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Questions relating to designing PCBs
By rr_pilot
Hi guys,

I was wondering, is there any software available that will load Eagle's Gerber and Exellon drill files and then allow me to arrange the designs in order to print several different designs on the same sheet of paper.

The problem is that if i export the pcb as a image in eagle it doesn't output the holes properly (the traces go into the holes). I have tried some gerber viewers but they either don't load eagles drill files properly or don't allow me to arrange the different designs.

The only way I seem to be able to print out a nice layout is if I use the print feature directly from Eagle but then it just prints a single layout in the center of the page which wastes those expensive transparencies.
By velocet
Could you use something like Pentalogix Viewmate 9.6, when you generate your gerber files set the offset so you get your circuits positioned correctly. Just an idea nothing I have tried myself.
User avatar
By leon_heller
I cut a piece of transparency film slightly bigger than the PCB and stick it to the centre of a piece of A4 paper.

By Philba
my guess is that you haven't told the gerber viewer your drill file format. As I recall, the number trailing digits is the issue but it's been a while. There is a thread in the other PCB section that talks to it. probably a year old now.
By emf
I do the same trick Leon mentioned. It seems to do just as good a job as feeding in a whole sheet. I use an inkjet and I tape both sides and leave the top and bottom un-taped. When I do transfer paper on a laser printer, I just tape along the top edge, so I'd assume you would do the same trick if you're using a laser printer.

If you do come up with an easy way to combine them, please post it -- 'd love to be able to print out the top and bottom sides on the same sheet, then cut it. If I were going to try it, I'd print both sides to separate PDFs (using CutePDF or something like that), since that goes through the printer driver. Then try to combine the two PDFs, or export to an image format from there.
User avatar
By leon_heller
I just tape the leading edge with my inkjet printer, it feeds without any problems.

By rr_pilot
Thanks for all the replies!

If possible i was really trying to stay away from the "cutting and sticking the transparencies". I actually broke a laser printer one time when i did this a while back, maybe it was just the printer's time to go. Thanks for the suggestion though.

I really thought there was some nice software to do this, like what does sparkfun use for their PCB service? Don't they have to combine all the designs on one sheet?

I'm going to give viewmate another go and see what happens, I remember trying that one and can't remember why that didn't work...
By rr_pilot
I figured out a nice way to do it.

I installed a BMP printer driver (saves the print job as a bitmap) and then just simply cropped the image and then tiled it all in microsoft paint.

Here is the printer driver i'm using

hopes this helps anyone else feeling my frustration :D
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