Diptrace: How to print bottom trace?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by spinnaker, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. spinnaker

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
    4,887
    1,012
    I'm have a spatial relations brain freeze going on here.

    I just completed my first PCB in Diptrace. In the past I have used PCB Express and when I printed the bottom traces, I would print in mirror for toner transfer mthod. Well I just tried the same thing in diptrace and after I got my board all etched and drilled, I realized the bottom is not lining up with the top silk.

    It looks to me like Diptrace works a little differently than Express? It looks like you are working on the traces as you see them looking down through the board. Likewise when you do a print preview?

    So did I not want to print my bottom traces in mirror for toner transfer?


    Good thing this was a small prototype project. I'm thinking I am ok, I just won't be able to have a top silk.
     
  2. nerdegutta

    Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    2,515
    785
    I usually print out on regular paper first, to see and plan which way I shall have the transparent.

    I know about the brain melt down... :eek:

    Have a big pile of useless boards, due to the fact that I didn't check good enough.
     
  3. spinnaker

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
    4,887
    1,012
    Yeah back when I did not know what I was doing, I would print a test page too. :eek:
     
  4. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
    6,357
    718
    I think everybody that has made double sided boards has a pile of bad ones.

    I've since printed a preview on thin plain paper, put them together, top on top, bottom on bottom (toner out on both sides to match how copper will end up), make sure the bottom looks right when read from the bottom, same for the top.

    Then hold up to the light and make sure the tracks/vias/pads match.

    DipTrace should be showing the bottom side silk mirrored when looking at the layout from the top.
     
  5. spinnaker

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
    4,887
    1,012
    Yeah I think that is what it is doing but isn't that wrong? At least in preview?

    I can see design but if you are going to preview, you think the default should be that it shows it like it will look?

    As long as I do not care about silk screen am I not still ok? I just need to think backward when placing components correct?
     
  6. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,442
    3,361
    I usually put readable text on top and bottom layers so that I don't make mistakes with which is top and bottom.
     
  7. spinnaker

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
    4,887
    1,012
    Good idea. Had I done that it would have been obvious. Text comes out backward whan you place it on the bottom plane.
     
  8. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
    17,748
    4,796
    Maybe I'm not reading your first post correctly, but if the bottom copper is mirrored/not-mirrored incorrectly, then it should make it unusable and not just a matter of placing components differently. In addition to the issue of having to dead-bug your ICs, none (or the vast majority) of vias and through-hold component locations won't match with the artwork from the top.
     
  9. spinnaker

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
    4,887
    1,012

    Yep that is pretty much what I said. I won't be able to have silk screen on top. It would be nice but no big deal as the board is pretty much a prototype for another project anyway.
     
  10. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    7,388
    1,605
    I don't use DIPtrace but if it has gerber outputs you can import them into GC_Preview (free to download) and then "print as a bottom view" to get the orientation you desire.

    Most layout programs follow the convention of all layers shown transparently, as if looking down on the board. That's why your bottom layer looks mirrored.
     
  11. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
    17,748
    4,796
    Forget about the silkscreen - the artwork I'm talking about is the top copper artwork.

    Or was this a single sided-board (bottom copper only)?
     
  12. spinnaker

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
    4,887
    1,012
    Yes it is single sided copper only.
     
  13. spinnaker

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
    4,887
    1,012
    Diptrace has the ability to preview mirrored. That is where I made my mistake. When You use the mirrored option, you are actually telling it that you want to view it as it looks when you view the bottom of the board.

    Bass akward if you ask me. Preview should show the bottom as as. Though I guess there is argument for consistency for multi level boards.
     
  14. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
    17,748
    4,796
    One option might be to put the silkscreen on the bottom of the board (or to treat the board as though it is a top-copper board).
     
Loading...