Maker Pro
Maker Pro

Does anyone have any experience with either OsmondPCB or PDF2Gerb?

Explorer

Mar 28, 2014
102
Joined
Mar 28, 2014
Messages
102
I’ve spent the whole last week trying to learn Osmond PCB and working to create the files for a unique Stylophone-type keyboard. I sent the files to PCBPrime and this was the reply that I got:
——-
Here is your quote that I could do with what you sent me. There seem to be quite a few files missing (i.e. Board Outline, Soldermask files, etc.)

Do you have the ability to export the files into 274X format?
——-
Meanwhile, here is what the Osmondpcb.com site claims about their software:

“Once your design is complete, Osmond can produce standard Gerber (RS-274X) files and Excellon drill files that fabricators use to make your boards.”
——
I sent PCBPrime 8 files: Hole report, drill file, layer 1, layer 2, solder mask 1, solder mask 2, silkscreen, and a PDF document, showing all the files in postscript form, generated by the program. So, I don’t know what I’m missing, except for the board outline, and I specifically asked for help with how I might indicate that. And didn’t get answer. (Does it seem like they’re blowing me off... “missing many files...ETC.”?) That was one of the reasons I abandoned PDF2Gerb. I didn’t understand what that site (https://swannman.github.io/pdf2gerb/) had to say about the board outline.

OsmondPCB says nothing about board outline. Although, I think I read somewhere in the documentation that they assume a rectangular board. I just figured that the “work space” that you set up translates as the board outline. But, I’ve asked PCBPrime if I should manually draw it on one or more layers.

I’m working on an old iMac and was thrilled that OsmondPCB offered a version of their software that would work on it. I thought I had it pretty much figured out... I’ve emailed Swannman and [email protected] with questions and have received no replies.

I’ve got all the files on my mediafire page. I can get that link, if anyone has the time to look through them. Or I can upload the PDF file here.

THANKS for any and all help!
 

Harald Kapp

Moderator
Moderator
Nov 17, 2011
13,719
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
Messages
13,719
I have no knowledge about the software you mention, but PDF is not an export format for PCB fabrication. The software needs to create the Gerber files (plain text files) and it should be able to do so. From their website:

Finishes​

Osmond has tools that let you check that your design is free from error and that it meets all your specified design rules.

Once your design is complete, Osmond can produce standard Gerber (RS-274X) files and Excellon drill files that fabricators use to make your boards.
You should definitely use this export method. Look through the help menus.
Converting from PDF to Gerber (if possible at all) is prone to errors as the PDF lacks information about the design that the original software has.
 

Explorer

Mar 28, 2014
102
Joined
Mar 28, 2014
Messages
102
Well, Osmond PCB is where I ended up, although it was quite the brain twister for me to get a handle on the software. (My nephew, who is an IT-guy, had offered to run my PDFs through the PDF2Gerb Perl script, but with the Osmond PCB software on my iMac—and finally opened up, which alone took a while—I figured maybe I could do it all myself.)

When I pushed PCBPrime a little harder yesterday, they told me to just draw a board outline on any of the layers. I’m not sure why they told me there was so much stuff missing. Below is an image of the contents of the zip file that I sent them.

C2B52E7C-F443-4494-8A90-C24F31DA4EFB.jpeg
 

Explorer

Mar 28, 2014
102
Joined
Mar 28, 2014
Messages
102
BTW, here’s a screenshot from the Swannman PDF2Gerb website I mentioned above:

605B38F0-85C2-4B07-A9CF-2E360BF135C1.png
 

Explorer

Mar 28, 2014
102
Joined
Mar 28, 2014
Messages
102
FYI: Don Julien, who did the last major update on PDF2Gerb, replied to my email and the questions I asked below. He gave my permission to post his replies. Just in case it’s of interest or help to anyone else...
——
> I want to be certain about how to properly create and generate the board outline.

pdf2gerb generates the outline automatically from the largest rectangle it sees in the drawing, so the PDF should have a thin rectangle/border around it. If the board is not rectangular and the PCB fabricator supports that, then the Gerbers could be edited to the required shape. [Swannman, on the PDF2Gerb site, says he drew the board outline on the silkscreen layer.]

> I want to know if the program can handle some large T-shaped pads with rounded corners (Or will the corners get cut off and end up as at 45° angles?)

It depends on how the pads are drawn. Pdf2gerb looks for rectangles and circles, so if the T-pads are composed of those shapes then it should be able to handle them. (You might need to adjust the Tool sizes in the cfg file).

> I don’t really understand how several layers can be lined up correctly on a PCB, if the board outline is just on one layer. Maybe you can explain that to me.

I'm not an expert with PCB fab, but as I understand it all the layers must use the same coordinate system. If they don't, then different layers will not be aligned correctly on the final PCB (if they are at positions in the PDF [?]). The outline layer just defines the cut line - if there is something outside of that then it won't be on the PCB.
 

Explorer

Mar 28, 2014
102
Joined
Mar 28, 2014
Messages
102
I have another major question for this forum.

Sierra Circuits has this requirement for their “No Touch,” no minimum, board fabrication process:

Excellon drill file in ASCII format with the following parameters:
- Units = Inch
- Tool Units = Inch
- Coordinate = Absolute
- Zeros omitted = Trailing
- Number format = 2.4

Can anyone explain the last 3 to me?

THANKS!
 
Top