How to print my PCB board (Top) Lay-out, from “Pcbnew”? -(showing the border, the components outlines, and the bottom copper tracks together in one page?)
I can print these files: “b.Cu”, or “Edge.Cuts”, or “F.Fab”, each separately. But how to print all three of them together as one print?
(I could do it in Eagle - showing all in one print: all the top component placements, the bottom copper tracks, and the cutting edges of the board with the mounting holes)
In kicad there is a print dialog box.
In this dialog you select your layers and then tell kicad to print everything on one page.
This way I do get an “XPS document” file saved.
[Actually I may clearly state the problem: I don’t print direct from my computer. I take a PDF copy of the file on a pen drive, and get it printed on laser printer in the market. So, this way, I don’t have to buy a printer, with all the cartridge toning & maintaining costs attached to it]
Now this XPS file so created, can be viewed as one file…OK, but unless it is in PDF form, the print shop won’t know how to print it.
But separately, I am able to get PDF files saved to each of the layers by this same method. (not the same method)
Correction: I can get separate PDF files using “plot” option, & not “print”.
As in the “plot icon” I get the option to select the type of output file saved, so I can select “PDF” type there.
But in “print” I don’t have any such choice,
the problem is when I do that I get all the layers one on top of the other
I print in scale 1 to a transparent film in laser printer to make a photo-resist hand made pcb, if I want to save some paper and print both sides I need to do it two times and since the paper gets stretched by the heating of the print, the second print is a bit larger than the first (0.2~0.3mm in a 10cm pcb, enough to miss some vias here and there when I’m drilling)
even if I convert it to pdf in linux (kde mint 18.1 here), for some reason, the converted image is not so accurate as the printed one
could be a good option to have the possibility to move the layers independent in the composition of the page (and a preview, if given the choice )
Thanks for the tip. I found this online XPS to PDF converter, link below:-
& got my the XPS file converted to PDF. So now I can easily get the whole lay-out printed:-
print-all.pdf (85.7 KB)
I am using windows 8, and the converted PDF file is always accurate to size, provided that the printer is on scale 1, & also not on ‘auto fit’. (Let the pdf % size remain as it naturally opens for the print).
However, I don’t use photo-resist method. I use white glossy “toner transfer paper” for hand made pcb, But it does not stress or change under heat.
But in double sided-pcb, careful drilling of three of four (0.6 mm) guide holes, thru’ small guide pads on both sides (in the far pcb corners preferably), must be secured with wires inserted. Once the two prints are aligned on either side, run the hot iron on both sides a bit, to stick them at place. Remove the inserted wires, and iron for 5 minutes each side.
I used to do that, but for trough hole and sop devices, for tssop and 0603 (some traces of 0.2mm and traces passing trough 0603 footprint) that method never worked well for me
the pdf generated is accurate on size, I just tried again (I have this problem a time ago) and the sizes seems correct, so forget about I just said about the pdf
So, you have rather fine track? - which need more care. Little way back, I also used the photo-sensitive methods. I found this method of alignment of the two, top & bottom layers, more accurate. Printing the two layers separately, & then aligning all the common holes against white light, (then after sticking the two layers together, & then inserting the copper board in between the two negative transparent sheets) as given in this video:-
“Making double layer PCBs at home”