their Fusion PCB service) will allow you to panelize smaller PCBs. For example, if you have a 2.5cm x 5cm board, you could panelize two of them on to a single 5mm x 5mm PCB. Or, put a 7cm x 7cm board and a bunch of 3cm x 3cm boards onto a 10cm x 10cm panel. Seeed will allow up to 5 sub-boards on a panel.
The freeware and light versions of Cadsoft Eagle limit the design area of the PCB to 10cm x 8cm. This is enough to do many projects, but when you want to try and panelize to fill a 10cm x 10 cm board, it won’t work. Plus, maintaining separate projects and updating them on the panel, and maintaining consistency of labels and reference designators can be a pain.
Panelizing PCBs for Seeed Using Eagle Free - [Link]
View and share gerber files for your printed circuit board design online. So simple!
Circuitpeople.com – View and share gerber files online - [Link]
How would you like to make a single or multiple Printed Circuit Boards in less than 2 minutes?
crreed @ instructables.com writes:
This project has been in my mind for quite some time and I thought it would be a good time to finally build it. The idea began when I was tired of spending 25 minutes sloshing a Printed Circuit Board (PCB from now on) around in a plastic tray and waiting for it to finish etching. It was messy and wasted a lot of time. I began to search for an alternative and did not get much farther than a bucket with a fish tank bubble machine and perhaps a heater. Sprayers seemed like the most practical solution but the commercial available ones cost thousands of dollars and there was no guide that allowed someone to create one to use in their own shop. That is, until now.
Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Sprayer Machine - [Link]
This programmer supports: ST Micro M25(E), ST Micro M45(E), Macronix MX25L, Atmel AT25FS, Atmel AT25DF, Atmel AT25F, Amic A25LxxP, Amic A25Lxxx, Eon EN25(B/D/F/P) read only, Winbond W25X, Winbond W25Q (OTP), SST SST25(LV/VF)xx, SST SST25VFxxxB, Spansion S25FL and ESMT F25L.
vane @ tehnikservice.net gives out 2 x free PCBs for his SPI Flash programmer. Please leave a comment on this post and we will select two random winners to give out the PCBs.
SPI Flash Programmer V2 - [Link]
This device is a countdown timer specially designed for PCB exposure box.You can set how many minutes will be on UV light device , store this time in PIC’s EEPROM . Pressing start button lights are on until preset time ends. When lights are off an audible signal is heard. Microcontroller used is Microchip’s PIC 16F877. I used Mikroelektronika Mikropascal compiler to program the chip. Delay time 1-255 minutes.
Count down timer for UV PCB exposure boxes - [Link]
When designing PCBs that will be produced professionally (or even if you etch yourself) it is sometimes hard to get a good view of what they will look like. Most CAD programs view the design in a way that is useful during design but that is not what they will look like in the end. Some provide a view mode or 3D rendering option to get a good idea, but at least CadSoft Eagle does not. What if you want to view what your design will look like or if you just want a fancy graphic to show off your wonderful PCB? Photoshop comes to the rescue.
Using Photoshop to create a realistic PCB image - [Link]
3D models in Google SketchUp look great, but with a few extra plugins the results can look photo-realistic. In this tutorial we’ll cover our experience with the Maxwell for Google Sketchup rendering plugin.
The Maxwell Fire engine is easy to use. It’s integrated directly into SketchUp so you don’t need to open any other application to render photo-realistic images of your models.
The goal of this guide is to help you make awesome looking images of your projects for documentation and presentation.
Make realistic 3D renderings of PCB designs - [Link]
This application note summarizes the crystal basics, PCB layout considerations, and how to test a crystal in your application. A crystal selection guide shows recommended crystals tested by experts and found suitable for various oscillator modules in different Atmel AVR families. Test firmware and test reports from various crystal vendors are included.
Selecting and testing 32kHz crystal oscillators - [Link]