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import gerber file into eagle

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by arhi, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. arhi

    arhi Member

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    hi guy's
    is there any way to import gerber files into eagle (files created by another application - ARES for example) and then modify the pcb layout ?

    The reason I ask is that pcb manufacturer accept only pdf's or eagle files, and I work in ARES ... As it is not that "easy" for them to get all the needed data from pdf files (I have no idea why, but they do not) I would send them the eagle file but I'm not keen on doing everything twice (I make and test schematic in ISIS, pcb in ARES .. so would have to do all from scratch in EAGLE if I cannot import gerber files)
     
  2. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    The right thing to do is to find a pcb maker that will take your files. But you know that and must have a good reason for not doing so.

    I do not see anything that looks like it would import a file. Maybe Hans knows more. If not check with the people on the eagle mailing list. But I suspect that the answer is going to be no. From the vendors standpoint there is no upside to having this feature.
     
  3. Boncuk

    Boncuk New Member

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    Importing Gerber files to Eagle

    Hi arhj,

    Eagle is a CAD program putting out a CAM file. Vice versa it won't work.

    I also use ISIS, but don't care for ARES. Usually I simulate a circuit with ISIS, print the schematic and make a new one using Eagle. ISIS has so limited components that I wouldn't even try to make an ARES board, which can only take over the parts used in ISIS, e.g. oversized caps and wrongly dimensioned potentiometers.

    Transferring a schematic from one to another program shouldn't be a problem, since you are the one who made the circuit and you already familiar with it.

    Eagle components are also never up to date and I make regularly 10 new devices and if necessary new packages too every week. It's a good feeling to know that you have every part intended for use on a specific PCB.

    Boncuk
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. arhi

    arhi Member

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    3v0 I know what is the "right thing to do" but, I cannot find a decent pcb manufacturer here who want to make 1 pcb ... (and I usually need 1, maybe 2)... I used to work with one that is pretty cheap (12E per dm2 for double side + stop + silkscreen) but the problem I have with them is that they drill all holes to same size ?!?! I cannot explain it - stuped - and on top of that they do not do "cut outs" on the pcb (so I have to dremell them myself) - on top of everything they are slow...

    trying to work with second one, but they accept protel and eagle files or pdf's ... so getting me frustrated ... anyhow, I'm getting pissed about all this pcb thing here anyhow, they are all soooooo unprofessional :(
     
  6. arhi

    arhi Member

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    I suspected :) but had to check, as happened few times already that I "knew" and then (whole bunch of wasted man hours later) found out that "there was an option if you dig deep" - so, better safe then sorry, hence I asked :)


    I use ISIS for simulation, then I redraw the schematic in Altium Designer and make the PCB there (I cannot simulate anything in Altium so that's why I use ISIS).

    Altium is pretty good for PCB design and yes, I also make 30% of components myself for almost every board :) ... thing is, I know how to use ISIS/ARES/Altium ... I do not work that fast in Eagle, and to be honest, not sure I have nerve to learn it

    Anyhow, trying to convince the pcb manufacturer to "read the darn drill guide" and drill me different whole sizes... who knows, I might make them understand :)

    thx for confirming for me that eagle will not import those files
     
  7. Boncuk

    Boncuk New Member

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    Hi arhi,

    if your concern is the lousy performance of your PCB-manufacturer why not hop accross the border to Sofia/Bulgaria?

    The address: http://bilex-lp.com (lp written as small "el" "pi" - not "i" "p"). Your contact there: Mr. Hristo Ginov.

    Bilex makes PCBs from almost any file format, preferrably of course "Eagle" files (don't send in Gerbers, they do their own thing converting to Gerber)

    Bilex is fairly cheap and makes good quality boards. They even do more than ordered. Example: I ordered a bunch of SMD-to-DIL adapters of different design on one single board, devided by cutting lines. They were delivered ready to use without extra charge.

    Just to mention one disadvantage with Bilex, don't order if you expect fast delivery. Normal delivery within one month, can easily become 6 weeks.

    What do you have to learn applying Eagle. Just use it! The higher the version number, the more unnecessary functions are built in. Making a DRC with version 3.55 brings about all possible errors without working off a mile long checklist prior to the check. With version 4.16 it looks like you are going to work for a doctor's degree.

    The way I make a PCB: Use Eagle version 3.55 up to the finest correction. Perform the DRC and smash all parts as well in the schematic as on the board. Save and make a backup copy of the files in a different folder. Change to version 4.16 and place the part numbers and values using the reference markings (not available in 3.55). This design is used for the PCB-manufacturer.

    Smashing all parts is done by grouping them. They will all be highlighted. Then smash one after another (group smashing isn't possible). The smashed parts aren't lit anymore. If there is no highlighted object left over you can be sure to have smashed 100%.

    Now, I wish you better luck with Bilex.

    Regards

    Hans
     
  8. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    More good advice from Hans.

    I don't do the version thing but I see its attraction.

    The smash tool is very handy. I had seen it but never bothered to figure out what to do with it :). Smash allows you to move the name and value independent of the part. Good for cleaning up the silk screen and documentation layers.

    Hans, have you found a use for the OPTIMIZE tool ? I read the help but it did not sink in.

    EDIT: Ver 5.0 and up have a PDF box/choice in the print dialog. Printing to a PDF is a great way to preview the board artwork, the PDF generated is identical to the artwork that will print, what you see on the screen is not. Using adobe reader you can scale it up and look at it in great detail.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2008
  9. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    This makes sense in that the people behind PCB123 are working to get as many orders for their PCB board house as possible. The ability to import files from other packages supports this goal.

    If Cadsoft's had a PCB house it would make sense for them to add this sort of import feature. But they do not. Their goal is to provide a good PCB cad system. I would not expect to see it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2008
  10. Boncuk

    Boncuk New Member

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    In more words: It is an unproved statement. Please prove and we're all happy.
     
  11. Boncuk

    Boncuk New Member

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    Hi 3v0,

    you got me there. I've never even wasted a thought using the OPTIMIZE tool. When I start optimizing a layout I do it manually switching initially to a grid size of 1/80 inch. If that doesn't satisfy me I use 1/160 and finally down to 1mil. Optimizing routing is done best manually.

    I already mentioned in another post: It's not only the board and the circuit which have to work properly. It also has to look beautiful.

    Try it! You'll like it. If you fall in love with your well working design don't tell it to your wife. :)

    Hans
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2008
  12. Boncuk

    Boncuk New Member

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    It also burries a built in Aha-effect. Smash a part and delete e.g. the value. No problem with that. Refreshing the screen the result will be as expected: value missing - good for highly populated boards; the part numbers should do in that case.

    Now one more step deleting the name too. Good - a blank resistor for instance. Refresh the screen.

    Aha! Both are there again. :D

    Positive side effect: If you inadvertantly delete a value you can't get it back (still visible clicking the properties) and you think you must use 'Text' to insert it. Deleting both, value and name brings them back -unsmashed - both after refreshing the screen. (no text insertion)

    Warning: Don't move any part on a PCB layout after smashing and deleting both, name and value. Refresh the screen to have them back again. Moving the part without displayed name and/or value won't move the hidden name/value. That way it might happen that the part name/value can be found miles away from the part.

    Hans
     
  13. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    Hans,
    It looks like the OPTIMIZE tool is not about optimizing routing. If you have a bend in a trace and straighten it out OPTIMIZE will get rid of the zero degree bend. It makes the two traces into one. It seems only to work with traces created with WIRE and not ROUTE. I do not see a use for it when you start with a schematic.

     
  14. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    You are comparing mixing fruit :)

    Eagle generates the Gerber files needed to make PCBs. It supports the format.

    Gerber files were never intended to store source level PCB design work. They are the compiled (if you will) information needed to drive the PCB making equipment.

    The OP is looking to import Gerber files. As I pointed out there is little reason to do so. It is not too different then asking a compiler to import hex output from another tool-chain (inverse compiler). Even when it can be done the symbolic information will be missing, in both cases.

     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  15. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    CircuitPeople:
    First off welcome to the ElectroTech! I think you will like it here. Things are a bit slow right now, could be people are on vacation or busy with summer things.

    I can see why the subject interested you and I agree on the need to have a method to move designs forward, Gerber has the advantage that a lot of software packages produced it, but it is the wrong end of the horse. Yada Yada Yada... Do not much care. :)
     
  16. suds07

    suds07 New Member

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    Hello..

    I am from Bangalore India,
    if you need good quality PCB, will reasonable price.
    I can help you out, you can take price advantage of currency difference.

    Lead time will be 10days, from date of confirmed payment, plus shipping (15 days)

    Shipping by EMS Post, ($25 onwards depending on weight)

    Send me in your Gerber in GERB274X format.or cadsoft eagle file for quote.

    -sudhir
     
  17. multimoto

    multimoto New Member

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    PCBs from Eagle

    Sudhir,

    Can you post a way for people to contact you, either by email or a website?
     

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