Jump to content

DXF to Eagle


Recommended Posts

Hi all,

As well as the common file format for pcb proto is .brd, I just found a nice trick for those like me who are used to work with DXF / AI etc.. 
This is a method on how to import DXF paths in Eagle trough HPGL format with inkscape.
Found it very useful =)
Maybe it could help some of you =)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anybody got a good method to convert AI/SVG/DXF files to HPGL?
Found tuts about creating a virtual printer to file format using HP plotter driver, but running under Windows 10 i do not find generic driver specified in tuts.
Would be useful for Frontpanel Designer.

I was thinking about using Illustrator for my PCB design and then convert to DXF to import it in Eagle, that's the why of the thread.

Then after few reaserches i think i will not stick to Eagle for Schematics / PCB design.
On large size PCB, you need a pro version, and even if i have a cracked one, i do not like the method.
My skills with Eagle isn't so high, so i was loonkig for another way of working.
Have been told about KiCAD ( http://kicad-pcb.org/ ) And at first sight it's the tool I need to make my designs and to share it. Am I Right?

The only issue i worry about is that eagle files is the common standard for PCB companies. And from a fast read , .brd files are accepted in import not in export in KiCAD. Hope i misread ..
Can someone tell me about this?

Thanks in advance,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jumping in headfirst!

I think I confused KiCAD with Diptrace, the latter has limits on size/number of pins unless you pay.

All PCB software has very steep learning curves. My advice is to start with simple boards first, and if that works out go for larger ones. It's very likely that you will make an error (I know this from experience!) and it could waste some money if these are big PCBs.

Some very basic things about design:

  • Scanning in vector objects to use as layers is not recommended. Boards are a complex stack up of copper, mask and silkscreen layers, and holes/milling.
  • When you connect a net in the schematic editor, this creates an "airwire" for you to join in the board editor. This guides you on how to layout the PCB. 
  • PCB fabricators accept gerber files, which are the different layers in an vector format, standardised. Few take layout files. I know the gerber generation in EAGLE is pretty good.

Start small, dream big!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Always here too latigid =) your advice always welcome =)
I think i'll start by reproducing the CORE8 / CORE32 / OPL3 modules only from making scematics to the board files. Will be a great exercise.
Then will try to chain things on bigger schematics / PCB
thanks again,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Sauraen As you work with KiCAD, could you tell me if i should use some librairies from here : 
or if you have better source. I've made a compilation of all libs shown on this page.
Found nice video tut @ 


Edited by Psykhaze
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A few comments:

  • Do not make boards in a graphics program (e.g. Illustrator). I tried something like this once and it was a big mistake.
  • Your statement that Eagle .brd files is the common standard for manufacturing boards is incorrect. The common standard is Gerber files (a folder's worth of these, one per board layer, plus one for drills, etc.) Board houses directed at hobbyists will sometimes accept .brd files to make things easier for their customers, but all they do internally is open the .brd in Eagle and export Gerbers. KiCad generates Gerbers with no problem.
  • I haven't used those libraries, but I'll mention that I tend to avoid all libraries and make my own components most of the time. (I've done this with Eagle and KiCad, and this is policy where I work too.) For any complex part, you don't want to rely on someone else getting every pin right; at work we have a system of metadata on the parts which has to be updated even if we import a part from another library. In KiCad, the default libraries tend to have hidden power and ground pins, which I really dislike--they get automatically connected to the "right" nets, which can easily be the wrong nets.
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...