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Good software for creating PCB gerber files

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dinofx

New Member
I was using pad2pad's free software, but now I'm trying to get a quote from Futurlec.com, and they can't open the file.

Does anyone know of good software for editing simple PCBs, and then exporting them to gerber format? TIA
 

mramos1

Active Member
I use Eagle CAD (like student version) bt Cadsoft, goggle eagle cad and see if they support Gerber, it is easy to use.

"It can produce data for drill stations, photoplotters, Postscript machines and pen plotters."
 

dinofx

New Member
I downloaded Eagle and it is about 100 times harder to use than pad2pad. I created the following very easily using some free software, but now I need another file format.

**broken link removed**
 

dinofx

New Member
Here is a question. I am just trying to save money by going with futurlec instead of pad2pad for fabrication of 32 boards.

But, pad2pad would be really cheap if I tile 8 boards onto a 3"x4" board. The question: how hard would it be to cut the circuit into 8 pieces? Is it easy to do with a scrollsaw or something? They will do V-scoring for me for an extra $38.
 

DirtyLude

Well-Known Member
Ha! PWM water pump control. [H]ard.

Sorry, can't answer your question. I just remember quickly reading your [H]ard forum posts.

I don't think it's going to be easy to translate to gerber without putting your schematic / board design into a more advanced editor, with gerber output.

I might be able to do it for you, or at least recreate your board in Eagle and you can output it to gerber. There's some quick tutorials instructions for it out there.

I've read lots of stuff on cutting. Something that small might be able to be cut on one of those large paper cutting machine. I use a dremel with a cut off bit myself. It wouldn't take too long to cut up small baords with the dremel, but the cut isn't perfectly straight, unless you're real good with it. I've heard people using jigsaws as well, but I have no experience with that.
 

justDIY

Active Member
it's very easy to depanelize with an inverted jigsaw

**broken link removed**

use a sheet-metal blade (thats what it says on the packaging)... it has finer teeth than a wood blade, but not as many as a blade for cutting steel.

prop your saw upside down in a vice, and install the blade backwards. tape the power switch so its always on, and use a multistrip for your new power switch. The foot (shoe?) of the saw gives you a nice little table for lining your pcb up with the blade.

ear and eye protection is a must, and always know where your fingers are.
 

DirtyLude

Well-Known Member
Want to give us a review of quality/cost once you get the boards. I'm seriously thinking of getting my USB PWM fan controller PCB made up by a board house and selling it off in partial kit form at cost.
**broken link removed**

Maybe anyone else who has a review on these proto-board manufacturers? I was thinking of getting a single sided board made up from olimex.com, since they are pretty cheap and I've heard a good review on them.
 

dinofx

New Member
I decided to go with pad2pad.com for services. The boards turned out fantastic. I choose 12 day, but they arrived in about 1 week. 2-sided, masked, silk-screened on one side. You can order 4 boards like this of size 3x4 inches for $77. But, since I needed V-scoring too, the price was higher but I negotiated a new customer discount. I ended up with 32 boards.

The simplicity/usability of their software makes using them again a no-brainer.

**broken link removed**
 
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