PCB and engraver boards

Thread Starter

knowtankyou

Joined Feb 29, 2016
32
I have access to a high end engraver that we use to make nameplates for our projects.
I want to use this to make my PCB.
My project is simulated in LTspice and has a 555, a npn, FET, 2 diodes, and various capacitors and resistors.
I will have terminals for the off board LED, input power and off board potentiometer.
I read on this forum somethings good and bad about expressPCB

however, my main question is regarding how an engraver produced PCB will change the output from a PCB software package.
thank you
 

Thread Starter

knowtankyou

Joined Feb 29, 2016
32
so what is the best way to go from LTspice to PCB in general, I imported my netlist into expressPCB and I can not create a rats nest from the netlist.
any suggestions are appreciated on how to get into any PCB cad file. then I can worry about how to make the traces into toolpaths for the mill.
 

DNA Robotics

Joined Jun 13, 2014
571
I have questions about how to make the traces for the mill to follow.
I don't want to cut the line that I am drawing, and I dont want to mill 99% of the board away.
how do you make the CAD outline the traces so the mill has linework to follow?
most of the posts talk about the equipment, and my questions are more software and layout.
My circuit is in LTspice, and I am open to suggestions on software and then how to make the file.
I don't use LTspice. From all the questions I see on forums, I get the impression that it just adds a whole new layer of problems.

ExpressPCB is great & so is their free program but they don't want you sending boards to their competition. I don't think you can get G-Code from their layouts.

I design & layout boards in Eagle 6.4.0 and use "pcb-gcode-3.6.0.4" to generate single pass G-code to engrave & drill with Mach3Mill. It isolates the traces & leaves unused areas alone. You can use those areas as ground plane if you like.
Does your engraver use Mach3?
40 pin main board.jpg
 
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Thread Starter

knowtankyou

Joined Feb 29, 2016
32
So I imported the LTspice model and now I can't seem to change the package.
I am stuck with incorrect packages for the diodes and the MOSFET.
when I right click in Eagle and try to change the package but its not editable.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
10,105
You need to go to the libraries, then set up an alternative package as alternative "technology." Eagle easily allows alternative packages, but not alternative symbols.

John
 

Thread Starter

knowtankyou

Joined Feb 29, 2016
32
First off, thank you all to the people who have been so helpful. I appreciate all the input and feedback.
is there a series of Youtube videos that someone might suggest for specifics on PCB board design specific to Eagle CAD
I intend to make these myself, so Express PCB is a non-starter if it can't export.
to be blunt, I can buy a PWM LED driver from Ebay, it's not about the thing, it's about learning the process.

Thanks again and have a great night.
 

Thread Starter

knowtankyou

Joined Feb 29, 2016
32
PS, in eagle I had the option to select parts that had cost and package information, which was great.
however when I made my "shoping list" it didn't feed back to the parts on the board. When I picked a TO-220 FET, i still had an SMD23 in the board.
 
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