Quick question regarding circuit board artwork

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by electrojim, Nov 7, 2015.

  1. electrojim

    Thread Starter Member

    Jun 3, 2009
    Hi, all,

    I'm just finishing-up a "build it" article for a magazine, and want to know the best way to include circuit board artwork. The article will link to a site that will make all Gerber files available, but for those who make their own boards in the kitchen, I wanted to make sure that I include the right 1:1 artwork as part of the article itself. Questions: 1) is 1:1 (actual size) the right scale for those who use laser printers and iron-on resist; 2) is the proper image a black board with white pads and traces, or other way around?

    Thanks much!
  2. JohnInTX


    Jun 26, 2012
    I would think 1:1. Include dimension lines in both X and Y directions exactly 1" (or longer if possible) just outside the board outline so that the user can test print and scale it to see if they have to make adjustments to the printer scale factors.

    As for 2), I don't know but most mag. articles I see are black lines on white. If the resist requires the negative, any photo editing software can do that easily.

    Several members here roll their own and will probably weigh in. Wendy has recently posted a complete procedure in the Completed Projects section here.

    Good luck.
  3. electrojim

    Thread Starter Member

    Jun 3, 2009
    Thanks, John!
  4. AnalogKid

    Distinguished Member

    Aug 1, 2013
    If you are posting only one image, I would make it black traces on white bare space. But you're not competing for column inches in a print magazine. It's an online file - make both polarities and post both. A TIFF or GIF image will not exhibit ringing around the transition areas the way JPG and other lossy image formats do.

  5. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    Why not ask the magazine where your article will be published? I am sure they have guidelines for all of this.
    As far as the roll your own guys go, I would be quite surprised if they cannot handle Gerber files, as they are the primary means to convey PCB information.
    wayneh likes this.
  6. dl324

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 30, 2015
    Scaling and reversing shouldn't be much of a problem for any DIYer, but I'd do actual size and black for copper.
  7. wayneh


    Sep 9, 2010
    If the publisher can't advise you, at least add in reference alignment marks for the end user, so they can scale accurately using the marks. These might be an "X" in each corner, with instructions giving dimensions between the X's.
  8. electrojim

    Thread Starter Member

    Jun 3, 2009
    Thanks to all for good information. I'll default to 1:1 with black traces on a white background, but will defer to the magazine, which doubtless has its own preferences.
  9. KeepItSimpleStupid

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2014
    Please make sure that the PCB is accurate captioned.

    e.g. "solder side, view from component side". Poor me did a mirror image of a layout. Very lucky for me, I was able to use it . NPN's and PNP's switched and the bias regulator needed some manual re-routing.