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== How to get help ==
== How to get help ==
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See [[Help]].
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See [[Help:Contents]].

Revision as of 15:07, 9 July 2009

Contents

About PCB milling

One of the most practical and popular ways of producing printed circuit boards (PCBs) at home is to machine them on a small CNC mill such as those sold by sherline.com, or a scratch-built equivalent. Essentially one just engraves the desired traces onto cheaply available copper-clad PCB blanks.

For more information, check out the Wikipedia article on PCB Milling.


About pcb2gcode

pcb2gcode is a command-line program that calculates machine toolpaths from given PCB layouts.
Despite it's name, it does NOT accept unix "pcb" files, but standard gerber RS274-X and Excellon files, and creates fully EMC2-compatible RS274-NGC files.

pcb2gcode is rooted in gerber2gcode, which was almost entirely rewritten by Jeff Prothero aka Cynbe ru Taren in late 2008.
In spring 2009, the project was moved to SourceForge by Patrick Birnzain.
See AUTHORS.

There are a few pictures of stuff made using pcb2gcode on our Pictures page.

Features

  • supports machines with and without spring loaded end mills or depth stops
  • full support for milling and drilling single- and double-sided boards
  • automatic mirroring of bottom layers


Downloading

pcb2gcode is available via SVN and as a file download.

For information on how to download the current revision from SVN, see [1].
The file downloads can be found at [2].


Installing

pcb2gcode requires libgerbv, a part of the gerbv gerber file viewer.
You will need to install a recent version of gerbv (e.g. v2.2.0 is known to work) from source, the Ubuntu gerbv package will not suffice.

IMPORTANT: currently pcb2gcode won't find the libgerbv shared object file if it's installed to /usr/local, which is the default.
To install libgerbv properly, run

./configure --libdir=/usr/lib --includedir=/usr/include
make
sudo make install

in the gerbv source directory.

pcb2gcode itself does not provide any means of installation yet. You may add a symlink in /usr/bin, as described in the INSTALL file.


Using pcb2gcode

type pcb2gcode --help for a complete structured list of all parameters.


How to help

Currently, pcb2gcode needs a lot of testing.
If you find any bugs, please report them to pcb2gcode-devel@lists.sourceforge.net or add them to our Bug Tracker.

Also, pcb2gcode has a distinct lack of documentation.

Contributions of all sorts are most welcome.

How to get help

See Help:Contents.

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