Blog  /  9 Tips for Converting EAGLE Schematics To PCB

9 Tips for Converting EAGLE Schematics To PCB

Eagle schematic to PCB - are you struggling with finding the correct way to do so? Many designers use Eagle software for designing their project circuit schematics. They may not know how to create an Eagle board file, how to do routing, sizing, and corrections.

If there are errors in the final Eagle board files, then the PCB manufacturers may not be able to manufacture the PCB. This article is to address such problems.

We will discuss the nine steps to turn the Eagle schematic into a PCB file for presentation to PCB manufacturers. Further, we will also provide tips on keeping the Eagle PCB layout neat.

 

It shows circuit schematic and a PCB

(It shows circuit schematic and a PCB)

 

1.Select From Eagle Schematic to Switch to the Board Option

 

First of all, you need to ensure that all wires in your Eagle schematic are correctly connected and labeled. Then, carefully check that all equipment has been adequately modeled and placed on the Eagle schematic. Now, you are ready to convert your Eagle schematic to PCB.

In the file menu, you need to go to the switch to board or sch/ brd option. It will ask you whether you want to make a new Eagle board from schematic, click on yes. Once you have done that, the Eagle board window will open. This window will have blank PCB for you to start converting your Eagle schematic to PCB. The electronic components will be outside the Eagle board area, and you need to start placing them in the required positions.

 

2. Move Eagle Schematic Components to Eagle PCB Legal Area

 

Firstly, you need to transfer the electronic components, which are placed by default in one corner, into the Eagle board protected area. If your design is sophisticated and you have a large board area, it would be a good practice to move the components section by section. However, if you have a lot of space in the Eagle board area, you can transfer all of them at once via the group-move option. It would be when you are trying to convert a simple Eagle schematic to PCB.

Click on the group icon and draw a rectangle that covers all the components. After that, you need to select the MOVE command and right-click to transfer the ingredients in a group. For a tighter view, you may click on the zoom button. This process can take time if your design has a lot of components.

 

It shows a circuit schematic with lots of components

(It shows a circuit schematic with lots of parts)

 

3.Adjust the Eagle PCB Outline According to Your Requirements

 

The Eagle board generated by default is more significant than the actual need for the project. It forms the basis of correctly converting the Eagle schematic to PCB. So, you should shrink the board outline by utilizing the move command. Go to the top horizontal line and click on its center. It will select the complete range rather than just endpoints. After that, you can simply move it down.

Likewise, you may target the rightmost vertical line and click on its center to move it towards left. So, this is the trick, and if you move the line from the center, then the whole range will move; otherwise, only its vertices will move. At this point, you do not need to worry about perfection as we are just getting ready for the next steps.

 

It shows a well-adjusted Eagle PCB

(It shows a well-adjusted Eagle PCB)

 

4.Place Components on Blank Eagle PCB

 

The first thing is that you need to mentally sketch the location of components on the Eagle PCB board. Start moving the parts to the places you want them on the final PCB. Also, you may move them to realistic locations where the placement of traces may be effortless. The art of converting your Eagle schematic to PCB is that you manage to place the components in the right places.

Generally, you can start by placing them like placing them in Eagle schematics. However, this may be difficult if your chip has many gates. Or, there is a component which has a different pin arrangement than the original version. Still, this is a good practice, as the worst that can happen is that you will have a sensible layout, even if it turns out to be challenging to route it.

 

It shows how a blank Eagle PCB would look like

(It shows how a blank Eagle PCB would look like)

 

5. Check Signals for Routing and Load Design Rules in Eagle Board

 

You can get hints on components placement while converting the Eagle schematic to PCB. You need to study essential signals on the Eagle board. It is to check if they exhibit straight paths, or follow zigzag directions all over the board. You will need to click on the red RATSNEST icon to allow Eagle to recompute the air wires for you. These air wires are the signals from components, which are converted into actual copper traces using routing.

You can also type show and in the command window to check the ground wires. They may be arranged or straight. If they are arranged in a diagonal direction, you can change the components in such a way that the ground wires end up being in a straight path. You must have ground wires in a straight line while converting your Eagle schematic to PCB.

Now, as your Eagle board is looking right now, you can further move them manually. It would be to shrink the board size according to your needs simply. Finally, you are ready to select the design rule check icon and load the design rules.

 

6.Amend incorrect Eagle PCB package

 

You can now observe that loading the DRC altered the Eagle board. The pads will soon be round and more prominent. While converting your Eagle schematic to PCB, you also need to make sure that there are no incorrect packages in the design.

You need to go to the change->package tool and collect the incorrect part of the package. For that particular part, a list of all the legal packages will appear. If you are looking for a shortcut for entering the change command in the commands line, then you can simply type something similar to the change package R-US/0207/2V. After that, you can simply click on every component.

 

7.Route Traces and Run Design Rule Check

 

The next step in converting your Eagle schematic to PCB would be to start routing the copper traces. You need to select the route command and then go to the location where you want to start your routing. You can only route copper traces from the places where air wires are already present.

You may also select the layers command to utilize different layers for multiple traces. Each layer has a specific color, and you can use the change command to change. This step is demanding and time-consuming in converting your Eagle schematic to PCB. While you are doing so, it is also crucial that you keep planning. So that you do not end up with any cross traces, and there is room for more hints.

Now, upon completion of wiring copper tracks, you should run the design rule check command. This command will identify any errors in your routing. If you place the circuit correctly, you will find a zero error message.

 

It shows the routing of PCB traces

(It shows the routing of PCB traces)

 

8. Add Power and Ground Signals Using Polygons in Eagle Board

 

We would like to give you one final tip on converting your Eagle schematic to PCB. In multilayer PCBs, usually use the entire layer for power and ground signals. In Eagle, you need to use polygon command to draw such large-signal areas.

For example, if you want to create a polygon for ground signal, type “poly and.”So, by typing the name of the message in the command window, the created polygon will systematically connect to that signal.

 

9. Send Your Eagle PCB Layout File to the PCB Manufacturers

 

Finally, you have converted your Eagle schematic to PCB. Now you need to find a suitable PCB manufacturer. You may go to their website and read their rates and demands. You may check if they allow online ordering. After that, upload your Eagle board file onto their website and follow the next steps. Or, if they need any other file type, you can export the Eagle board file into that version.

 

An expert is checking the quality of your Eagle PCB

( An expert is checking the quality of your Eagle PCB)

Summary:

So, these were the nine ways through which you can convert your Eagle schematic to PCB. In a nutshell, you simply need to open the Eagle board window. After that, you need to start placing the components over the legal board area and begin routing.

In the end, you may run the design rule checker to look for any errors. If you need PCB manufacturing services, you can contact us, and we can provide technology, materials, and quality services. Contact us now.