[sdiy] PCB Panels

James james at ec0.io
Wed Oct 10 22:09:01 CEST 2018


I've always gone from Inkscape straight to PNG, then use
Bitmap2Component in KiCad. Does going via ghostscript improve the
rasterisation prior to import?

But either way, I've found using KiCad and Inkscape a great way to do
this as well, and the price is definitely right. 

If you open up the component files in a text editor, you can change the
layers prior to using them in KiCad, too, so you can get graphics out of
the Copper layers, SilkScreen layers, or etched out of the solder mask.

If you export each Inkscape layer as a differnet PNG, you can build
multiple components on different layers to complement each other.

On Wed, Oct 10, 2018 at 04:26:49AM -0500, Jason Nanna wrote:
> I've found a very time-intensive workflow to go from inkscape -> PDF
> -> 2400 dpi 1-bit PNG (via ghostscript) -> kicad footprint import for
> doing this.  I've gotten excellent looking results but the process is
> slow.   Only image I could find online of my designs is here, in the
> upper left:
> 
> https://reverb-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/_0019_Assorted_Rig_q5mh19.jpg
> 
> I noticed variations in board materials from prototype run to
> prototype run - unfortunately a new run of boards included some sort
> of UV blocking material in the PCB substrate and badly attenuated the
> blue light and made the RGB "window" look terrible.  Things that have
> helped:
> 
> choosing to run the PCB as an "IPC class 3" will increase cost but
> will improve registration
> asking the board house to hand-silkscreen the boards may increase the
> silkscreen ink density/quality
> 
> We used PCBCart and have had great results.
> 
> I'm currently looking into using PCBModE instead to generate gerbers
> for production.  This to me holds the best potential to be
> On Wed, Oct 10, 2018 at 4:05 AM bloke at blokezero.com <bloke at blokezero.com> wrote:
> >
> > I know illustrator will export in DXF which might help
> >
> >
> > From: rsdio at audiobanshee.com <rsdio at audiobanshee.com>
> > Reply: rsdio at audiobanshee.com <rsdio at audiobanshee.com>
> > Date: 10 October 2018 at 09:17:40
> > To: SDIY <synth-diy at synth-diy.org>
> > Subject:  Re: [sdiy] PCB Panels
> >
> > The best results come from vector art, not bitmap.
> >
> > I don’t actually know how to export from Illustrator to a vector format that Eagle can import, but I assume that there are a few options to do this.
> >
> > Rather than use Illustrator (which is a fine tool), I actually build my graphics using the curves, lines, and other shapes that are available directly in Eagle.
> >
> > This technique solves two problems at once: Vector drawings are perfectly smooth at every resolution, and you won’t run up against the maximum number of entities because you can cover so much ground with simple tools.
> >
> > Admittedly, it’s not always possible to create an image using vector drawing primitives. I think that Illustrator has some tracing features, but that gets back to the question of how to export Illustrator artwork in a vector format that Eagle can import. If anyone has experience here, I’d be curious to learn (of course, next time I have Illustrator art, I’ll surely search the Eagle support pages because it seems like there should be an answer there).
> >
> > Brian Willoughby
> >
> >
> > On Apr 25, 2018, at 12:38 AM, Olivier Gillet <ol.gillet at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > I export from illustrator to 2400 dpi PNG, then do the PNG to 1200 dpi 1-bit BMP conversion in photoshop after having tweaked the brightness (on the anti-aliased edges).
> > >
> > > At this resolution, I can occasionally get warnings from Eagle that the maximum number of entity is reached, so it might not work for larger panels!
> > >
> > > On Wed, Apr 25, 2018 at 4:47 AM, Danjel van Tijn <danjel at intellijel.com> wrote:
> > >> @Olivier
> > >>
> > >> What is your process for exporting images from illustrator and importing them into Eagle?
> > >>
> > >> I have always exported as 300dpi 1-bit bitmaps and then imported using the built in Eagle import tool but the results are pretty bad.
> > >>
> > >> I looked at your Ears files and the imported text/graphics look pretty smooth compared to what my results are normally like.
> > >>
> > >> On Tue, Apr 24, 2018 at 3:57 PM Olivier Gillet <ol.gillet at gmail.com> wrote:
> > >>> If you've given it a shot, where has it worked out for you?
> > >>>
> > >>> https://mutable-instruments.net/modules/ears/
> > >>> https://github.com/pichenettes/eurorack/tree/master/ears/hardware_design/panel
> > >>>
> > >>> PCBCart, matte black+ENIG
> > >
> >
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