You can use this cutter to cut very accurate PCB stencils on your home:
Are you sick and tired of using a tooth pick to apply solder paste? Are you still using through hole components because you don’t want to deal with soldering surface mount devices (SMD)? If so, this post provides you with guidelines for building your very own laser cutter for cutting PCB stencils. With a total cost of approximately $200 (it can be significantly less if you already have parts laying around), this project can pay for itself very quickly. While you can get “low cost” stencils for your PCBs, they still can be quite expensive if you are only creating one or two boards.
DIY Laser Cutter for PCB Stencils - [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]
Pittsford, NY, USA: Saelig Company, Inc. (www.saelig.com) has introduced the ABI BoardMaster 8000 PLUS –a unique, versatile, self-contained, and easy-to-use PCB test system. The BoardMaster 8000 Plus is a comprehensive set of test instruments, complete with built-in PC, for testing and fault-finding on almost any kind of PCB. Incorporating a full range of test instruments in one compact box and offering a variety of available test methods, the BoardMaster 8000 PLUS provides a cost-effective standalone solution for electronics faultfinding across a wide range of industries.
BoardMaster 8000 PLUS is an integrated package of high specification instrumentation controlled by sophisticated but easy to use software. The hardware is installed in a rugged transportable case that also contains a high-specification, Windows™ PC. The BoardMaster 8000 PLUS is based on a modular system which can be customized for specific applications, and its software can be configured to guide users step-by-step through a test procedure, with custom-annotated picture images, instructions, and attached datasheets to give quick Pass/Fail results. This is much faster and more economical than using traditional oscilloscope and metering and other bench test methods. Read the rest of this entry »
FidoCadJ is an easy to use graphical editor, with a library of electrical symbols and footprints (traditional and SMD). It aims to be an agile and effective small EDA tool for hobbyists. FidoCadJ stores its drawings in a compact text format, practical for the copy and paste in newsgroups and forums: this has determined its success on the Usenet and in numerous communities. FidoCadJ is multi-platform and runs on MacOSX, Linux and Windows
A multiplatform vector drawing program with a complete library of electronic symbols. Schematics and drawings are stored in a very compact text format. There is no netlist concept behind the drawings (so no simulation here, sorry!) but this allows a great graphical flexibility and ease of use, making FidoCadJ the perfect tool for exchange sketches in forum and newsgroup discussions with a few clicks. Drawings can be exported in several graphic formats, such as pdf.
FidoCadJ – Simple and intuitive 2D vector drawing for electronics and not only - [Link]
SMD solder paste stencils are used to accurately “print” a thin layer of solder paste onto a PCB on which the components are placed before reflow soldering. The “printing” is done in a method similar to screen printing, where the solder paste is squeegeed through a 4 mil thick, stainless steel stencil onto the PCB.
This is all well and good, but commercial stencils are expensive, and are massive overkill for prototype boards. Here is a method for producing a “good-enough” stencil using aluminium sheet via a method similar to PCB production via the UV photosensitive film method.
Home-made solder paste stencil - [Link]