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Circular?

Discussion in 'PCB Layout, Design and Manufacture' started by kellys_eye, May 17, 2018.

  1. kellys_eye

    kellys_eye

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    If I had a requirement (and I do, actually) to design a small circular PCB, which software would allow me the easiest method to do so?

    I've not (investigated) seen such facilities - is this a case of either not being aware they can ALL do that or that it is only available on some packages?
     
  2. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

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    I guess there are various ways and they are possibly different for each layout package.
    Here's an idea how to do it in Eagle.
    Other packages may be able to import the pcb shape from another tool, e.g. inkscape or gimp. Read this description for KiCad.
     
  3. kellys_eye

    kellys_eye

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    Interesting - thanks for those two useful links.

    It does seem to illustrate that 'irregular' pcb shapes aren't part of normal board creation tools though. Both solutions in the links are all b*st*rdisations of a process rather than 'select board outline' then click-and-drag......

    I suppose such programs cover the majority of normal pcb manufacture but I've not seen many square/rectangular boards these days - they nearly all have some irregularity about them and a curve - even of it extends to a complete circle - seems to be a missing function.

    I'm leaning towards Kicad as my preferred tool so may as well start there! The ability to import an irregular shape from a drawing program then convert it to an element (pcb) allows for any shape whatsoever without too much complication.
     
  4. Hopup

    Hopup

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    Proteus can do that quite easily.
     
  5. hevans1944

    hevans1944 Hop - AC8NS

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    A few years ago we had a thread on a flashlight application that used a circular PCB that fit neatly into the base of the flashlight. Unfortunately, the project was a failure but the circular PCB was successful. The main problem that I see is routing the circular board outline after the traces are fabricated. Surely this is just some standard G-Code sent to the CNC router, but I have no idea what the details are.
     
  6. Minder

    Minder

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    One member of another site made a couple up for me using Eagle I believe, My Kicad did not appear to allow it.
    My board was similar in style to a large Washer 2" in dia.
    M.
     
  7. AnalogKid

    AnalogKid

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    PADS (now a part of Mentor) allows irregular pcb outline shapes, including circles, obrounds, etc. Internally, it is the same closed line engine that is used for copper pours.

    ak
     
  8. Arouse1973

    Arouse1973 Adam

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    That was the PCB I designed for Jeff. I used DIPTRACE for that design.
    Cheers
    Adam
     
    KJ6EAD and hevans1944 like this.
  9. kellys_eye

    kellys_eye

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    Do you still have the files that I could use to practise with?
     
  10. Arouse1973

    Arouse1973 Adam

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    Not sure. Let me have a look.
    Cheers
    Adam
     
  11. Arouse1973

    Arouse1973 Adam

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    Here you go :)
     

    Attached Files:

    KJ6EAD and kellys_eye like this.
  12. kellys_eye

    kellys_eye

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    Thanks :)
     
  13. Arouse1973

    Arouse1973 Adam

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    No problem KE :)
     
  14. FuZZ1L0G1C

    FuZZ1L0G1C

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    Hi KE.
    Although this thread has grown a beard already, did you come right with the circular board?
    Playing around with Diptrace, the easiest method I found is:
    [1] create a standard square / rectangular board using 'board outline' icon.
    [2] right-click the outline then from the 'pop-up' menu select 'circular'
    [3] enter your required radius of board

    note:
    This was simply creating the blank PCB itself - I must still try creating a PCB from a schematic and see if it will auto-arrange and auto-route {on circular shape}- don't forsee any problems, as long as PCB has enough real eastate to fit all components. C.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
    kellys_eye likes this.
  15. kellys_eye

    kellys_eye

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    I'm trying (not yet succeeded :cool: ) on settling on a PCB design software package rather than using multiple versions for individual tasks. As such I'm not certain whether Diptrace (which I haven't a copy of .... yet) does everything I feel may be required of my design work.

    I'd like to use Kicad for its versatility and open-source aspect but it seems to be getting too 'big' (i.e. complicated) which I find off-putting.

    I used to use a program that did nothing but allow you to place a pad (from a limited selection) and drag tracks (of limited width) where you wanted. None of this auto-routing business or a gazillion parameters that have to be set (like 16 different values for a pad FFS!). OK, modern boards probably require all that faffing about but my needs are simple (like me :D ).

    Diptrace - from how you describe the simple functionality (at least for circular pcbs) - seems ideal. I really must get around to getting a copy and having a go. Thanks for the input and reminder...... wish I had the time to address these issues properly but another branch of business that I went in to has really taken off recently (publicity of it in five national newspapers came as a surprise and, as a result, has overtaken all my other projects ATM). Such is life...... <sigh>
     
  16. Minder

    Minder

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    I believe you can get the older build version still, I use this because one of my work PC's is Win XP prof. also the latter ver will not run on XP.
    Actually I prefer to use the older version to the latest on my Win10 PC.
    M.
     
  17. KJ6EAD

    KJ6EAD

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    I wonder if any of the packages would let you define a square board and not complain when you decided to have really large corner radii that left the straight portions between them ridiculously short, like 1mm. :D
     
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