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What’s New in Autodesk EAGLE – Manufacturing Made Easy, at Last

Sam Sattel

Autodesk-EAGLE-HERO

What’s New in Autodesk EAGLE – Manufacturing Made Easy, at Last

Let’s be honest, we all love designing electronics, but how about organizing all of that documentation your manufacturer needs? Yeah, that’s pretty low on everyone’s list of favorites. This strange no man’s land process between completing a design and getting it back from manufacturing is a pain for many engineers, and for a good reason.

I have now lost track of how many times I play musical emails and phone calls with my manufacturer just to get a simple prototype made. Or that one time I sent off a set off the wrong set of Gerbers. That was a fun surprise on my doorstep a week later. Surely there’s an easier way to be doing this now? There is, with the new One-Click Make in Autodesk EAGLE.

One-Click What?

One-Click Make summed up – It’s your one-stop shop for all things manufacturing. Sounds pretty great, right? When you compare it to the usual way of doing things – like storing a bunch of different files somewhere on your hard drive or keeping track of all those parts you need in a spreadsheet. Here are five things you’ll never need to worry about again with One-Click Make in Autodesk EAGLE:

#1 – Losing Track of All Your Manufacturing Files

Desktop-screen-icons

I know my Gerbers are in here somewhere…Every engineer’s worst nightmare.

Everything starts in EAGLE, and when your design is complete, all you need to do is select the Make button at the top of your interface. From there, every piece of documentation you might need for manufacturing gets stored securely at circuits.io. And we aren’t kidding when we say every file, including:

  • Gerber files which help your manufacturer to understand your copper layers, soldermask, and silkscreen legend requirements.
  • BOM which is imperative when your manufacturer needs to order all of the components you’ve included in your design.
  • Netlist files which will help your manufacturer to understand how all of your components need to be connected.
  • Pick and place files which will help to power those rapid-fire component placement machines by reading the correct location, rotation, etc… for all of your parts.  
  • Layer stack files which will help your manufacturer to understand exactly what materials you need your board to be made out of and how it’s all put together.

Granted, some of these files might be overkill for those of you making super simple boards. If that’s the case, circuits.io has a handy Download Gerber button that will zip up all of the Gerber files your manufacturer might ever need.

download-gerber

Use the Download Gerber button to quickly zip up all of your Gerber files.

#2 – Doing the Import/Export Dance with Your Mechanical Tool

Got a mechanical enclosure to deal with? You’ll probably want to make sure everything fits together before sending all of your design files (and money) over to your manufacturer. In circuits.io, there’s a handy Export to MCAD button that makes it easy to convert your ECAD files into a format that your mechanical tool can digest without requiring a middle-man (farewell IDF, you’ll be missed).

ecad-to-mcad

A recently completed PCB design ready for use in an MCAD tool at ecad.io.

#3 – Importing/Exporting Your Design Just to Get a Second Opinion

Maybe you’ve got a design you recently completed that you need a second pair of eyes on (AKA free design review by a friend). Before you go pressing the export button in EAGLE, check out a few of these handy tools available with One-Click Make in circuits.io:

Download Your Design as a PDF

Let someone check out your design without even needing a PCB design tool. It’s super easy to download a PDF of both your schematic and board layout and share it freely with your fellow engineers.

pdf-schematic

Easily create a PDF of your schematic and PCB layout in circuits.io.

Download Your Bill of Materials

Planning to let your manufacturer purchase all of your parts for you? On circuits.io you can download your complete Bill of Materials (BOM) without ever needing to manually make a spreadsheet.

online-bom

Never spend time creating a BOM against with every part listed for your project in circuits.io.

View PCB Layers One-by-One

Did we mention that every layer of your design can be viewed individually, right from your browser? This is perfect if you just want to check out your soldermask or silkscreen layers without needing to do any layer filtering in EAGLE.

eagle-gerber-viewer

Get up close and personal with every layer on your PCB including silkscreen, copper, and soldermask in circuits.io.

More good news – any design you upload to circuits.io can be made either public or private. Want to share your design with thousands of other engineers in the EAGLE community and maybe inspire someone else? Make it public. Or maybe your design needs to be kept to yourself? Making it private is just as simple.

#4 – Waiting Weeks Just to Get a Prototype Back

We’ve all been there, choosing the cheapest PCB manufacturer in the world and waiting weeks just to get a basic prototype back. This process can be way faster with the help of Othermill, one of the best CNC machines we’ve seen for making PCB prototypes at your desk.

Making your prototype with Othermill is simple. Just select the Make with Othermill button in circuits.io and you’re ready to roll. And if you’re still on the fence about being able to prototype a PCB in minutes instead of weeks right before your eyes, then check out this Othermill review by Adafruit, it might change your mind:

Anyone Care for Some No-Nonsense Manufacturing?

We think that getting your PCB made shouldn’t be such a pain, and with One-Click Make in Autodesk, it finally isn’t. Whether you just need to ship off some quick Gerbers to your manufacturer, or maybe you’re the proud new owner of an Othermill, Autodesk EAGLE has something to like for every engineer’s manufacturing needs. Until we meet again, enjoy a pain-free handoff process to your manufacturer, and keep on designing!

Ready to give One-Click Make a whirl? Try Autodesk EAGLE for free today.

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