Eagle PCB -> PCBTrain Export Mini How-To
Steve D. Sharples
Last update: 30 March 2011
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This Mini Howto explains how to export PCBs designed using EAGLE PCB by CadSoft
into a format suitable for submission to PCBTrain.com,
a division of Newbury Electronics.
PCB Train is normally where we get our PCBs made externally, here at the
School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
at the University of Nottingham, UK. Neither
the author, the School nor the University endorses or otherwise any particular
PCB manufacturer; this is just personally the one I use, and I know a lot of
other people who use Eagle also do too.
The export process is very easy; this page mainly contains simple instructions,
some configuration files (design rules and CAM jobs), and some simple shell
scripts to make the export process easy. Note that the configuration files are
applicable to all the architectures that Eagle supports (and to its credit, it
supports Linux, Windows and Mac OSX at the time of writing); the shell scripts
will only work in Linux, and possible OS X (though I haven't tried them). They
are just for convenience, they are not obligatory.
It's also worth noting that CadSoft run a very active
EAGLE Forum, which is actually a set of news groups in English and German.
If you cannot find the answer to your question either here or in the
manuals (click "Program", then
"manual-eng.pdf" or "tutorial-eng.pdf") then joining and posting on the newsgroup
is well worth a try.
The Export Process
- Load the pcbtrain.dru design rules (on the Linux
systems you will find this in /home/share/eagle/local_dru/ otherwise right-click).
Do this before you do any routing!
- Once your design is complete, save it.
- Start the CAM processor from the Board Layout File menu.
- Open a Job... from the CAM Processor's File menu.
- On the Linux systems, the correct directory (beginning /eee/vlsi/eagle/...) will be displayed.
- Depending on the PCBTrain process you want to use, choose from one of the following cam jobs:
- Click Process Job. This will create a whole load of Gerber files, in a "cam/" subdirectory:
- my_circuit.gtl - Component side (top layer) copper
- my_circuit.gbl - Solder side (bottom layer) copper
- my_circuit.gm1 - Board outline (mechanical)
- my_circuit.gdd - Drill file
- my_circuit.gto - Component side (top layer) silk screen (overlay)
- my_circuit.gbo - Solder side (bottom layer) silk screen (overlay)
- my_circuit.gts - Component side (top layer) solder stop mask
- my_circuit.gbs - Solder side (bottom layer) solder stop mask
- You now have all the files you need. You should zip them up in order to
send them to PCBTrain.
Sending Your Design To PCBTrain
This is relevant only to members of EEE at the University of Nottingham - everyone
else should go to PCBTrain.com for information.
Your PCB(s) will appear in
Engineering Faculty Stores when it/they arrive.
- Create a department order form - their contact details are
here. Put on a reference
name for your circuit ("my_circuit" in the above example). Calculate the price
from the PCBTrain Pricing Table.
- Get the form signed by someone who has authorisation.
- Send PCBTrain an email, with your attached zip file, giving all the information
that they require. You could use something like this
as a template.
- CC Jo Mee and Julie Wells on the email
- As soon as you have sent the email, take down the department order form to the Central Purchasing Office (A38 Coates).