ECE Technical PCB Services


We accept Gerber files generated with Cadsoft's Eagle Layout Editor. A freeware version of Eagle is available which allows the creation of two-layer boards up to 4 x 3.2 inches in size. Almost everyone uses Eagle for these PCBs.

A Note On Eagle Versions: Eagle has freeware and professional versions. The freeware version limits your board to 2 layers and a size of about 3.5 by 4.5 inches. The computers in the Senior Design Lab have the professional version allowing larger boards and more layers. The problem is, the pro version in the Senior Design Lab (currently 5.10) is considerably older than the latest freeware version available on the Cadsoft web site (6.5 at this writing). This means that if you create a board using that freeware version, you will not then be able to edit in on the computers in Senior Design, which would allow you to expand the board size and number of layers. So, if you want a freeware version of Eagle on your own machine, it would be better to download the older freeware version 5. Older versions are available on the Cadsoft web site here.

Include the following files in your PCB submission email:

Top layer (component side) ("*.CMP")
Bottom Layer (solder side) ("*.SOL")
Board outline ("*.BOL")
Drill file ("*.DRD")

Instructions for producing the above files:

Download this Eagle CAM Job File.
Unzip the file into the directory "Eagle/cam". If you don't have write permission in this directory on your machine, you can unzip it somewhere else.
From the Eagle board editor (NOT the schematic editor), do "File, CAM Processor, File, Open, Job, and select "" (the file you just downloaded and unzipped).
You don't need to change anything in the menus; just hit the "Process Job" button.
The files listed above should now be in the same directory with your board files. Email them to me using the link below.

Good Video Tutorials for Version 5:
Here is a good video tutorial for the Eagle schematic and layout editors.
Here is one for library part design.

Autorouter Parameters: If you insist on using Eagle's Autorouter function, please download the Design Rules and Autorouter parameters files here, then follow these instructions for using them instead of using the Eagle defaults.

The not-so-great Autorouter function in Eagle can create absurdly complex routings with dozens or HUNDREDS of vias. Remember that you will have to solder a wire into each one, so you want to minimize the number. We recommend routing the board by hand if at all possible for a better design.

If you must use the Autorouter function in Eagle, then download this ZIP file and use the Autorouter Parameter and Design Rules files contained in it. Please DO NOT use the default Design Rules and Autorouter settings in Eagle. They will produce boards that are very difficult to make due to the very narrow traces and close spacing.

Instructions for using files in Eagle Version:

Extract the files from the above ZIP file into a convenient directory.
In the Board editor click on the "DRC" icon to bring up the Design Rules dialog.
Hit the "Load" button and select "MWSEagleDesignRules.dru".
Close the Design Rules dialog.
Click on the Auto icon to bring up the Autorouter Setup dialog.
Hit the "Load" button and select "MWSEagleAutorouterParams.ctl".
You can now Autoroute a board which will not cause me severe headaches.

Most of this information was taken from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Electronics Shop web page at the University of Illinois