We’re excited to announce the release of the first EAGLE beta (7.6.2) since Autodesk’s acquisition of Cadsoft! As promised, we are moving fast on the Cadsoft team to try and add value and this beta has given us an opportunity to add a few things we view as essentials (and it’s been super exciting just starting to get our hands dirty!). A number of items are “in development” but we’re looking for feedback, so it was better to push these early!
Net Names on Tracks
Firstly, we’ve gone ahead and added something we hope every EAGLE user will be excited about — net name overlays in PCB tracks. Now rather that struggling to find which track is connected to which net, this new capability displays the names of all nets along the length of the associated route to make identifying nets MUCH easier in EAGLE PCB. Please check it out and let us know what you think!
Enable signal names on nets under the Misc button, found under Options > Set from the EAGLE menu.
Next up, you’ll notice a few buttons along the top of the window showing the Autodesk logo — one labeled MAKE and the other MCAD. Now bear with us because these are still largely a proof of concept but we were eager to get them out there and start getting feedback from you!
One Click CAM Processor
The MAKE button is a one-stop shop for producing the outputs necessary for fabrication, assembly, test, etc. Hitting the button, you’ll be presented with a dialog which gives you the option to side-step the CAM generator and instead, produce all of your Gerber, Drill, BOM, Netlist (IPC-D-356), Pick & Place, etc., files in one go.
The MAKE button will also snapshot your design and store it under your user profile on Autodesk’s Circuits.io site.
Here we’re providing a single-click solution to “make” a design (hence the name) while also providing a place to socialize your design content with access to your schematics, PCBs, output files, PDFs, the layer stackup, BOMs, etc.
This is a first pass and though it requires a login to store your data (and knowing some folks may be uncomfortable with that), we hope you get enough value from these new features that you’ll create an account. We have ensured that the information is always private, can be deleted any time, and is stored securely on the Autodesk servers.
Please checkout the video here for more details!
Export to STEP
Next up is the MCAD button and this will push your design up to ECAD.io – a site we’ve been riffing on for some time now – where you can generate a STEP file from your PCB. Now this too is under-development, however thru the MCAD button, you can load your design into ECAD.io and convert from that plain-old PCB to glorious 3D, free of charge!
After you’ve mapped your components, go ahead and grab a copy of Autodesk’s Fusion 360 to design that enclosure! ($300 for commercial users, free to makers and students)
When you land on ECAD.io you will be required to login. This enables us to manage component model transformations against your profile (MCAD can be fidgety about which sketch plane you started drawing on, i.e. component origins in mechanical are rarely the same as they are in the ECAD environment). This new version of ECAD.io allows you upload your personal models as well. Add these to your profile and align them to your PCB footprints when the design loads. The orientation will be saved for use in any future designs (so you only have to complete this process once per part).
Again, this is an early implementation of what we are thinking about and hoping to get into the software in time for 7.7…thus we are looking for feedback! We are committed to all of these features but we need some user input to help guide our thinking. Please share your thoughts, questions, concerns, in the comments below or on twitter, via the support channels or anywhere else across the web!
Check out the video here for more details and look for another post / video describing how to get started with ECAD.io here shortly!
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