Tuesday, September 7, 2010

pHduino gerber files

Olá.

I have received some e-mails about people interested to buy a pHduino shield. But, I can't sell it, yet. The reason is I used the Eagle Free version (I can't make money with this version). Another reason is the business tax is very hard here in Brazil. Therefore, it is better you make your our PCB shield. I will resolve this problem in the next version.

Today, it is easy to make a PCB at home using laser print toner to make the mask for the corrosion. There are a lot of tutorials on the internet describing how to make good PCB. But, sometimes, you don't have time to make a PCB or don't have ability for it. In this case, my suggestion is generate gerber files and send to a PCB manufacturer. There are a lot of services on the internet. You only need select one with a good rate between money and time.

I generated the pHduino gerber files and made them available for anyone that wants to order a PCB from a PCB manufacturer.

Decline

Use these files for your own risk. I am not responsible if your lost money or they do not work. There are many variables involved and I can not be responsible for any mistake.

If someone detect an error, please send me a message. I will really appreciate for your help or suggestions.

Thank you and good luck.

Printed Circuit Board

Today, it is easy to make a PCB at home using laser print toner to make the mask for the corrosion. There are a lot of tutorials on the internet describing how to make good PCB. But, sometimes, you don't have time to make a PCB or don't have ability for it. In this case, my suggestion is generate gerber files and send to a PCB manufacturer. There are a lot of services on the internet. You only need select one with a good rate between money and time.

pHduino gerber files

There are two common Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) [1] formats: excellon [2] and gerber [3]. Excellon is a variant from the RS-274C. The gerber is a subset from the RS-274D. The current version is the RS-274X, that it has a better quality than the excellon.

These files have instructions for computed numerically controlled (CNC) machines make your PCB. They don't have any information about your project.

There are some tutorials explaining how to generate gerber files [4,5,6] using the EagleCad. I think that the tutorial from Sparkfun is the best (nice job Nite) [4].

"Anytime you transmit a PCB layout to a fab house, you need to pass them 7 files, and 7 files only:

 * Top Copper (GTL)
 * Top Soldermask (GTS)
 * Top Silkscreen (GTO)
 * Bottom Copper (GBL)
 * Bottom Soldermask (GBS)
 * Bottom Silkscreen (GBO)
 * Drill File (2:4 leading - remember this)”

I trusted it and I generated the gerber files using the CAM job sfe-gerb274x.cam file and put the 7 files in a directory called gerber. Before to generate them, I needed change the BNC connector for another one from a different library. The reason is the first one I could not hide the metallic part from the BNC connector in the gerber file. So, I used the BNC from the Sparkfun library. Don't worry. It is exactly the same, but with the option to hide the long metallic part.

Gerber viewer

To check the gerber files, you need a gerber viewer. There are a lot of viewers on the internet. Most of them are not free. I am using the Gerbv [7]. It is for Linux but there is a MacOSX version (using fink) and an experimental version for Windows in the download section [8]. I tested the Windows version with Wine. It works nicely when I selected Normal Rendering at Layers tab.

PCB Fab / PCB Maker / PCB Manufacturer / PCB whatever

Instead of you make your our PCB, you can send for a PCB Manufacturer and receive it by mail. There are some PCB fab on the internet. The selection depends of your time and money.

Once, in 2008, I needed a PCB in one week and I ordered one from the PCBfabExpress [9]. It was made in one day and I received in five days after. It was a good job.

Another option is the OurPCB [5,10]. The advantage is that you can pay by PayPal. I never ordered from it.

Another interesting option is the BatchPCB for who wants only one board and don't need it for yesterday. Nate mentioned it in his tutorial [4]. It accepts PayPal payments. Read the FAQ for details of the service and time.

If you have some experience with one of them or another one, please, make some comments.

Now...

Download the gerber files package and select one PCB manufacturer. I will really appreciate comments about the services. The gerber files are available at the pHduino project site.


http://code.google.com/p/phduino/downloads/list



References

[1] Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer-aided_manufacturing

[2] Excellon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excellon

[3] Wikipedia - Gerber file
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerber_File

Gerber files tutorials

[4] Sparkfun - Lecture 9 - Eagle: PCB Layout
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/tutorial_info.php?tutorials_id=109

[5] Professional PCBs almost cheaper than making them at home
http://www.instructables.com/id/Professional-PCBs-almost-cheaper-than-making-them-/

[6] Ordering PCBs designed with Eagle
http://colinkarpfinger.com/blog/2010/ordering-pcbs-designed-with-eagle/


Gerber viewers

[7] Gerbv
http://gerbv.gpleda.org/

[8] Gerbv for Windows
http://sourceforge.net/projects/gerbv/files/

Prototype services / PCB makers / PCB Manufactures

[9] PCB Fab Express
http://www.pcbfabexpress.com

[10] OurPCB
http://ourpcb.com

[11] BatchPCB
http://www.batchpcb.com

[12] Advanced Circuits
http://www.4pcb.com

8 comments:

  1. Excellent! I'll try it myself, and I will keep you posted. Thank You.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi folks,

    Andres told me that I forgot to include the drill files. Now, I uploaded a new phduino gerber file package with two additional drill files: mm and inch.

    http://code.google.com/p/phduino/downloads/list

    Sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I tested the Gerbv 2.4.0 for Windows in a Windows XP machine and it worked.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Did anyone ever look at http://www.reefangel.com ?
    They have the same thing with arduino compatible processor and much more.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am just curious if any of the PCB houses would actually carry the boards for you. I can't find a link to that PCB house in China I bought some EazyDriver unpopulated boards from but it should be easy enough to google them again. Basically, they manufacture and sell open source PCBs. They don't really pay the author although I believe if you send them your board, you can get some of them for you as the designer for free. The benefit for the rest of us is that the board then becomes available from that PCB house online store. Let me know if this is something of interest, I'll go find that link.
    Keep up great work! I hope your device will lower mortality rates in my aquarium :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. WOW just what I was searchіng fοr.
    Came here by seaгchіng for modeling
    Feel free to surf my blog :: the full report

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nice stuff really an informative one!Thanks for taking time to share your great experience here with us..

    ReplyDelete