ExpressPCB and Eagle / Gerber / Excellon

Discussion in 'Electronics Resources' started by DMahalko, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. DMahalko

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Oct 5, 2008
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    14
    FYI, for anyone else trying to etch a couple boards on the cheap.

    ExpressPCB only etches boards made with their own proprietary PCB editor, which has no autorouting capability, a tiny included part library, and very limited netlist import capabilities.

    They cannot process Eagle or the Gerber layout / Excellon drill files.
     
  2. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
    2,536
    Perhaps, but since I etch my own boards and ExpressPCB is easy to use, that is what I use. This is true of a lot of the hobbyist community.

    For people doing boards on the cheap DIY is the way to go.

    How I make PCBs
     
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  3. elec_mech

    Senior Member

    Nov 12, 2008
    1,513
    193
    When you say,

    I assume you mean they only produce boards made with their software.

    While their software isn't nearly as comprehesive and option-ladden as others, I agree with Bill that it is easy to use - far easier than standard software if you're just starting out.

    As for producing boards on the cheap, you can use their software and send it to Futurelec to get boards for less: http://www.futurlec.com/PCBService.shtml. I'll be trying them soon using some boards I'm designing with ExpressPCB.
     
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  4. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
    2,675
    234
    Yes they can, all you have to do is call them, you can not send it via their software, but you can contact them directly and they will produce boards from gerber files, they have done this for me several times.... and if you do design a board with their software and would like to have someone else make them for you, they will provide you with the gerber files for those boards for around $60.00 (price may have changed by now).

    I usually produce 1 or 2 prototypes with their software (it is not that hard to create your own components either!) and then order the gerber files and have someone else mass produce them....

    But now I use my own PCB Mill to create the prototype using eagle, and then usually send out the gerbers for mass production... :)
     
  5. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
    2,536
    As you can see, not everyone one has boards made for them. I've been thinking about experimenting with the photographic processes, and writing them up in a different article.

    This site is all about DIY.
     
  6. nerdegutta

    Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    2,515
    785
    I'm making my boards in Eagle 6.2.0.

    To get it working in Linux, I'm currently using Kubuntu 12.04, I had to download the Windows version, and install it under WINE. It works perfect, including printing on the laser. (The laser is brand new: I had to either buy new toner to my old laser, or buy a new laser. It was cheaper to buy a new laser...)

    When design is done, I etch my own boards, and sometime for someone else.

    This is how I do it. And here are some pictures
     
  7. DMahalko

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Oct 5, 2008
    175
    14
    I wrote to their support email address and they said they don't accept Eagle, etc.

    Odd.
     
  8. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
    2,675
    234
    They don't accept eagle files, they have to be converted to a file format they support such as gerber, etc.
     
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