[sdiy] PCB Panels

Jason Nanna jasonnanna at gmail.com
Wed Oct 10 22:19:17 CEST 2018


Yes, exporting a true non-antialiased 1-bit png helps as you don’t have to rely on the threshold value in bitmap2component.  Text in particular turns out more accurately. 


> On Oct 10, 2018, at 3:09 PM, James <james at ec0.io> wrote:
> 
> 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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