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Printing multiple copies of a PCB on one page [message #105612] Sat, 22 April 2006 18:21 Go to next message
AZ Woody
Messages: 17
Registered: May 2006
Junior Member
I use a heat triggered resist paper in my laser printer to create resist
patterns.
The current board I'm working on is only 2" x 2" and three copies would fit
across the page.

Is there a way to print two rows of three images?

Thanks in advance.
Re: Printing multiple copies of a PCB on one page [message #105613 is a reply to message #105612] Sat, 22 April 2006 19:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dave J
Messages: 8
Registered: April 2006
Junior Member
Not easily...
Export the desired info as a xxx.bmp file then import it.

Select the layers you want to print.
Be sure you are set with
Change: Options- User Interface- Layout- Black
Then
File: Export- Image- (Pick a filename, Monochrome, 500 DPI, OK)

You can edit the xxx.bmp file in a picture program, doing your cropping
and copying. This is not required.

Run ULP import-bmp.ulp (Set All, OK)
Next window (Format=DPI, Unit=Inch, DPI=500, Start Layer[default 200]
Next window, run the script (Click OK)

Display: double click on layer 200 color and set fill to solid.

If you did your editing in a photo program, you should have your desired
layout. Otherwise, you can group/delete excess lines from the top and
bottom, and maybe left and right. Then group/move the image to a bare
spot. Then run the script "bmp.scr" to import another copy. The image
will load with the lower left at APPROXIMATELY 0,0 each time you load
it. Or rename "bmp.scr" to "topside.scr", and do the bottom on the same
output sheet. I suggest a different layer each time, makes it easier to
move things around.

A bit of a pain, but it's the only way I can get a printout that has the
exact, independent, X and Y scale factors that Eagle allows me to do, on
my printer.

As an aside, if you want to export an inverted image for a solder mask,
Change: Options- User Interface- Layout- White
before you export the image from your mask layers.

Caveats:
The resulting bmp image may reach to the extremes of EVERYTHING on the
board layer. Make sure you have a board outline.
Converting the xxx.bmp into script is not fast.
The script processor takes time too.
The resulting layer MAY be offset, Group it and Move it.

I assume you are using an iron, or heated platen to heat/copy the image.
I use a 440 degree f iron. Which just happens to be (supposedly) the
proper temperature for reflow soldering, (just turn the iron hot side
up). I haven't tried this yet, just discovered the info. The bottom
heating method is supposedly better than overhead coils (toaster oven)
when using plastic AND metal connectors on the same board.
DJ

AZ Woody wrote:
> I use a heat triggered resist paper in my laser printer to create resist
> patterns.
> The current board I'm working on is only 2" x 2" and three copies would fit
> across the page.
>
> Is there a way to print two rows of three images?
>
> Thanks in advance.
>
>
Re: Printing multiple copies of a PCB on one page [message #105614 is a reply to message #105613] Sun, 23 April 2006 00:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
AZ Woody
Messages: 17
Registered: May 2006
Junior Member
This is a bit of juggling! I appreciate your response.

The means for EAGLE to directly print multiple copies on a single page might
be a good enhancement for a future version. How is such a request submitted
to the development folks?

(I'm a newbie so be kind! The last package I used had this feature, and it
worked great for me)

"Dave J" <eagle@mechanicalmagic.com> wrote in message
news:e2eecd$48f$1@cheetah.cadsoft.de...
> Not easily...
> Export the desired info as a xxx.bmp file then import it.
>
> Select the layers you want to print.
> Be sure you are set with
> Change: Options- User Interface- Layout- Black
> Then
> File: Export- Image- (Pick a filename, Monochrome, 500 DPI, OK)
>
> You can edit the xxx.bmp file in a picture program, doing your cropping
> and copying. This is not required.
>
> Run ULP import-bmp.ulp (Set All, OK)
> Next window (Format=DPI, Unit=Inch, DPI=500, Start Layer[default 200]
> Next window, run the script (Click OK)
>
> Display: double click on layer 200 color and set fill to solid.
>
> If you did your editing in a photo program, you should have your desired
> layout. Otherwise, you can group/delete excess lines from the top and
> bottom, and maybe left and right. Then group/move the image to a bare
> spot. Then run the script "bmp.scr" to import another copy. The image
> will load with the lower left at APPROXIMATELY 0,0 each time you load
> it. Or rename "bmp.scr" to "topside.scr", and do the bottom on the same
> output sheet. I suggest a different layer each time, makes it easier to
> move things around.
>
> A bit of a pain, but it's the only way I can get a printout that has the
> exact, independent, X and Y scale factors that Eagle allows me to do, on
> my printer.
>
> As an aside, if you want to export an inverted image for a solder mask,
> Change: Options- User Interface- Layout- White
> before you export the image from your mask layers.
>
> Caveats:
> The resulting bmp image may reach to the extremes of EVERYTHING on the
> board layer. Make sure you have a board outline.
> Converting the xxx.bmp into script is not fast.
> The script processor takes time too.
> The resulting layer MAY be offset, Group it and Move it.
>
> I assume you are using an iron, or heated platen to heat/copy the image.
> I use a 440 degree f iron. Which just happens to be (supposedly) the
> proper temperature for reflow soldering, (just turn the iron hot side
> up). I haven't tried this yet, just discovered the info. The bottom
> heating method is supposedly better than overhead coils (toaster oven)
> when using plastic AND metal connectors on the same board.
> DJ
>
> AZ Woody wrote:
> > I use a heat triggered resist paper in my laser printer to create resist
> > patterns.
> > The current board I'm working on is only 2" x 2" and three copies would
fit
> > across the page.
> >
> > Is there a way to print two rows of three images?
> >
> > Thanks in advance.
> >
> >
Re: Printing multiple copies of a PCB on one page [message #105615 is a reply to message #105614] Sun, 23 April 2006 02:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dave J
Messages: 8
Registered: April 2006
Junior Member
I believe you have. The newsgroups are watched by factory types, they
often respond, (rarely on the weekends).

There is also a panelize.ulp. that I have tried to run. But, I have the
small version, and I don't get the results I expected. Maybe it will
work for you.
DJ


AZ Woody wrote:
> This is a bit of juggling! I appreciate your response.
>
> The means for EAGLE to directly print multiple copies on a single page might
> be a good enhancement for a future version. How is such a request submitted
> to the development folks?
Re: Printing multiple copies of a PCB on one page [message #105616 is a reply to message #105613] Mon, 24 April 2006 04:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
David Moodie
Messages: 221
Registered: October 2004
Senior Member
Dave J wrote:
> Not easily...
> Export the desired info as a xxx.bmp file then import it.
>
> Select the layers you want to print.
> Be sure you are set with
> Change: Options- User Interface- Layout- Black
> Then


Sorry, but this is an incredibly bad way to do this.

If all you want is the top and bottom layers then:
1 save your project under a different name.
2. close the schematic.... this is normally never recommended.
3. turn on all the layers in the brd, to ensure you don't miss anything
4. group, cut and paste the brd.
paste and position as appropriate.

or there are some ulps in the download area that also help with panelising.

Additionally this news group is for suggestions.. try support for support !

cheers

David
Re: Printing multiple copies of a PCB on one page [message #105617 is a reply to message #105616] Mon, 24 April 2006 12:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Paul Romanyszyn
Messages: 787
Registered: December 2004
Senior Member
David Moodie wrote:
> Dave J wrote:
>
>> Not easily...
>> Export the desired info as a xxx.bmp file then import it.
>>
>> Select the layers you want to print.
>> Be sure you are set with
>> Change: Options- User Interface- Layout- Black
>> Then
>
>
>
> Sorry, but this is an incredibly bad way to do this.
>
> If all you want is the top and bottom layers then:
> 1 save your project under a different name.
> 2. close the schematic.... this is normally never recommended.
> 3. turn on all the layers in the brd, to ensure you don't miss anything
> 4. group, cut and paste the brd.
> paste and position as appropriate.
>
> or there are some ulps in the download area that also help with panelising.
>
> Additionally this news group is for suggestions.. try support for support !
>
> cheers
>
> David
>
I don't think this will work if the result is larger then the max board
size limited by the license.
Paul
Re: Printing multiple copies of a PCB on one page [message #105618 is a reply to message #105616] Tue, 25 April 2006 00:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
AZ Woody
Messages: 17
Registered: May 2006
Junior Member
There are times, that asking a question in a suggestion news group can lead
to a suggestion. I guess that's what happened here, as I got some really
good responses (but not a good solution). I'm sorry, but I'm a newbie to
Eagle and their methods of separating forums, and "support" struck me as a
"this doesn't work" forum, and not a "suggest how I can do this" forum. I
guess I didn't see the line.

Should I have first posted in the support forum, and found that what I
wanted to do couldn't be done easily and then posted here?

To be honest, I didn't know if it was a problem or my inexperience before I
posted, and I hate to bother the support folks before I eliminate the
"problem is between chair and keyboard" solution.

Cheers

> Additionally this news group is for suggestions.. try support for support
!
>
> cheers
>
> David
>
Re: Printing multiple copies of a PCB on one page [message #105619 is a reply to message #105617] Tue, 25 April 2006 06:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
David Moodie
Messages: 221
Registered: October 2004
Senior Member
Paul Romanyszyn wrote:
> David Moodie wrote:
>> Dave J wrote:
>>
>>> Not easily...
>>> Export the desired info as a xxx.bmp file then import it.
>>>
>>> Select the layers you want to print.
>>> Be sure you are set with
>>> Change: Options- User Interface- Layout- Black
>>> Then
>>
>>
>>
>> Sorry, but this is an incredibly bad way to do this.
>>
>> If all you want is the top and bottom layers then:
>> 1 save your project under a different name.
>> 2. close the schematic.... this is normally never recommended.
>> 3. turn on all the layers in the brd, to ensure you don't miss anything
>> 4. group, cut and paste the brd.
>> paste and position as appropriate.
>>
>> or there are some ulps in the download area that also help with
>> panelising.
>>
>> Additionally this news group is for suggestions.. try support for
>> support !
>>
>> cheers
>>
>> David
>>
> I don't think this will work if the result is larger then the max board
> size limited by the license.
> Paul

That would be relevant if the OP had said he was working with a limited
version, but I don't believe he did... you can only work with the info that
is provided.

If he is working with the free version then a suggestion would be to look at
something like Gerbmerge.

Cheers

David
Re: Printing multiple copies of a PCB on one page [message #105620 is a reply to message #105619] Thu, 27 April 2006 00:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
AZ Woody
Messages: 17
Registered: May 2006
Junior Member
I have the "light" version of the SW. I'm a hobbyist and the boards I
design are small and are typically one sided. That's why printing multiple
copies on a single page is important to me.

With a 2"x2" board, I could have 15 heat transfer or photo resist masks on a
single page.

It's not the "free version", but the (paid for a license) "light version".
Limited board size and two layer, but that's all I need.

The last package I used (again, a paid for license) had the option in the
print dialog, to do an "X by Y" range for printing the PCB, with reference
marks. I changed because that company went out of business and there hasn't
been a "bug fix" update in about 4 years. Plus I needed a schematic tool

If "gerbmerg" is a solution, first of all, what is it and where do I find
it? Secondly, can you "suggest" how I might use it?

Cheers...

Thank you for the "suggestion"!

"David Moodie" <dgmoodie@onetel.com.cut_this_off> wrote in message
news:e2krvi$9b2$1@cheetah.cadsoft.de...
> That would be relevant if the OP had said he was working with a limited
> version, but I don't believe he did... you can only work with the info
that
> is provided.
>
> If he is working with the free version then a suggestion would be to look
at
> something like Gerbmerge.
>
> Cheers
>
> David
Re: Printing multiple copies of a PCB on one page [message #105621 is a reply to message #105620] Thu, 27 April 2006 05:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
David Moodie
Messages: 221
Registered: October 2004
Senior Member
AZ Woody wrote:
> I have the "light" version of the SW. I'm a hobbyist and the boards I
> design are small and are typically one sided. That's why printing multiple
> copies on a single page is important to me.
>
> With a 2"x2" board, I could have 15 heat transfer or photo resist masks on a
> single page.
>
> It's not the "free version", but the (paid for a license) "light version".
> Limited board size and two layer, but that's all I need.
>
> The last package I used (again, a paid for license) had the option in the
> print dialog, to do an "X by Y" range for printing the PCB, with reference
> marks. I changed because that company went out of business and there hasn't
> been a "bug fix" update in about 4 years. Plus I needed a schematic tool
>
> If "gerbmerg" is a solution, first of all, what is it and where do I find
> it? Secondly, can you "suggest" how I might use it?
>
> Cheers...

I would suggest you
1. search for it
2. read the instructions.

I've never used it myself.

I'd also suggest that you avoid top posting... this doesn't work like
personal e-mail, and newsgroup etiquette is strongly geared to bottom
posting. see for example:
http://www.caliburn.nl/topposting.html

cheers

David
Re: Printing multiple copies of a PCB on one page [message #105626 is a reply to message #105618] Tue, 09 May 2006 20:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bill Westfield
Messages: 142
Registered: April 2005
Senior Member
Gerber post-processing (gerbmerge) is a good suggestion...

I've also had luck with CAM output to embedded postscript, and using
one of the postscript merge tools (or was it a a generic paint program
that understood EPS?) In any case, I'll check on the details when
I'm back on the other computer :-) IIRC, I've had some size problems
when exporting to images rather than using the CAM processor (0.1 inch
on the board turns out to be not quite 0.1 inch on the printed .BMP
file. The CAM processors is of necessity more exact...)

I don't think that a strictly hobbyist-oriented feature like this is
likely to get a lot of attention as an enhancement suggestion.
Cadsoft is very friendly to hobbyists, but they have a long list of
more important things to do. Even for hobbyists, printing many copies
on the same page is pretty uncommon.

BillW
Re: Printing multiple copies of a PCB on one page [message #105627 is a reply to message #105626] Wed, 10 May 2006 04:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bill Westfield
Messages: 142
Registered: April 2005
Senior Member
Bill Westfield wrote:

> I've also had luck with CAM output to embedded postscript, and using
> one of the postscript merge tools (or was it a a generic paint program
> that understood EPS?)

Sigh. It was the latter. I output eps via the cam processor:

eagle -X -deps -o~/tmp/foo.eps ~/Documents/foo.brd dimension bottom pads
vias

And then input them into corelPaint and did a bunch of cutting and
and pasting to try out different panelization schemes.

I had tried epsmerge, but couldn't get it to do the sorts of things
I wanted. I seem to recall getting rather frustrated with it :-(
Ditto gerbmerge; rather obscure to deal with. I don't quite understand
why packages designed to deal with professional graphics formats like
gerber have to be so much more obscure than "consumer" packages. (But
I wasn't ready to go off and write the interactive GUI version of
gerbmerge, either, so...)

(This was all on a Mac, where the default utilities handle eps
pretty well, and things like epsmerge can be installed without
too much trouble. Linux would be similar, and Windows would take
a bit of effort if you haven't already set up cygwin or something.)

BillW
Re: Printing multiple copies of a PCB on one page [message #105628 is a reply to message #105626] Wed, 10 May 2006 13:52 Go to previous message
Walter Harley
Messages: 15
Registered: February 2005
Junior Member
"Bill Westfield" <westfw@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:e3rct7$roa$1@cheetah.cadsoft.de...
> Even for hobbyists, printing many copies
> on the same page is pretty uncommon.

Not true, I think! I believe it's common to want multiple copies of a small
layout.

Thankfully, most board vendors can accomodate this. For instance, Olimex
who are fairly hobbyist-friendly, will automatically do it: they have a
fixed price for a given board size (e.g. 100mm x 160mm) and if multiple
copies of your layout will fit on the board, they will automatically print
as many copies as will fit and separate them for you (or not separate if you
desire). I'm pretty sure Futurlec will do the same.
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