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Opensource utils

Last update: 31/07/2015

Before to send all gerber files to the pcb maker or before to start the realization of the pcb using the milling procedure (or the etching procedure), it is really important to check all layers to discover imprecisions or errors particularly in case of complex pcbs. 

As an example here follows a pcb quite complex (it regards an Arduino board directly taken from the Eagle Cad examples).

It is always interesting the research of different methods to quickly realize a pcb. Visolate represents an interesting tool to obtain the necessary gcode starting from a rs274x (gerber) file.

As an example we have realized a simple pcb, a 5v regulator, using eagle cad:

Who normally realize printed circuit boards using the milling procedure knows that the path created using the various script for Eagle Cad, are not optimized. Such un-optimization causes the necessity of a longer time to the final realization of the pcb. Using a simple routine it is possible to save upto 70% of the time necessary to the milling procedure.

There are very few freeware programs to view cnc-gcode files. Unfortunately many of them, born as freeware, have been, little by little, trasformed in a business. Business is business, but not all people of the world can afford the purchase of a well done software particularly when it is used in an hobbystic environment.

Naturally Fritzing cannot be compared to other commercial products like Eagle but it represents a fast and simple way to quickly realize prototypes through the milling process (Gerber export is available) or using a breadboard.

The software, multilanguage, is available for the main operative systems, 32 or 64 bits and can be downloaded here.

It is of primary importance the visualization of a PCB before to send it to the printed circuit houses to realize even a small production. The format required is primarily the Gerber format (R274X), sometimes using the files extensions slightly modified by the maker. 

In any case before to create a real production it is a must to check all the tracks, pads and wires just to avoid the wasting of time and money.

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