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Eagle CAD

Last update: 31/07/2015

cadsoft Eagle CadEagle CAD
 is quite famous (linux, mac, windows versions available) as program to create printed circuits boards, for many reasons:

  • there is a 'demo' version fully working with only some limit (size 100x80mm and only two layers);
  • is complete of autorouter and schematic editors;
  • include a huge library of components and allows an easy self-creation library whenever a component is not included in the main library;
  • has a price quite affordable if the demo size is not sufficient for the job;
  • it is really easy to learn;
  • include many scripts and cams to automate exports (yes, even gcode, directly) for milling or standard formats for the board makers.

It has been a while since it was created the script Gcode1, needed to get paths for the realization of printed circuit boards using the milling procedure. It 's natural that a new version, more efficient, replaced the previous one.

While many PCB makers or board houses accept an eagle .brd format, many others request a Gerber fileset to produce a prototype or a small series of pcbs. The whole process, quite simple, has been probably not enough cleared in other sections. Here follows the whole procedure.

It is sometims useful to see a three dimensional preview of the circuit board we are going to realize. Using Eagle CAD this is a matter very simple to obtain, even using only freeware routines and programs a 3D picture of our pcb.

All we need are only the following files:

The track size of any pcb is really important particularly when high currents are involved. Such a materia is strictly ruled by a lot of directives, almost always of military origins, not really important for a daily use.

All these directives (for people intereted in) are listed, public and published: here the link .

During the process of creating a new component, non included in the standard library of Eagle, we have to create the package for the new device. Usually the package is already present in some other library, we can import the package already present with a simple copy operation.

Here follows an example. If, for instance, we are going to create a component using the SO24W package, we can look for it in any other library present in the standard eagle components library.

Eagle cad is a great software. 
Many of his functions are automatized processes but something must be done by hand. Names and values of the components , for istance, usually are not optimized (for direction and position) but this can be changed by hand just to make a pcb more readable.

Using the autorouter of Eagle for the realization of a pcb it is really important to establish the size of the tracks. Using the DRC function (on the right side of the menu) we can change a lot of parameters regarding the layers, the path, the distance between tracks, the shapes and so on, but unfortunately these parameters regard the whole pcb.

Here follows a simple example, just to understand the procedure, how to produce a printed circuit board in an hpgl format (directly millable using kcam4, for instance).   The picture shows a simple schematics: a 5v power supply:

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