Eagle PCBTrain

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Eagle PCB -> PCBTrain Export Mini How-To

Old page is at Steve's PCBTrain Export Mini HowTo.


This Mini Howto explains how to export PCBs designed using Eagle PCB by Cadsoft into a format suitable for submission to PCBTrain, 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 we use, and we 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 our (UoN) 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:
    • pcbtrain_2_layer.cam
    • pcbtrain_2_layer_panelised.cam
    • pcbtrain_4_layer.cam
    • pcbtrain_4_layer_panelised.cam
    • pcbtrain_express.cam
  • 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.