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Printed Circuit Board CAD


Protel Users FAQ

CadsoftUSA Eagle CAD new user notes

OrCAD

Software and Services

Or if you like the minimal approach: A 'Sharpie' permanent marker works great as a etch-resistant pen

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To convert a standard board image to an outline for isolation etch or mill using Photoshop:

1.) Load the board image

2.) select magic wand - make sure anti-alias & contigous is disabled.

3.) click/select the black color (non copper area) this will select all the black color since contigous option is disabled.

4.) contract the selection/marque to 5 pixels. From Menu: Select->Modify->Contract, then choose 5.

5.) Hit del key, to delete the selection/marque.

6.) Now etch the PCB with your favorite solution.

One users opinion:

Frequency User Recomendation Comment
Rare Hobbiest Express PCB
expresspcb.com
You will not be able to move to another package later and they may upgrade the program and invalidate your files. Other than that, it is the easyist, quickest, cheapest way.
Pro Hire out the work Pay someone to design it for you. Concentrate on what you know.
Regular Hobbiest TCI Most of the features of ExpressPCB, all that you need. Makes Gerbers directly so can be used with just about any board house
Pro ? There are lots of options here...
Often Hobbiest Eagle
cadsoftusa.com
The very strange user interface and quirks will waste a lot of your time at first, but eventually, you will be able to make really nice boards and do just about anything the pro's can do.
Pro Protel All in all, over all, and in general, this is the one...


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