[sdiy] Best chinese PCB manufacturer ---> who could handle HPGL files too..

jslee john at sleefamily.org
Tue Aug 31 03:44:26 CEST 2021

Hi Tom,

On Mon, 30 Aug 2021, at 18:44, Tom Bugs via Synth-diy wrote:
> I still use a cranky old DOS script called EagleHPGL to convert Front 
> Designer (cranky too!) panels into the eagle board file, edit slightly & 
> then export as gerbers.
> One day I'm definitely going to have painted myself into a corner..!..

if your version of Eagle saves in XML format (I think this change happened somewhere
in the Eagle 6.x era?) and you have a modern-ish Windows/macOS/Linux machine, you
can probably use this little gadget I wrote:


Short version: annotate your circuit components (pots etc) with attributes that define how
they should present on the panel (legend text, tick marks, etc) then use this app to
generate a new board file for the panel based on those annotations in your circuit PCB.

If you add those attributes (like panel drill size for a particular type of pot or jack, or the
quantity & angles of tick marks indicating the positions of a rotary switch) in your parts
library, they'll always be correct for all your new panels, too :-) 

My thinking here is that front panel board files should be throwaway — I like to just
regenerate them when I change stuff, treating my circuit board file as the source of
truth and knowing that everything will still be aligned correctly when I move a pot or

At present Eurorack and the Intellijel/Pulplogic "1U" panel formats are supported but it's
trivial to add new ones.

Of course once in Eagle you could follow whatever process you were previously following.

I created this when I finally cracked after FPD got a heap of new bugs and I noticed they
had added pathetic wording in their EULA attempting to forbid use of their app for things
other than ordering with their service. Good riddance to bad rubbish

In my opinion we humans spend far too much time servicing the whims of computers.
They're supposed to be working for us!


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